When Bad Things Happen to Good Salespeople
The Marketing Consigliere has had to “whack” decent salespeople for business reasons. He recently led a discussion in LinkedIn regarding valid reasons for terminating salespeople who were actually hitting their numbers.
Kevin Dunal, President of Oculus Info Inc. presents a valid ROI argument for optimizing your sales team.
“…I have seen this happen which in my mind is justifiable, is the case of redeploying head count to a larger market that will leverage larger revenue streams in the long term. An example of this is pulling a sole rep out of a smaller market or country to add additional headcount into a thriving territory that can drive a significantly larger quota. The optics on the market you pulled the person from are bad “hey Joe was doing a great job of opening up his region and killing the $850k quota.” But you might be able to put a new corporate account rep into a different vertical and grow a $14m account or territory. Other reasons are moving to an inside rep model which sometimes can be more cost effective and have higher customer service levels.”
Mathew Lodge, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Symantec, had this to say (and spoken as a true product professional):
“If you have a sales overlay and your cost of sale is too high, and if you believe the product(s) being sold no longer need an overlay… you can cut the overlay sales team to meet expense reduction targets. But you better be right about the product lifecycle and the core sales team’s ability to sell it.”
Thanks to Kevin and Mathew for showing there are rational justifications when you have to. Leadership is not an easy yoke ot bear; but net-centric marketing tools such as CRM applications can give executives the data they need to justify these not-too-pleasant decisions.