It’s convenient, and practical, to segment sales teams into three groups, the top performers, the bottom performers and those in the middle. Whether it’s a 20/60/20 split or a 30/40/30 is of little concern, what matters is that each have differing needs and need different support.
As a manager, it’s great working with the top performers, the ones winning deals. It’s often satisfying working with the middle group but naturally, the problem children don’t get the attention they deserve; it’s not fun and it’s not easy so it gets put off.
It’s well known that the cost of poor performers is high but how often do they languish at the bottom of the league table for far too long? The (still very common) tradition of simply getting rid of the bottom performers is rarely simple. It’s invariably time consuming, difficult, wasteful and in these litigious times, often risky.
Few managers like to admit failure, whether of recruiting, management or training but this is an area where, ‘step one is admitting you have a problem’ and step two, a proactive approach to fixing the problem can really pay dividends.