The Key To Determining When To Fire A Salesperson

Key To Determining When To FireOne of the toughest tasks that a sales management team may face is to fire a representative, as no one enjoys dismissing an employee, especially in the current economy.

While the task may not be enjoyable, it is a necessary part of the business world and has to occur for a company to stay profitable and competitive. This makes it all the more important for a sales management team to identify the correct workers to let go, in an effort to help everyone else at the company.

Sales is a field that makes firing employees somewhat easier, as a manager can simply look to the numbers and see who is not meeting the required expectations based on what was originally communicated to them upon hiring, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

Another thing that can make the decision easier for a sales management team in terms of firing is a violation of a specific rule that the company has. If this or the lack of hitting specific sales numbers is outlined at the beginning, it could be grounds for termination if there is a failure to comply, said the executive.

“This is where there has to be alignment and dialogue between the sales and human resources side,” said Riddleberger. “If they’ve gone X number of months without meeting quota and you’ve documented the process, then it’s time to start the termination process.”

The reason that terminations exist is due to several factors. A representative may have been hired for the wrong reasons, poorly trained or brought into the company or they did not meet their numbers because they were not managed effectively, according to the executive.

“Stringing the process along when you put someone on a performance improvement plan after they’ve missed quota for 3 months, then they hit quota so you have to start all over, is not an effective process,” said Riddleberger. “There are some companies where a salesperson can only hit quota 3 or 4 times in a year and keep their job, which makes no sense.”

This type of structure allows for someone to “work the system”, according to the executive.

While many managers may try to give their employees the benefit of the doubt, this could be harmful to everyone that is involved, reported.