Having a Turnover Problem?

By: Joe Crisara

Negative Talk- The Language Of Losers (1)The Problem of Turnover

One of the first questions I always ask new clients who are struggling to get control of their salespeople and increase their results is a very easy one to answer.

Here is the question…

Of the last 10 salespeople to leave, how many of them quit and how many were dismissed or as I like to say “de-hired?”

 

When I listen to sales managers answer that question, I don’t only listen for the words they tell me but also watch how hard it is for them to access this information.

If a sales manager takes a long time to answer because they can’t remember the last time a sales person left the company, I know they have a turn-over problem.

Not enough, turn-over that is.

Accountability For Results

That problem in this case is that when there is not enough turn-over, a company struggles to maintain a successful selling culture or mindset.

This means that accountability is poor and that employees feel as if the job they have is theirs for as long as they want to stay. On a championship caliber team, rosters spots have to earned and are not a given.

Here is a matrix of possible answers to the above question and what the hidden meaning is for struggling sales teams…

1. No one ever leaves

  •  Means that salespeople are milking it
  • Job is a birthright – tail wagging the dog

2. Most sales people quit

  •  Coaching and feedback is poor or non-existent
  •  Sales system is poor or not being followed

3. Most sales people are fired

  •  Hiring and recruiting system is poor
  •  Too involved with statistical analysis and not improvement

4. Can’t remember

  •  Sales manager is living in their own world
  •  Not in touch with his people, doesn’t care, self-centered

I think you get the picture…  The successful sales manager is acutely aware of all of these responses and if they start to feel themselves get drawn toward one of the above responses, they immediately correct the problem.

Take a Hard Look At Your Team

Of course that problem is with them and the way they think. In healthy sales organizations it is well defined as to the amount of top performers, mid range performers and poor performers. As a rule, the bottom 20% is cut from the team every year and replaced with new hopefuls that bring a new chance for improvement.

Inside the Bottle You Can’t Read the Label

One of the biggest problems of sales managers today is their loss of perspective when evaluating their salespeople. They immediately start to make excuses as to why results are poor instead of holding their team accountable.

In essence, the sales manager is sold on the excuses instead of trying to train or coach the sales person on different techniques, styles and methods than the ones that are failing.

Start taking a hard look at your patterns and never be afraid of the truth.

If you do, you are the way to reaching the goals you have.

4 thoughts on “Having a Turnover Problem?

  1. This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do with under-performing sales people so I will follow these tips. This will help me to hold myself accountable to coaching my people. Thanks

  2. Just because you a job doesn’t mean you keep your job based upon your past performance. You must earn your job everyday. As Joe knows, Rex Grossman took the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl a few years ago and lost. Three games into the next season he was benched and lost his job.

  3. Wonderful points Joe, thanks! After many hiring disasters, I have found that character matters most when adding someone to your team. You can always train and provide the skills. Conversely if you hire on skills and ability alone, you can’t provide the character traits that will lead to a longstanding career to everyone’s benefit. Its far more important to focus on WHO we are hiring VS what they can do for us. With time and the proper development you can GROW your next superstar and I believe they will appreciate the commitment and more likely be in it for the long haul…

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