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Jack Daly

Sales tips: How to deal with non-performing salespeople

Jack Daly on managing out poor performers

Global sales trainer Jack Daly is adamant about one thing.
Joe has to go.

The “Joe” he is referring to is based on a salesperson who once worked for Jack in his mortgage business. Jack said Joe should have been making $100,000 a year in commissions for the territory he covered, yet he made only $40,000.

So, Jack halved the size of Joe’s territory. And, the next year, Joe also made $40,000.  The new salesperson for the remaining half of the territory made $50,000.
“Here’s what it really taught me,” Jack explains in his book Hyper Sales Growth, “I could have sliced Joe’s territory into quarters. I could have sliced it into eighths. It wouldn’t have mattered what size territory I gave Joe; he still would have made $40,000.”

"That's the way it was with Joe. He woke up one day long ago and said,'It takes $40,000 to pay for what I need in life,' and adjusted his behaviour to hit his number,"  
he said. 

Jack says that all businesses have a Joe in them. He tells them “Joe has to go.”  

He recommends business owners and sales managers rank sales team members. If you have 12 staff, three will be performing in the top 25% quartile, three in the second quartile, three in the third, three in the fourth.

Jack says he would meet once a month to discuss the results, and to share what the best performers were doing that could improve the results of the others.

He recommends:
  • Ranking salespeople at least once a month;
  • Sharing that ranking with them at least once a month
  • Meeting as a team and talking about the results (monthly)
  • Meeting one-on-one to see what’s happening (weekly or monthly)
One-on-one meetings establish what's going on 

If a top quartile person drops from number 3 to number 9 in a month, it probably has nothing to do with the business.  Have a conversation that allows them to open up about what might be getting in the way of their work. 

If a bottom quartile person jumps up to become number 5, find out what he or she did differently that led to the great result. It could be shared with the rest of the team. 

Jack says the bottom quartile usually produces less than 6 per cent of all sales.

The top quartile produces 60%.  Yet, he says, sales managers and business owners spend most of their time and energy on staff in the bottom quartile.

“Where does a head coach of a sports team spend his time: first team? Second? Third? That’s right: the first team. We should do the same,” he recommends.  

Jack says minimum standards of performance need to be negotiated with each individual salesperson. They should be mutually agreed and customised based on their experience, their competencies, their territory.   

After that, if they produce less than 6% of the sales results; set them free, Jack recommends.

“Low turnover is only good among good performers. It’s not the people you fire who make you miserable. It’s the people you don’t fire who make you miserable,” he says.  

Jack's books and workshops offer further advice on how to motivate sales teams to perform at their best, and how to hire the best salespeople. 

Want your sales team to attend the Jack Sales Winning Sales Strategies workshop? Suitable for CEOs, sales teams and sales managers, the explosive full-day workshop will be in Melbourne on July 22, 2019, Brisbane July 24, 2019 and Sydney July 26, 2019. 

Members of The Growth Faculty receive the highest discount to the event, plus have access to dozens of interviews with international business authors on sales, marketing, leadership and strategy. Not a member? Join here