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Pricing Quick Win #15: Firing Your Sales Reps

A while back, Harvard Business Review published a study that examined business leaders’ performance during their first few months on the job. It found that leaders who achieved a “quick win,” a small but visible piece of success obtained very early on, were rated 20 percent higher than other leaders. The article noted, “A quick win is a crucial form of reassurance to the leaders’ bosses, who hope they have made the right promotion decision; to team members deciding whether to place confidence in their new manager; and to peers trying to determine whether an equal has joined their ranks.”

Pricing teams can also benefit from quick wins, particularly if they are in the midst of a larger project or if the pricing function is new to the organization. Having some noteworthy success on a small scale can make it easier for practitioners to get support for their more comprehensive efforts.

With this idea in mind, we asked our experts and practitioners to tell us about techniques that had helped them achieve results quickly without a lot of time and expense. Then we used that information to put together a webinar that detailed fifteen strategies for getting quick pricing wins.

The most controversial technique on the list, by far, was the last: “Escort the reps with the worst price performance from the building.”

Now we’re not necessarily suggesting that you should fire all your salespeople who are bad at pricing. This is obviously a pretty extreme step.

However, we didn’t want to neglect this strategy either because it was very successful for the organization that offered this piece of advice. In their case, they had a particular sales rep who was causing difficulty for the sales manager in a variety of different ways. When they ran the numbers and saw that this individual also had the worst price performance by far of anyone on the sales team, it gave them the excuse they needed to remove him from the team.

Until they hired a replacement for this salesperson, his territory was covered by two reps from adjacent territories. They both happened to have excellent price performance, so the change resulted in a noticeable boost to the bottom line almost overnight.

Drastic? Yes, but it was also very effective in this particular situation.

So should your company fire some of your sales reps? Maybe or maybe not. There are fourteen other ways to get quick wins that may be just as effective, but we didn’t want to leave this one off just in case it is useful for your situation.

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