Can You Afford the Cost of Ignoring Sales Management Issues

reimagine your sales teamThere is a sales rep on your sales team I’ll call Joe. Joe doesn’t pull his weight because, after all, he’s been with the company forever. He has the juiciest accounts and no one better touch them. He doesn’t work his accounts, but leadership justifies Joe’s behavior with the alternative – Joe leaving and taking the accounts with him. Joe has an attitude issue and is negative all the time – but everyone works around it because he’s Joe.

Do you have a “Joe” on your sales team?

Just like people in a bad marriage stay together “for the kids”, many company leaders will keep a sales rep because they think it is better than the alternative.

But what is that costing you?

How about close to $9,000 a day?

That’s what 83 executives from many industries around the world reported as their daily cost to their company in dealing with various staffing issues in Stop Spending, Start Managing: Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits by Menon and Thompson.

In the case of a bad sales hire, I think the cost COULD EASILY be multiple millions of dollars and here’s why:

  • The missed opportunities with an eager, competent seller in Joe’s place if Joe was replaced. Joe does not come into work to solve issues and find new business – he just does the minimum to get the awards.
  • There are existing customers who might do MORE working with a bigger-vision, buyer-focused seller.
  • Think about the big deals and opportunities that have not been researched OR the deals that never got followed up on.
  • The unknown cost of Joe’s bad attitude spreading around the sales and account management teams.

Why Do We Keep the Joes of the World?

Is your company worried that Joe will take your / “his” clients away if he leaves and goes to a competitor? If so, YOU as leadership need to be in front of all your larger customers to ensure that Joe is not the only face clients know in addition to account management or service. Note that this issue has nothing to do with sales reps not doing their job – this is a leadership issue and strategy issue for your company.

In addition to the cost of keeping Joe, there are MORE costs incurring with poor sales team members:

  • Costs for problems ignored for fear of conflict
  • Costs for unproductive meetings that Joe may derail or showboat in
  • Costs for unproductive training

In the end, sales leadership may have even become uninspiring because of guys like Joe, which also adds to your big costs.

Build Your Bench

What if you have more than one Joe? There is NO question, the costs for a bad sales hire are HUGE. Do you have a couple million dollars extra in your sales budget for these types of characters?

Work to build your bench of sales talent just like the top sports teams do. No one shines forever. If your sellers are not coachable, trainable, optimistic, and with a high sales DNA, you are leaving money on the table and in the case of Joe, LOSING millions.

Contact us if you want to learn about Sales DNA, the 21 competencies for top sellers, or the 21 competencies of top sales leaders. No strings attached. We want you to make 2017 your best sales year and do to this, you may need to reimagine your sales team and sales leadership.


Lori Richardson  helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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