CEOs often permit salespeople who are misfits to hang on much longer than they should. Every day they’re acting out a living death, and everyone around them suffers as well — including the CEO, who’s not getting the sales results the company needs.
Most CEOs just don’t realize how much time and energy are wasted in supporting a weak salesperson’s efforts — all to little or no effect. Dealing with ineffectual salespeople is a waste of managerial time, so it’s crucial for you as the CEO to enforce performance standards.
A living death
Don’t let your salespeople exist in a state of living death — not succeeding and not leaving. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for your entire company.
Beyond wasted managerial effort, there’s another consequence of poor salesperson performance. Almost everyone in the company knows when a salesperson isn’t measuring up. Their non-performance can create feelings of resentment, and that resentment reduces your ability to enforce standards with all your other employees. It can set the stage for low morale or give other staff members permission not to perform — or to leave.
The most important cost of ineffective salespeople lies in lost opportunities from failing to fully penetrate clients or prospects that are assigned to them. The salespeople are getting between you and your customers in exactly the wrong ways.
You have a compelling need to get the sales results you’re expecting. After all, without solid sales results, nothing else you do as CEO will matter. It’s that simple.
Getting between you and your customers
Ineffective salespeople get in the way. They cost you opportunities with existing clients and keep you away from prospects who should become clients.
CEOs almost always wait too long before firing salespeople — even when they know in their guts that a salesperson isn’t going to make it. (It may make you feel better to know that even top-performing CEOs are guilty of this almost as often as other CEOs.)
Don’t let your salespeople persist in a state of living death — not succeeding and not leaving. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for your entire company.
The signs are often evident for a long time. Isn’t it time to do something about it?