Salesforce Podcast – When to Fire Your Top Salesperson

Would you consider firing a top performer? Sure, you love that they’re crushing their quota, but are you being held hostage by them to the point where they’re causing more collateral damage than they’re worth? Listen to this Q & A interview I did with Salesforce based on one of my most popular articles and you decide. 

Questions addressed in this interview are below.

The holy grail for leadership is to develop a team of self-motivated, highly accountable, top performers. But if you ask any manager if they’ve ever had to deal with an underperformer, most of the time you would hear, “Of course I have.”

The question is, how does a manager assess who an underperformer is, and who is not? I had the opportunity be interviewed by Salesforce where the topic of discussion was based on my article, When to Fire Your Top Salesperson, which explores a new definition of what it means to be an underperformer. As you listen to this true story, it goes beyond just hitting or exceeding sales goals and business objectives. As a manager who is responsible for the success, culture, and performance of your sales team, we need to look not only at how the person is performing but who they are and how their behavior impacts the people around them.

This was a painful lesson. My hope is by sharing this story, along with some best practices to identify the right hire, it will help managers and business owners avoid the costly mistake I made so that you can build a team of champions. I look forward to hearing your feedback!

Here are some questions that are answered in this interview.

  • Clearly a catchy headline for the article! We all want a team of top performers, but this article is all focused about some red flags to watch out for that can prevent you from doing so.
  • The article is focused around the story of Peter (your top performing sales rep). Would you share the story for those who haven’t read it yet?
  • So, it sounds like one should broaden their view on the definition of a top performer / under performer?
  • You mention you put him through a comprehensive interview process – was there anything you would have done differently? Any tips for sales managers that are listening with interview questions?
  • The manager and Peter became good friends – What are your thoughts on the friendship between a manager / employee – Some managers keep their personal life very separate, some combine them. Thoughts?
  • Peter’s story illustrates clearly that meeting/exceeding quota can’t be the full measure of performance. What do you recommend sales leaders look at?
  • Do you have any tips on the best way to gather feedback from your team? How do you get honest and open feedback?
  • The story of Peter may be an extreme case, but are there things sales leaders could be doing to coach their reps to avoid letting situations like this become toxic for the team?
  • I know you’ve just come out with a new book called Own Your Day. Can you give us a bit of a preview on what this is about?

This podcast is based on the article that you can find here.