Sales Management

The High Costs of Hiring Mediocre B2B Sales People

The High Costs of Hiring Mediocre B2B Sales People

An increasing number of research is available from respected organizations such as Gallup and Harvard Business Review. There are also newer research firms that show that bad sales hires can have enormous consequences.
B2B companies often underestimate the potential adverse effects of a poor sales hire.

Listed below are some of the costs you should consider:

B2B Sales Direct costs

Loss of revenue (lost or delayed business)
Additional training and management are required
Turnover costs (firing and replacing) – both in terms of time and direct hiring costs

B2B Sales Indirect costs

Long-term effects on brand and market share – lost customers, brand loyalty.
A negative impact on morale can lead to lower overall performance and increased turnover, and ultimately, the loss of your top salespeople.

Here’s an example of the costs

Let’s take an example of a company in which the top salespeople have a sales quota worth $1.5 million and the lowest performers deliver half that ($750,000).

A poor performer in the team’s annual results can lead to a loss of revenue, client loss, and additional management costs. This individual’s delay in removing them can cost $2.6 million per year!

Remember that B2B salespeople are your company’s representatives to clients. A sub-par salesperson can have severe consequences for your company’s brand and market share.

Other Insights

CSO Insights is a sales research company that publishes statistics every year from over 2500 companies.

Only 58.2% of the 2500+ companies that were surveyed made quota in 2013. This means that 42.8% of sales reps failed to meet their quota.

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This is alarming.

An Observation of Typical Character

CSO Insights spoke with a representative from one of their interview firms.

Sales rep: “Yeah, that program is fantastic. It’s mighty! It works perfectly, in fact.

CSO Insights: “That’s quite an endorsement. How often do you actually use the principles that you have learned from the program?

Sales rep: “Uh…maybe half the time.”

Let’s take a second to think about this. It works every time a rep uses it. Why wouldn’t he/she use it all the time? Is it possible that he/she doesn’t need every win? It is doubtful.

This is usually due to the fact that the sales rep didn’t have ongoing coaching to instill the sales training methodology into daily life.

Are coaching and training worth it?

Although training can give a temporary boost to sales behavior and results, people quickly fall back into their normal behaviors without coaching reinforcement. Sales increases are negligible.

Although there is a dip in sales after training, coaching helps to improve the results of those who have received it.

In all my 40+ years of coaching, I have seen that coaching is very affordable compared to the improved results. Coaching fees were often less than 1% of overall revenue increases in many cases.

If you want to grow your company, it is essential to train and coach your salespeople with professionals. This usually means that you need to hire outside B2B sales coaches. It will be a worthwhile investment.


Competing at the highest level of golf is very demanding and mentally draining. Golfers who have played know this for sure.

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However, coaching is essential to achieve success at every level. This applies to business owners and executives alike, as well as sales and marketing professionals.

There are two main reasons you use coaching.

1. To assist you in learning new skills and improving or changing your existing ones.

2. To provide feedback and correct errors.

It is essential to provide feedback that is timely, accurate, consistent, and relevant. These four factors are pretty obvious, but let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be accurate and why it is so important.

To be precise, you must have a measurement system that can provide metrics about the performance of each person throughout the sales cycle.

It is essential to measure the following:

1. Are they following up with leads? I hope you have a solid lead generation system.

2. Are they using the same sales and marketing strategies that you used? (I hope you have one).

3. Is she able to qualify prospects so that she doesn’t chase people who aren’t interested in buying right now?

4. 4. Does he demonstrate your system correctly, or is he doing it too sooner or later in the sales cycle?

5. Is she following a proper proposal writing script your company has established?

6. Is he able to follow up with all prospects?

7. All the way through the sales cycle.

All aspects of the sales cycle must be measured until the company wins or loses.

You can see that your business must implement coaching to reach its revenue targets.

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Coaching should include your executives so that everyone is on the same page.

Training with coaching is a significant investment.


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