Raising Performance Standards

“Don’t hire a person for what they can’t do; hire them for what they can do.” — Peter Drucker

I’ve been traveling a lot recently and it still surprises me how low performance standards seem to have dropped. Companies with an average production of 3 or 4 units a month per sales person is becoming the norm. When you dig deeper, the picture is even worse because on average, a significant amount of the production is done by the top 20 percent of producers. This means in reality, the average production is much less than the 3 or 4 units.

The big question facing managers then becomes, “Is it better to have a high number of sales people doing small numbers or a smaller number of sales people who can actually sell? In my opinion, the latter option is a smarter, more efficient way to go. It is less expensive dollar-wise especially when you take into account the high turnover costs and lost sales opportunities that come with hiring individuals not matched for the position.