Now is the time for reflection and pain.
Somewhere or perhaps everywhere, you screwed up. You could ignore the circumstances and hope history does not repeat itself or your can choose to learn from it.
I recommend learning from it.
The termination of a salesperson impacts far more than the bottom line.
Behind every termination you will find a human being that you somehow failed.
You owe it to current and future salespeople to learn from your mistakes.
You owe it to your shareholders to learn from this experience.
You owe it to your Customers.
Let's get started.
Step One: Bring on the pain.
Do not run from it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Use it.
Unless you make the pain real, you are likely to repeat the same mistake.
Step Two: Own the problem.
Take a hard look in the mirror at the person who created the mess. All problems on your team begin with you.
Do not look for someone else to blame. Do not even blame yourself. Ownership of a problem is not about blame. Ownership of a problem means commitment to taking action and making improvements.
Lack of ownership translates directly into this recurring.
And that is unacceptable.
Step Three: Assess the damage.
What are the costs?
Unless you get real about ownership and get real about the costs, you will likely take the same actions that got you into this mess.
Leave no stone unturned. Following are a couple of key stones to look under.
What are the costs to your Customer in terms of missed sales and lost opportunities?
How has Customer belief been impacted? Is Customer belief impacted more by the termination or more by the problem leading to the termination? Get real about these costs.
How have other sales team member belief been impacted? Did keeping a problem team member longer than you should have permanently damage their belief in you? Remember. Sales wolves hate low performers, lack of personal accountability and sales managers who allow either to occur.
Step Four: Assure.
Assure your Customers they will be taken care of.
Assure your salespeople that you are learning from your sins and that you will do your very best not to repeat them.
Step Five: Identify what went wrong in the sales selection process.
Did your bias get in the way of the sound hiring decision?
Did the candidate masquerade as a strong salesperson during the interview?
Did you use a sales personality test to hire the best salesperson or did you trust your gut?
Step Six: Review expectations.
Did you properly set expectations with the former salesperson in terms of activity, performance and culture? Where can you improve? What can you do differently?
Step Seven: Take action.
Mourn briefly and then get on with what you must do.
Develop an improved action plan for future sales hires.
Contact impacted Customers to shore up belief.
Engage your sales team to shore up belief.