It’s a year later.

This time last year Dan walked into his manager’s office and delivered the bad news.

He was leaving.Square peg round hole

Another company in the same business category offered him a job with more base salary and higher commission opportunities. He would not be a direct competitor to his current territory, the new job was in a different business sector.

Dan was sad and so was his sales manager. Dan liked his job, the people and the company.

But when more money came knocking on his door, he felt compelled to go.

Now, it’s a year later and Dan’s in another dilemma.

The company he didn’t really want to leave – and didn’t want to lose him – offered him a position in another division, gave a new sign-on bonus and with this new job it came a greater commission opportunity.

So why is Dan in another dilemma a year later?

The new job isn’t a fit for him.

See, it’s a long sales cycle – 8-18 months and more deals close at the 18 month mark than earlier months.

Dan is the kinda guy who needs more instant gratification – sales cycles with 6-9 months max.  That’s his sweet spot.

The new job’s division also made so many twists and turns, the commissions didn’t pan out. 

Even though Dan has excellent prospects in the pipeline, it may be yet another 6 months to fruition – meaning closer to 24 months to close.

The company recognized they thwarted the commission opportunity and gave out some other perks along the way.

But Dan’s still not happy.

He dreads getting up to go to work. 

He misses the excitement of waking up energized for the day.

Dan really isn’t worried those deals won’t close. It’s that he really misses the deals closing in a shorter time frame.

Here’s a typical example of the right person in the wrong position.

So what’s Dan to do?

He came to me to help revise his resume.

By the end of our hour, he scratched fixing up his resume and realized his first job search would be with the current company. They didn’t want to see him go the first time and they probably wouldn’t want to see him go now.

He was prepared to explain the square peg wasn’t fitting well into the round hole.

He took out his Sales Conversation Planner Tool and thought through the upcoming conversation as if it were a sales call.

So, what does all this mean to you as a sales manager?

You’ve had reps leave that you didn’t want to. And you’ve had reps not be as successful as you thought they would be.

It doesn’t always come down to a lack of sales abilities.

Often, it’s a mis-match of person to the territory.

Ready for today’s Sales Manager’s Challenge to see if you are on the brink of losing reps you really want to keep?

Sales Manager’s Challenge

  1. List your reps.
  2. How are they each performing to goal?
  3. What are the barriers keeping them from meeting goal?
  4. Honestly answer – are they in the right territory – whether it be personality fit for the buyer (ie. High, low or medium level executives)? Right fit for long term or short term close cycles? Right fit for the size of business? Geography?
  5. How closely are they selling to the way you want your reps to go to market? (Which may be totally different than the way their previous company did and that’s another sales manager challenge to tackle.)

What’s this information show you?  If you are on the brink of possibly losing some reps you really want to keep, you can be proactive and rearrange your team instead of waiting for any one of your sales reps – good or bad – to approach you with a resignation letter.

What happened in Dan’s case?

The company didn’t want to lose him and realized he was a great closer with short sales cycles and they are in the process of finding the right territory for him. A win-win for both sales rep and company… plus an added bonus to the customers Dan will be working with.

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