How to Fix a Hiring Mistake (Part Three)

Welcome back to the last installment of our three-part series about helping reps who you may have felt like where hiring mistakes after they started their tenure with you. In part one, we introduced the four steps we need to take to begin fixing things, and in part two we dove deep into issues that go beyond activity or conversation related issues.

As a recap, we said that the four steps to fixing sales development rep issues are:

  1. Diagnose the issue.
  2. Prescribe a fix.
  3. Evaluate that fix.
  4. Final analysis.

Please read parts one and two before you move on!

The Evaluation

We’ve taken a look at what problems your hiring mistake is having, we’ve prescribed a fix, now it’s time to evaluate that fix and see if it’s making a difference.

This is the easy part.

How long are you going to give them to show you that they’ve got the right stuff? You have to decide that, and when that’s done, set micro-goals with them. What do you expect them to do on a daily basis? From there, set weekly goals and then monthly (if you’re going to give them that long). Was the issue activity driven? How many dials per day do you expect from them? QC driven? How many QCs per day do you want them have? You see where I’m going here, and you’ve done this many, many times for your reps. My colleague, Jeff Bowling, who oversees our own SDRs likes to teach that if you can break things down into the small, you’ll succeed in the big. Win the day so you can win the week. String four weeks together and you’ve won the month, win three months and you’ve won the quarter, and win four quarters to win the year. Many small wins lead to big victories.

Be available to your rep during this evaluation time. Meet with them every morning, or if you can’t meet with them, assign a senior member of your team to mentor them during this evaluation process. Better yet, assign them one anyways, regardless of whether or not you can meet with them every morning to set the day’s tone. Put someone in their corner that’s going to root for them when you’re not around. Someone that can show them how to get their head in the game, and overcome this challenge they’re facing could be the difference maker in getting them over their hurdles. You’ll feel better knowing that you did everything you can to help them.

The Final Analysis

Once you’ve given your hiring mistake an opportunity to improve, be it a couple of weeks or a couple of months (depending on the situation), it’s time to analyze their results. Positively speaking, this can be very easy as numbers tend to speak for themselves. Negatively, this can be very easy as numbers speak for themselves. Your rep has either hit the goals that you’ve set for them or they haven’t. Sure, there can be some extenuating circumstances that get in the way, illness or natural disaster (thinking about blizzards in the Northeast as an example) or a multiple day power outage, but ultimately their results are going to speak for themselves. If something does come up, make sure that you give them the chance to make those days up.

If the SDR has succeeded and achieved their goals, congrats! You were able to save yourself from having to start from scratch with a replacement, and you’ve set a great example to the rest of your SDRs. They’ll see that you’re willing to work with them if they’re floundering from the get-go, so that when they’re spreading the word amongst their friends when you have spot open on your team, it’s a sign of a healthy, positive culture. In the battle for the best SDRs come recruiting time, you need all the positive word of mouth you can get.

Unfortunately, if the SDR has failed to turn things around, there’s really not much left to do but to let them go. It’s never fun having to fire someone, and with the amount of room you gave this SDR to fail or succeed, you can at least feel good that you have done right by them. You gave them opportunity to try, and as a leader, you should be commended for that. Sales development is not easy, in fact, some may say it’s the toughest part of the sales process, and new hires think they’re going to catch on quickly, when in reality, sales development is not for everyone. They gave it a shot, and you were able to present to them why it’s not working out because of the plan you put in front of them to make some small victories. Thank them for their efforts and offer to be a point of reference when applicable, and send them off on their way to a better fitting role.

Hiring mistakes do not always have to end up in letting someone go, and as you’ve read, there are some ways to fix them so you’re not behind the eight ball when it comes to hitting your own number. Cut bait when you have to, but do right by people, too.


Image Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

Chris Snell

Chris Snell

Chris Snell is Director of Sales and Marketing for QuotaFactory. As the second SDR hired way back in 2002, when the company was formerly known as AG Salesworks, Chris is currently responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of QuotaFactory. Chris lives in southeastern Massachusetts and is the proud father of his two children.

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