I feel it again. There is a constant hum in the office, people on the phones, talking to candidates, talking to companies…making it happen. I open my calendar and notice that it is blocked, hour to hour. Unlike a few months ago, my talks are with candidates, talking about companies who REALLY want to hire. As a Sales Exclusive Executive Search firm, the buzz we hear is a good indicator that the market might be rebounding. At the very least, the buzz is encouraging.
It was only a few months ago that many of these same companies that I hear are hiring now, laid off huge percentages of their sales force. It got me thinking, what about all those people…would managers hire back Sales Reps that they recently let go???
I interviewed and polled several Sales Managers and Leaders across the country. Overwhelmingly, the responses all said…. "It depends".
Was the selection made based on performance?
The largest un-known variable that my question did not define was; how successful was the Sales Representative? Based on my poll there were many organizations that were cutting only the lowest performers on their teams, however layoffs many times impact good performer based on the musical chairs that take place during cutbacks. There are the occasions that mediocre performers keep their jobs due to their specific accounts/territory they are managing. Across the board, Sales Leaders and Managers all felt if the person was a proven performer they would absolutely welcome them back to the team.
Would the Sales Representative want to go back to a company that let him/her go?
The thoughts of an experienced Channel Sales Representative were consistent to many in our group when he stated, "I cannot see going back to a company that violated a trust; will I get laid off again?" Again…this is very much a situational hypothetical… If I was let go, I would want to be sure I understood exactly why the decision was made….why me?
In a conversation with Gene Fay – Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Vkernel in Portsmouth, NH, he mentioned, "I did let go of an inside sales person recently that I would love to hire back. I was forced to pick the bottom of a lineup that was very strong. My question is, would she come back an