Here’s your limited scenario: You’re a Regional Sales Manager in a $300M technology company.  The fiscal year is weeks away and next year’s plan requires a reduction in staff.

The VP Sales just called to let you know your head count has to be reduce by one — quota next year will be about the same.

The economy is what it is and tech spending is expected to be flat next year.  Your competition is stiff and the company’s marketing budget is being slightly reduced.

You made quota last year, but barely.

You have to make a decision to fire a member of your team.  Of the five sales people you manage, you quickly reduce the number to two candidates to be let go:

  • Sales Rep A: Thirty year old male, 81% quota attainment.  Mostly farmed accounts the past year, generated few new customers. Favors relationship building and networking in existing accounts to make quota.  Loves social media and for the past year has been building a permission list to create new leads.  He thinks this is the year his blogging and social media efforts will payoff, but you haven’t seen it yet.
  • Sales Rep B: Forty year old male, 84% quota attainment.  Mostly hunted new accounts last year.  Chases new deals by networking with colleagues and past business acquaintances.  He’s known for targeting accounts he’d like to win and diving into them with direct response tactics – email, direct mail, teleprospecting.  He collects business cards from everyone and cold calls like a machine.

There is a lot more information you’d like to have, but that’s all you get.  There’s no right answer, just a decision and thought process to share.

Which sales rep will you fire?  Why? What missing information would you really like to have before you make your decision?


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