When Originators Won’t Prospect

In recent conversations with managers, one of the questions I hear most frequently is what to do about salespeople who won’t prospect for new business.

For many managers, this issue is especially perplexing because the majority of originators who fail to prospect have years of experience in the industry and may have been successful in the past. While some managers prefer to believe that lack of prospecting is some version of call reluctance, the real reason is poor hiring. Individuals with the right talent set will prospect because they have the drive and relationship skills to succeed; individuals who do not possess the right talent set have call reluctance and won’t prospect.

In a recent blog, Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, CEO addressed this issue head on, stating that “who the right person is can greatly depend on the moment. Someone who has performed an exemplary job leading one leg of that journey may not be ideally suited for the next.” Whitman also notes that she challenges her managers to ask themselves a few key questions as they assess whether they have the right people in a particular position:

&#8226 Does the person have the right skills to tackle the challenge at hand?
&#8226 Does the person have the right sales leadership traits for this moment at time?
&#8226 If the person does not have the right traits, a change must be strongly considered if the individual’s deficiency can’t be resolved.

While layoffs have resulted in excess sales talent in the industry, what are you doing to ensure that your new hires have the right skills to prospect?