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Thread: Proving poor performance

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    Proving poor performance

    About 15 months ago I employed a new sales person to my sales team (of two) Without getting too technical about the nature of our business. The previous sales person used to hit the sales target every month, never missed. The target has not been escalated since. The new sales person has only made the target once since he has been here.

    Can this be used to prove poor performance? This person would likely blame Covid...

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I don't think that you can show poor performance without clearly defined performance goals and the documented management thereof. I remember years back when my employer wanted to get rid of somebody they would initiate "performance management" for everybody. The target would then get "managed" out with proper documentation so that the target could not go to the CCMA and claim "constructive dismissal".

    The CCMA will eat you up if you claim performance targets weren't met without managed proof.

    Of course Covid turned the entire thing on its head for everybody - most companies simply used Covid as a scapegoat to downsize and rearrange their staff. Covid kinda gave many companies Carte Blanche because it is very difficult to disprove the effect that it had. I think that he could use Covid against the company in exactly the same way.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    There may be several reasons for poor performance.
    No 1 wouild be attitude. Does he have the will to perform?
    2. Training - has adequate training been provided? Why are targets not reached.
    3. Tools - does he/she have the right equipment/support/promotion. A sales person cannot operate in isolation. They need to be part of a team to share and support both highs and lows. Motrivation is very important.
    4. Management - all of the above can be related back to effective management. Training, tools, creating a motivating environment etc. Why did it take 15 months to realise he is not performing? Were failures investigated and discussed and was the one achievement celebrated?

    Yes, and covid and lockdown may be an excuse. The whole supply chain and consumer behaviour had been affected for the past year. Be realistic.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    There may be several reasons for poor performance.
    No 1 wouild be attitude. Does he have the will to perform?
    2. Training - has adequate training been provided? Why are targets not reached.
    3. Tools - does he/she have the right equipment/support/promotion. A sales person cannot operate in isolation. They need to be part of a team to share and support both highs and lows. Motrivation is very important.
    4. Management - all of the above can be related back to effective management. Training, tools, creating a motivating environment etc. Why did it take 15 months to realise he is not performing? Were failures investigated and discussed and was the one achievement celebrated?

    Yes, and covid and lockdown may be an excuse. The whole supply chain and consumer behaviour had been affected for the past year. Be realistic.
    1. He is just over 60, so the will to perform might not be there anymore.
    2.This person has been a salesman in the trade we are in since 1994 (I actually worked with him back then) so he knows the trade. My scary thought is that he might not have been as good as I thought back then
    3.Although it is countersales, and the landscape has changed a lot. I believe he has more than adequate tools. Portals to various manufacturers to check stock and prices. Excel spreadsheets to enter the costs that automatically calculate the retail price including VAT and fitment. He has a team of five fitters working with him as well as another sales person.
    4.Maybe I was unclear. The 'target' is actually more of a sales benchmark, above which commission is earned, so yes the one achievement was celebrated. Why did it take 15 months? Well...I don't really know, guess after he achieved it once, we reckoned his dry spell was at an end.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Knight View Post
    1. He is just over 60, so the will to perform might not be there anymore.
    With this sort of attitude I wouldn't want to work with you lot anyway!
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    With this sort of attitude I wouldn't want to work with you lot anyway!
    I wasn't offering. Thanks for your input.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Knight View Post
    3.Although it is countersales, and the landscape has changed a lot. I believe he has more than adequate tools. Portals to various manufacturers to check stock and prices. Excel spreadsheets to enter the costs that automatically calculate the retail price including VAT and fitment. He has a team of five fitters working with him as well as another sales person.
    So does the other sales person match their target?
    And are the targets the same for both sales people?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    So does the other sales person match their target?
    And are the targets the same for both sales people?
    This is where it gets technical: One person sells tyres (he is welcome to quote on and do sales on the other side of the business, but he doesn't want to or is too weary of that part of the business) which is low gp but high volume. The other salesperson handles shocks, suspension, brakes etc. but also sells tyres from time to time. This is higher GP per vehicle, but lower volume due to longer turnaround times. Yes, the other sales person does meet the target, which is based on a GP value, monthly.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    In my view, we have been in a lockdown or semi-lockdown for almost a full year. That is a serious mitigating factor.
    People are driving less, so tyres last longer. Many have been retrenched or had to take pay cuts, so buying power is reduced.
    As your business relies on walk-in business, I would assess the numbers compared to previous years to see if there was a drop in customer contact.

    I would also look at the guy's attitude. How does he handle customers, what is his attitude towards management and co-workers, absentee rate, etc.
    Has poor performance been discussed with him before? Has remedies been discussed and was it implemented.
    Management has a duty to be involved with staff to guide and mentor them (without micro managing).
    Performance needs to be discussed on a regular basis so that there are no surprises both ways.

    Business is team work. Have you ever seen a successful team where no-one says anything if a guy drops the ball or misses a tackle?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    So if someone is coming in for tyres, they go to the one rep, but if they are coming in for shocks, brakes, non-tyres they go to the other rep - do I understand that right?

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