Our company, pruned the trees so to speak of our sales department last year. We trimmed the unproductive sales staff and wiped out a bunch of overhead.
It’s not easy to do this, but it may be necessary in your organization too.
Steve Clark wrote about this recently:
Will You Be Relevant In The Future
In a study done at Columbia University, it was determined that the top 20% of sales reps earn 16 times more income than bottom 80%, and the top 4% of sales reps earn 54 times more income than the bottom 80%.
Additional data confirms that 65% of everything that is sold in North America is sold by 15% of the sales people.
These numbers should be a wakeup call for owners, managers and sales reps.
Why Should You Care About Any of This?
That is a fair but naïve question to ask. If you are a manager you should realize that about one – third of your sales force is actually a profit center. The other two – thirds, while somewhat productive, are barely covering their cost.
If, as predicted by some, employee cost will more than double in the next forty-eight months this should scare the living hell out of YOU.
When this happens, I predict that companies will have a significant reduction in force of their sales teams, and that only the sales people who are determined to be a profit center will be retained. If you are a mediocre or marginal producer this should scare the hell out of YOU.
The End of the Company Gravy Train Is Insight
For too long companies and managers have tolerated mediocrity and provided what amounts to corporate well fare to non productive sales people. Because of shrinking margins, increased competition, and the need to increase productivity, companies can no longer do this and remain competitive and profitable. In the future, every employee from receptionist to CEO will have to prove their profitability. If they can’t they will be sacked and rightly so.
Many employees somehow think that it is their birth right to be provided with a good paying job which doesn’t require a great deal from them other than showing up and putting in their time. They have forgotten or never learned that in a Capitalistic Society rewards only come to those who provide value in the market place. No value no pay. Not a hard lesson to learn but one that the liberal do gooders of this world avoid talking about. Instead they pander to the lazy masses that willingly lap up their message, “that the government will take care of you”, like a cat laps up warm milk.
What Can You Do to Prepare For This
Accept one – hundred percent responsibility for your own future. It is not your company’s, or the country’s responsibility to provide you with the skills and talents you need to excel.
Invest YOUR time and money in competent training and education that will make you more competitive and more skilled than your competitors both within and outside of your company.
Become a voracious reader, attend seminars and events and associate with the top performers in your industry, turn your vehicle into a rolling university and listen to audio training materials, stop hanging around time and energy vampires that suck life from you, and seek expert coaching. If you will do these things consistently you will be well positioned to weather the coming storm.