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From Worst To First -Should You Rate Your Salespeople?

By Mark McMaster


Every sales rep wants to be number one and few enjoy hearing that they rank low when compared to others on the team. It's not difficult to imagine what schemes that rate employees from worst to first often stir up controversy among salespeople. At GE, supervisors identify the top 20 percent and bottom 10 percent of their staffs each year. The top 20 percent are richly rewarded and the bottom 10 will likely be fired. Is this heartless, cold-blooded management? GE's CEO defends the evaluation system. "Not removing the bottom ten percent early in their years is not only a management failure, but false kindness as well — a form of cruelty," he wrote to shareholders. Dick Grote, president of Grote Con-sulting, an Addison, Texas, performance management company that has designed grading systems for GE and Texas Instruments, says forced rankings are especially useful when evaluating a sales force. Too often, sales managers pretend to live in a "Lake Wobegon world, where all salespeople are above aver-age," he says. In practice, individuals on sales teams vary widely in performance and potential. "In sales, we believe that we have one overriding measure of success," Grote says, referring to raw sales numbers. "But there are other things that make great salespeople different than good salespeople," such as product knowledge, ambition and interpersonal skills. Salespeople are accustomed to having their performance benchmarked against their peers and ranking systems help expand this notion of performance beyond raw sales. Corroborating Grote's arguments is a study of 17 large companies by the American Productivity and Quality Center in Houston, which found that forced rankings were the most effective way to identify and reward core competencies. Where such systems weren't in place, researchers found that managers were too reluctant to get rid of low-performing workers. But do the benefits of rankings out-weigh the risk of discrimination? "Ranking makes the process of evaluating employees much more objective, visible and controlled," Grote says. "By making it part of the corporate process it gets it away from being the old boy's network."

HIGH Achievement Factors

1.       High achievers discover their vocation and their specialty. They find something they love doing something at which they can become really proficient.

2.       High achievers develop a competency. There is no long-term success without developing one's interest or specialty into a real competence.

3.       High achievers value and manage time. They are aware that they live in a very time-conscious society and that they must cope with its demands.

4.       High achievers are persistent. They are not easily stopped when they are on the right track.

5.       High achievers channel their needs and wishes into their work. They are able to channel intense desire into a focused, informed effort to realize significant goals.

6.       High achievers know when and how to focus. They can tune out static and distractions to give absolute attention to the task at hand.

7.       High achievers are sensitive to their environment. They recognize when they are in the right place at the right time; they understand the importance of mentors, discoverers and teachers.

8.       High achievers perceive opportunities. They are open to what is happening around them; they are always learning because they are inquisitive, questioning individuals.

Time Marches On - Especially for Resumes and Leadership
By COATS Staffing Software

It’s inevitable. It’s cliché. But it’s a new year and everyone takes a few seconds to take an assessment on their direction – whether that’s a look at their business, career, or personal lives.

The most readily and promptly disposed of resolutions are ones that involve any sort of adjustment in caloric balance (whether that means the absence thereof – dieting – or the increased energetic usage of that which is consumed – exercise). We also might want to put a check on our vices, make better use of our time, get more education, etc.

However, with respect to employment-related issues and general good leadership, some very good advice has been dispensed to begin this year.

First – resumes. What do you change in 2017 (and what should placement specialists be looking for) to make a candidate relevant, competitive and potentially that next great hire?

For many of us, it’s not the experience, but the mileage. That’s, at least, the message that Forbes Magazine sends. They relate the top five things to remove from an applicant’s dossier:

1. Too Much Detail About Your College Years
2. Languages You Speak (Even Fluently)
3. Fellowships, Internships and Prizes (With a Few Exceptions) 
4. References and Personal Names
5. Any Dates or Years That Could Create Ageist Assumptions

This makes sense as: name dropping only goes so far;  unless you’re applying for that position that requires fluency in Latin, it’s probably not relevant on your resume; and,
if your grand prize for excellence was won more than 15 years ago, it isn’t going to win you your new dream assignment.

But most of us already knew this.

The true revelatory points of this list, particularly to Gen X’rs, is knowing that remaining relevant and current means ditching just about any reference prior to 2007, which is an eye-opener. Not because it’s particularly surprising, but when you consider 9/11 was more than fifteen years ago and then-Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president in February 2007 – a decade ago – one begins to realize that the march of time is quick. If these two events are starting to become distant memories, then what a person did for their job back then might not be too high on the list either.

The second, and particularly for leaders and managers, should be basic commonsense, but it never hurts to consider proverbial truths.

Inc. suggests that this litany should be on any business-owner’s wish list:

1. A great co-founder.
2. Wisdom.
3. Grit.
4. A reality distortion field.
5. A great network.
6. A soul.
7. Generosity.
8. A loving and supportive family.
9. Great investors.
10. An exploding market.
11. Luck.

If you look at this list analytically, is there anything on it that any one, regardless of being a business owner or not,  wouldn’t wish we had either? That said, everything on this list can be earned through focus, continuous curiosity and learning, determination, and just general caring and observation.

COATS Staffing Software: Everything You Handle Is Right Here
Just what is COATS Staffing Software and how can it help your business? Learn more about saving time, money and sanity by visiting




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