Trade Me22

One of the sidebar discussions that resulted from the last few posts about sales process and related topics like what to do with your under performers, was a novel concept that will never catch on, but hey, it’s Friday.

Everyone in sales loves sports analogies, right, so what do savvy professional sport coaches and general managers do when they have talent that does not fit in, is underperforming – or does not conform to the system?

They trade them!

What if like in professional sports, you could trade those members of the team that were not following the process, or were deemed to be ‘C’ players based on your specific criteria. 

I know some of you are thinking who would want an underperformer.  The answer and reality is a lot more than one would think or many would admit to.  How many times have you seen companies hire away sales people from their direct competitor?  How many times have they paid a signing bonus to get that rep to sign.  How many times have those individuals crashed and burned?  The answer is lots, don’t even bother to protest, I have had front row seats to this passion play unfold dozens of times.  It was done where I worked, and I see it regularly in all different verticals.  So like it or not, the market is out there for this, the musical chair game is played every day, and more aggressively in up markets, when there is a perception of a lack of talent, when in most cases it is just a lack of bodies. 

Box: Further how many times have companies hired a rep from a competitor in the hope of not only getting talent, but also because “Joe has a good book, he has been with them for years, and he will bring that book with him.”  Ya, right, clients are not stupid, for them to follow Joe, he would have to be a rock star, and if he were he would stay where he is rather than jump ship and leave behind the investment he has made in his account base.  If he is not good, the clients will stay where they are, they know that it is the company that is delivering, not Joie!

But let’s keep in the realm of hypothetical, even I realize that there is a difference between sports and sales, but why not consider trading.  I hear people say over and over that sales people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers, and I have never heard anyone challenge that.  So if you buy that, then who is to say that Susie would do better with a different manager at a different company, with a different process. 

In some ways many companies are living the effect now, they hire a new sales manager or a regional sales director, and they end up bringing “their crew” with them.  If the community accepts this practice, how much of a stretch would it be to move some of the people around at other times?  With non-competes and all, maybe you can frame it as though you were trading for future consideration, hmm?

So what do you think, too wild ha? Oh well, had to bring it up.  Have a good weekend, unless it is the trade deadline in your vertical!

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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