No 28: What would you do?

salespersonThis medium-sized company manufactures customised, high-end, big-ticket equipment for the logistics industry. It has six roaming account managers/sales people, who spend most of their time commuting between existing clients.

The company’s management would like to expand its market reach but there’s a problem: the sales people are too comfortable with their existing clients and are not interested in making the effort of acquiring new accounts.

They appear to comply with the management’s directives but in reality do everything to sabotage the initiative. They are comfortable with the status-quo. They have chummy relationships with their clients and make enough money on the existing sales to be incentivised by higher earnings in any real sense.

The company’s management finds itself in a bind because the sales people now have too much power and are difficult to discipline. They can’t be fired or replaced outright because they might go over to the competitors and take their accounts with them. The company cannot afford any major disruptions and the sales people know it.

The company needs to neutralize the threat, take back the control of its client accounts and begin the effort of new account acquisition in earnest. What would you do if you were in their shoes? What strategy would you recommend to turn the situation around?

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