Growing a business isn’t easy. One of the hardest things to get right is having the right people in the right roles.  Which is especially true in sales.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had business leaders complain about the lack of sales performance from particular individuals.  They’re paying them well, but not getting decent performance in return.

Often the best path is to let these people go.  Sooner rather than later.  But not always.

Sometimes it’s a question of changing the focus of the role.

Case in point.

Working with a large distributor who sold to retailers through their call centre.  They’d been complaining about an individual who spent 30 to 40 minutes speaking with front line retail buyers, but not actually getting orders.

Frustrated, they were about to fire her until we stepped in.

She was obviously good at building rapport and chatting with people, but not bringing a sale to a close.  Part A – building rapport is a great skill.  Part B – Closing wasn’t her strength.

So changing her role to one where she ONLY cold called business owners and OPENED accounts and then passed on the day to day selling to an “order taker” spectacularly solved the problem.

She went from worst performer to their star.

Everyone happy!

There are a couple of principles at play here.

First put the right person into the right role.

There are four questions you should ask.

  • Do they share your organisation’s values and beliefs?
  • Do they understand the role – exactly what’s involved?
  • Do they actually want the role – or have you shoehorned them into something?
  • Can they perform – i.e. Do they have the capability to execute. e. The right combination of knowledge, experience, ability, time etc.

The first – values and beliefs should be an immediate deal breaker.  The last thing you need is someone who’s not a cultural fit.

Strictly speaking, the rest should be warning signs.  Yes, someone can grow into a role, but you need to monitor their performance.

And don’t get caught by the Pieter Principle (correct spelling BTW), where you promote someone beyond their level of competence.  Classic case where you take your best technician and make them a manager.  You lose your best technician and get a lousy manager.

These are all considerations we take into account when working with business leaders scaling their organisations.

Remember, as a leader it’s often hard to see the forest for the trees and it’s lonely at the top.  We work with our clients in a business advisory board capacity to help them make better decisions, faster, enabling growth.

Like to know more?  Call Rashid on 0414 913 334.

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