Would You Fire Jay Leno?

Jay Leno’s new show isn’t working. They want to move him back to his 11:30 time slot. Maybe they should just fire him. He’s not making his numbers after all.

But wait, Conan O’Brien is in Jay’s old slot and his audience is smaller than Jay’s was. Jay had twice as many viewers when he was host of The Tonight Show. Maybe they should fire Conan. I think that’s what they are going to do. Unless Conan agrees to give Jay his spot back. Conan’s not making his numbers either. Maybe NBC should fire them both.

Is Jay Leno bad goods? Is Conan not worth having around?

Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien are good. They are valuable assets and NBC understands this. They made a mistake putting Jay into a prime time slot and got themselves in a bit of pickle, but if they play their cards right they will keep two very valuable people.

Just because Jay couldn’t make his numbers in prime time doesn’t mean you don’t want him on the team. Just because Conan couldn’t match Jay’s Tonight Show numbers doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on the team either.

Firing people because they don’t make their numbers is a weak, lazy way to manage a sales team. I’ve watched and listened to more than my share of weak sales leaders berate and threaten sales people who weren’t making their numbers. I’ve watched sales leaders stack rank sales people solely on their number. I’ve watched top performers get promoted into roles they couldn’t handle. I’ve seen good, solid sales people get fired after not making their number in the first 6 months.

It’s easy to use the number. Either they did or the didn’t make their goal. You don’t have to focus on the environment. You don’t have to evaluate what the sales person is doing. You don’t have understand how they are doing it. You just focus on the number. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Watch the number. Then dig deep. Why is the number missed? Are poor decisions being made? Does the sales person lack product knowledge? Are they not asking for the close? Are they incapable of crafting solutions, uncovering customer needs or overcoming objections? If so, you’ve got a problem. If not, dig deeper and don’t be so quick to get rid of what could be a great rep in the wrong spot.

Jay Leno isn’t making the his number. But, I’m not firing him, are you?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]