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The Financial Reason to Retain Rather than Replace a Low Performing Rep, and How to Do it Right!

As a sales manager you often have the undesirable task of putting an underperforming sales rep on a performance improvement plan. From

the employee’s point of view this feels like a pre-termination. Essentially a grace period to find another job or hope for a “hail Mary” to save their current one.

As a manager, what are you currently doing to move underperformers off the improvement plan and back into a being a higher performing employee? If you are like most, you are doing very little, having cononcluded the employee is likely a lost cause.

If more companies came to recognize the actual cost for salesperson churn, they might consider alternative investments in an individual to try and rehabilitate them to contributing team members. A study by the Bridge Group calculated the cost to source, hire and train a new salesperson averages $115,000. Even worse, the average on-boarding delay averages 5 months! Perhaps a reasonable investment in retraining might be a reasonable investment before starting over.

The Harvard Business Review estimates the involuntary turnover in B2B sales organizations as high as 27%. The sheer magnitude of this problem puts a tremendous burden on HR, Sales Management, and the bottom line to continue to fill the employee pipeline with new qualified candidates.

Having spent over 40 years in B2B sales organizations, I have seen companies spend less and less on selling skills training. The popular approach today is a weekly “sales enablement” meeting. This is usually a new product announcement and deal review meeting. Rarely if ever are selling skills discussed.

In fact, it was my observation that companies expected early career salespeople to somehow know what to do from their first day of employment. They seem to expect that once they are given a phone and a computer the rest will take care of itself. I have seen many sharp young people fail or become frustrated because no one gave them a roadmap to the skills needed to identify, contact, groom, and close clients.

I created G.O.A.T. Selling Academy specifically to fill this niche at a very affordable price. As a consistent top performer myself, I deconstructed the 6 skills that all top performers use to hit big numbers consistently. These are: Being Intentional, Being Genuine, Being Strategic, Being Knowledgeable, Being an Advocate and Being a Team Leader. I am offering these in an online, on-demand setting. You can learn more at

By providing your salespeople a roadmap for success in selling, your weaker performers may just see the light at the end of the tunnel and you may just save yourself the headache of continually starting over.

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