I want to revisit a topic that I talked about a while back, but now is the perfect time of year to revisit this. This is the exercise of “who doesn't get in your lifeboat”. Now, I say it's the perfect time of year, but it shouldn't be a once a year activity. It should be an ongoing conversation about the topic of who should be on your team and who shouldn't be on your team, when it comes to the sales force.
Now, the lifeboat exercise is this. You're the captain of the ship as the sales manager, and there's one lifeboat attached to the ship. The ship suddenly starts sinking, and you’ve got to rescue your sales team from the dangerous ocean blue.
You start saying, "Okay, we've got to get everyone in the lifeboat!".
You, being the captain, have to keep everyone safe, and make sure they make it home to their families.
Then you do a headcount, and you realize the lifeboat will handle everyone but one person.
The question is: Who don't you let get in the lifeboat?
You can't be honorable and decide, okay, I'm going down with the ship.
You have to get in the lifeboat, too.
Who doesn't get in the lifeboat, based on their performance, based on their mindset, based on the dynamic of their contribution to your sales team? Of course, this isn't a literal exercise. It is, however, a thinking exercise. If a name came right to mind, then the question I would challenge you with is why are they still there?
Now, maybe you were already in the thinking process of upgrading and finding a replacement salesperson here in Northbrook or Chicago because one of the rules is, you're always recruiting. Just like a salesperson is always prospecting, a manager's always recruiting, so you might be in that mode, but I just want to challenge you. If you do have someone that came right to mind with who doesn't get in the lifeboat, why are they still on your team? More importantly, what are you going to do to take action to continue upgrading your sales force, using the lifeboat mindset?