Effective sales managers are responsible for hiring and retaining top-performers. They also have the duty of evaluating and terminating underperforming sales reps. While the process of firing someone may seem daunting, it can be made easier through proper planning, preparation and professionalism. If all efforts at improvement fail, here’s how to terminate a sales rep the right way.
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The first step in determining if firing a rep is necessary is to understand your key performance metrics (KPIs) and assess the level of performance across your entire team including systems, processes, management. A sales force evaluation can help you identify KPIs, uncover skill gaps, and discover opportunities for future growth—while also identifying underperformers.
From there, you will need to identify the root cause of these limitations and how to improve them. Can your bottom 10% benefit from sales training? Are they coachable? Do they lack the proper motivation? Check out our blog post on How to Motivate Your Sales Team When Sales Are Down.
If your bottom performers do not possess the right skills for the role or do not improve with the proper training and coaching, it may be time to let them go. That’s the harsh reality of the sales environment.
While terminating a sales rep can be a difficult job, it is sometimes an essential one. Poor performing reps can impact the efficiency and morale of the entire team and set your organization back financially. As per estimates, a bad sales hire can cost up to 50-75% of an employee’s annual salary.
What’s the cost of a bad sales hire for your organization? Find out with OMG’s sales hiring mistake calculator.
There are several red flags that can help you identify when a sales rep becomes a bad investment for your company. Look for these signs:
If your rep is showing any of these attributes, then it might be time to evaluate your sales employee and make a final decision.
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A poorly executed termination can set the wrong precedent on how your firm deals with a firing situation, and it can also lower team morale. All of this can lead to a bad sales cycle and reduced ROI. That’s why it’s important to get the termination process right. To help, follow these three steps:
Sometimes, just highlighting the negative attributes of a sales rep isn’t enough. You have to dig in deeper. While an employee may seem unproductive on paper, there could be ways to understand and mitigate the lack of productivity and save the cost of hiring a new individual.
Before you let a team member go, make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Consider these questions:
If yes, then they probably slack on the job, and laying them off would be better than incurring losses every term. But if they’ve only recently started underperforming, then there might be a reason behind it which you, as a sales manager, should look into.
Assess if the employee has any personal issues and how long it might take them to recover from them. And lastly, run a risk analysis and consider if keeping this employee could potentially lead them to replicate past successes.
As a sales manager, the responsibility of your team’s performance falls on you. While it is important to hire the best talent, it is equally crucial to identify and mitigate weaknesses in your team before they become a threat.
Suppose you had an employee who started missing training sessions, but you let the behavior slide because their numbers were good. When such an employee stops showing growth, their lack of productivity also reflects on your ability to manage the team. Ask yourself if prompting and active effort from your side can rectify the situation.
Need help with training and onboarding your employees to increase team efficiency and employee retention? Set up a consultation with HireDNA. Learn More
Has your organization has gone through any sort of corporate restructuring, like the following:
This could be a major contributor to the downhill performance of your employees. Always take pre-emptive measures to deal with such a situation and ensure that your team is ready to accept forthcoming changes.
We cannot stress enough: do not surprise the employee. Dismissals can be hard to deal with even if your rep does anticipate it. If an employee is blindsided, it could lead to a feeling of distrust in the organization and imply that anyone can be terminated without prior cause.
To avoid this, make sure your termination process is transparent and that a poor performing employee knows what’s coming their way and why. You can do this by conducting constant appraisals and making sure that the rep is notified of their bad performance and is duly warned. This can help you in two ways:
Terminations can be emotional. Their show of emotion can potentially trigger yours as well. But, if there’s one thing you should do before sitting down with an employee to terminate them, it’s to leave emotions at the door.
There are instances where the dismissed individual can become visibly angry or even resort to verbally expressing anger toward the sales manager. Just make sure this does not lead you to take irrational steps. It also helps to have an HR or legal representative present during the meeting to effectively deal with unexpected events.
Finding quality talent is the first step to hiring the right people for the job and minimizing the risk of bad hires. And if you’re terminating a sales rep, you’ll want to replace them as soon as possible with an individual who is ready to perform. By working with the sales recruitment experts at HireDNA, you can do just that.
With a range of science-backed tools, we can identify the right talent for your sales team and assess each candidate thoroughly to ensure that they’re the best fit for your organization.
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