That’s the Problem with Results

“That’s the problem with our results based system,” Audrey explained. “As his manager, I have to sit around and wait for the results to come in. If they don’t, I am supposed to be quick and decisive. Chop him off at the knees.”

“You sound like it doesn’t work out sometimes.”

“More than sometimes. There are almost always outside circumstances that impact results. I can have someone doing a great job, but some circumstance spoils the party. Even though they were doing a great job, they get a (2) on their performance appraisal.

“Or even worse,” Audrey continued. “I have a supervisor, who is really doing a lousy job, but they get lucky, the goal gets achieved, so they score a (5).”

“And?” I prodded.

“And, now my boss says we have to cut overhead, somebody has to go. I have to pick the lousy supervisor with the (5) and let go the good supervisor with a (2).”

One thought on “That’s the Problem with Results

  1. Fair Hyams

    Your current blog really hits home with me, Tom. Sales performance is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the marketing mix. It’s common to hear, “Only one way to measure a salesperson’s performance….sales.” I think even the whole concept of commission systems that rewards only sales is flawed. The problem that I identified decades ago was that mediocre salespeople can have great territories or just stupid luck. Then superior salespeople, displaying all the right behaviors just don’t have their sales where we want them to be for any number of reasons. A commission system could actually drive off my best leaving me with my worst.

    My conclusion is that behaviors are what matters. Identify the right behaviors and you’ll get the desired outcome. Anything else is short sighted at best and at worst, it can promote exactly the wrong behaviors.


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