Perry Marshall, the world’s foremost authority on Google advertising and author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing , says, “10 to 20 percent of sales people should be fired right now. Management can’t fix them, sales rehab can’t fix them. They’re the wrong fit. CEO’s with cojones will get rid of them and hire new ones.
“When your ship is floundering, the last thing you need is twelve inches of barnacles growing on the bottom. If your sales person is not working out, you know it. Your gut has been telling you. The sooner you replace him or her with a top performer, the less pain and suffering everyone has to endure. And the faster everyone’s economy will rebound.”
Marshall cites the 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle, as iron-clad proof of his point. “100 years ago Vilfredo Pareto discovered 20% of the people always make 80% of the money. 20% of sales people make 80% of the sales. It’s a law of physics. There’s nothing you can do to change 80/20. The only thing you can do is 1) equip your existing sales people to sell better, and 2) hire superior ones.”
His book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More , backs up these claims with stats, case studies, and proof that 20% of what you do is supremely effective, and 80% is rubbish. By moving resources into the top 20%, companies flourish.