Today, I Fired My Sales Force!

Companies literally spend billions training sales people and yet continue to have problems transforming sales teams. This paper describes the results of a pilot survey conducted with sales teams in the Americas and Asia.

Well actually, it’s been 18 months since we rolled out the product and distribution changes to capture the new opportunities being created by digital business. And today, I replaced the last of the original team except for Lynn who is calling on our biggest customer. I’m wondering how long I can hold on to even Lynn. She keeps delivering the revenue but margins are shrinking and the relationship just isn’t moving forward.

I tried everything to get the team to change. I fought for special incentives, new lead generation resources, extra training, and one-on-one sales calls., I showcased wins on team calls, changed our CRM system, and even hired a consultant to come in and train the entire sales force in consultative selling. There were a couple of sparks of hope, but in the end the only thing that worked was to change the people. I feel terrible about the impact on the people and their families, and not to mention the incredible loss of customer relationships and tribal knowledge. But, what else could I do?

Sound familiar? To aid business and sales managers who need to chart a path through sales transformation, two theories, : innovation diffusion theory and informing science in a complex landscape, are applied to help explain this ubiquitous problem. In addition, results of a global pilot study are presented that provides insights into the sales transformation process and best practices to manage through it. Sales managers, business leaders and sales people alike can use these research insights to illuminate their own journey through sales transformation.

Author: Rob Hammond


Cite as: Hammond, R. (2017). Today, I fired my salesforce. Muma Business Review, 1(5). 47-55.