Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Q&A Week 4 - July 21, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.


Q: Do you believe an employee can make it through a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and become an active member of their sales organization?


A: Absolutely, I do. I recently answered a question about a ‘B’ sales person becoming an ‘A’ player. They can make the transition if they have the will and desire to become a top performer. The same can be said for a sales person placed on a PIP. If they have what it takes, the determination to learn from their mistakes, learn from those that have gone before them, and learn from their peers, then yes they can get through the PIP and become a key member of their organization.


Employees, sales or otherwise, who have been placed on a PIP more times than not believe they are being singled out and set up for failure or ultimately dismissal. That is not the goal of a Performance Improvement Plan. C’mon, why do you think it’s called an Improvement Plan…we want the employee to improve. We, the managers, are laying out the plans for the employee to improve. The employee needs to step up and make it happen. The other thing I wish employees could grasp as a concept – it costs an employer more to recruit, interview, hire and train a new sales person than it does to retain one. If the employee can step up their game, learn from the PIP, and ultimately become a contributing member of their team, they have become valuable to their employer. Unfortunately, many employees only see the PIP as a step to their firing. They are misguided and fail because they don’t believe the employer has the best intent behind the PIP.


Employees on a PIP need to put their trust in the PIP, improve as it is defined, and then become a better employee. Everyone wins in this situation.

Comments are closed