How Much Rope Do I Give the New Sales Guy to Hang Himself? Four Pieces of Advice

Situation:  We hired a new sales person 3 months ago. To date, the sales person has signed some good customers, but only generated $5K in sales. How patient should the CEO be with this person, how much time should be allowed to demonstrate performance, and what metrics do other Forum members use to assess or incentivize sales performance?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Set 90 day targets that you expect for the individual to reach:
    • X new accounts.
    • Y in sales revenue.
    • Other measures as appropriate to your business.
    • Set these targets WITH the individual, not FOR them so that the individual has ownership of the targets.
    • Monitor frequently. If the trend is below the target, ask what the individual plans to do to meet or exceed the target.
    • Targets are best set at the time of hiring. If the individual cannot approach these numbers, then cut sooner rather than later.
  • How do you differentiate the sales person from the sales talker?
    • Based on results. Expect to see results quickly.
  • The traits that correlate with success are not traits that reps develop after they are hired. They have to have these from the beginning. Your hiring process must select for these traits.
  • There are a number of companies offering tools that will help you to identify whether candidates for a sales position possess the traits that you deem most important. Among these is TTI – Target Training International – and Sandler Sales –

Key Words: Sales, Management, Performance, Assessment, Objectives 

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