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Webcast: The Frightening Cost Of A Salesperson

by David Brock on May 15th, 2015

I had the pleasure of being hosted by the great folks at PipelinerCRMJohn Golden, Eric Quanstrom, Rachel Miller, and I had a wide ranging discussion on “the business of sales.”

Our discussion started with recruiting, continued to onboarding, training, coaching, sales process, performance management, and even time management!  Whew! I’m exhausted 😉

I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I enjoyed participating.

Thanks to John, Eric, Rachel, everyone who participated, and the folks at Pipeliner!  Be sure to watch their other Sales Chats!Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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  1. This is a subject I am most passionate about Dave. Companies waste tens to hundreds of millions (or more) on sales mis-hires every year.

    One horrible story:

    An Irish client of mine enlisted my help in hiring a VP of sales for Europe. We installed the hiring process and began sourcing candidates. One of the company’s investor/board members insisted that a past VP of sales for one of his portfolio companies be “strongly” considered. At that point, we had at least five viable candidates in the pipeline.

    I had an open mind. I agreed to interview this guy.

    On the phone, I began to run this candidate through our structured interview questions. He was on a mobile phone at a restaurant during the call, alternating conversations among me, the wait staff, and perhaps a colleague–I couldn’t tell. I was impressed that he could speak at least three languages, but my respect went no further than that.

    I stretched the call to 15 minutes, hoping something positive would come of it. At that point, I thanked him for his time and told him it would be a mistake for both him and the company if he were to come on board.

    The director/investor heard about this directly from the candidate and insisted to the CEO that the candidate be hired. Which he was.

    Six months later:

    * Two of the company’s existing, best producing sales reps, under this new VP’s control, had resigned. (~1.3 million Euro in revenues each, per year.)
    * Two valued resellers transitioned to represent a competitor’s product, angry and vindictive. (They were driving ~1 million each in revenue per year.)
    * Two large corporate accounts decommitted to future work with my client, stating they would find an alternative supplier.
    * Plus damage to the company’s brand.

    The CEO, who was my direct client, spent all of those six months focused on little else than picking up broken glass spread across the territory this new VP owned.

    The CEO called me at 5:00 am one morning (my time!), telling me he had sacked the VP and implored me to help him get the process restarted, building a new pipeline of candidates. He was crying.

    I didn’t do this calculation with the CEO, but I figured, conservatively, this predictable and deliberate error cost his company between four and eight million Euro in direct costs as well as a spectrum of missed opportunities.

    Hopefully I’ve underscored your point, Dave. Mis-hiring is a serious epidemic.

    Thanks for highlighting this important gap in the competencies of corporate and sales hiring managers.

    • Thanks for the reinforcing story Dave. I’m amazed at the “casualness” in which hiring decisions are made–at every level. For sales people, these are multi–million dollar investments. For managers, it’s even more, with more tragic consequences. Thanks again. Regards, Dave

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