I never thought I would ever write a public service announcement, but that is exactly what this post is going to become. STOP the CHURN! I aim this message at companies that are sacrificing long-term talent for short-term gain. Whether you are a newcomer to my web site or follow me with regularity, you know I mostly aim for the sales side of the audience; but not this time. I point my finger in absolute disgust at companies that are using talented workers as throw-away pawns in an effort to forge some semblance of profitability.
My routine is to regularly “stalk” websites, postings, and even job listings in order to stay abreast of changes in sales and the competition. I am seeing something I find unsettling. A trend among companies to hire hastily and hope for the best. Are they expecting exceptional talent at low-ball prices? What is the reasoning? The fiduciary responsibility of any company’s executive leadership is to the stakeholders, whether those stakeholders own part of the company or not. This responsibility is being ignored. I often use the phrase, “Churn-n-burn” when I talk of a salesperson’s desire to sell and get out quick. Well, it is apropos when it applies to those that are sacrificing bottom-line dollars to make themselves look good.
I will give you two examples I have personally observed without revealing the names of the innocent.
FIRST: I have followed this particular company over the past 18 months and have seen advertised an opening for a account manager/sales representative listed 6 times for the same area! You do not have to have higher math skills to understand the people have only lasted three months! More likely 45-60 days since there will be some time period necessary to fill the position.
SECOND: Another company decided they would branch out from their inside-based verticalized sales model for a sales model based on territory. This is a model I embrace, so it is one I fully understand and believe in when a company’s strategy is to go to the next level of revenue. They brought in sales management to execute this strategy, which they in turn brought in territory-based sales people. For those not familiar, this type of change takes time–a long time to see end results. So what was the outcome? Within 4 months the senior VP was let go and within 5 months the personnel he brought in was gone; some sales people with as short tenure as 45 days. Seeing a pattern here?? The second example is pretty extreme, but none the less true.
This is costing companies thousands of $$, let alone the cost in terms of brand damage. Think I’m wrong? Ask any reputable company what a revolving door of personnel does for company reputation. I wrote an article, “Hiring the Right Salesperson” where I mentioned the cost associated with hiring the wrong person. Think about how costly it is to the company in both tangible and intangible elements. Hire for the long-term. Hire and treat employees as you do your product. Use “Life Cycle Management” theory and apply it to the employees. If, as a company, you continue to go through not only sales people, but any employee you must understand your variable costs are going to be skewed. Is that the overall intent, screw with the variable costs at the right time to make the contribution margins look better? Let it be understood that this will catch-up on the backside–BIG TIME!
Show this to your company’s executives. See their reaction. Was it snuffed? I’ll let you decide.
Find this article useful, interesting? Contact Me or please leave a comment. If you have a Twitter account and found this article useful, it would be much appreciated if you would retweet this at the beginning of the article!