Many companies hold on to their "problem child" salespeople for far, far too long. And I have heard many a "problem child" salesperson directly threaten or imply, "If I am not appreciated here, I will go work for our top competitor."
I often find myself wanting to say, "I will drive you there myself."
The real question is... Is your "problem child" salesperson a true "sales wolf"?
When should you let your "problem child" salesperson go work for you competitor depends on whether or not the "problem child" is a true "sales wolf". A true "sales wolf" has the capacity to sell in the top 20th percentile on a consistent basis. A true "sales wolf" adds extreme value to the Customer through their counsel.
Let's define "problem child". In my travels, I have met many a "problem child" salespeople.
A "problem child" salesperson is essentially a prima donna who really does not deserve to act like one.
- They believe the company would fail without them.
- They believe their value is far higher than it actually is.
- They often lean closer to the Customer than to the company.
- They believe that past deeds performed five, ten, or twenty years ago merit permanent employment status.
- And they often mistreat others in the company to "serve the Customer".
The problem child salesperson comes in three categories. The first of the three categories need to be immediately encouraged to work for the competition.