Are you on the C & D-player hamster wheel?

You probably haven’t heard of the C & D-player hamster wheel (and to be fair most sales leaders have not) but it is still prevalent our industry.

So, What is this C & D-player hamster wheel?

LeadershipIQ did a study a few years ago that examined the hiring success rates in a 3-year period of over 5,200 managers working for more than 300 organizations, hiring over 20,000 employees.

The results were shocking.  They found that 46% of all new hires were considered failures in just 18 months, while only 19% of them were considered successes in that same 18 months.

If those results were not shocking enough, let’s look beyond just these numbers. The “gray area” of 35% of hires were not considered mis-hires, but they were not considered successes either.

Look back on your own hiring record. How many employees have you hired that, if you could do it all over again, you would think twice about hiring?

My guess is about a third.  The numbers don’t lie…

When you are a sales leader who is trapped on the C & D-player hamster wheel, you’re in a continual hiring mode. You are either bringing on people who end up being mis-hires (D-players), or the ones that you would think twice about hiring again (your classic C-players).

That’s why the Harvard Business Review puts the failure rate among management hires at 60%, because, a coach is rated on their ability to field the best team.

The failure rates in our industry are astounding, and even just stalling out in your climb up the ladder can derail a once promising career.

If you are a VP who wants to break into the C-Suite, a Director who feels you have what it takes to be a VP, or a Sales Manager looking to climb up to the next rung of career success…you have to realize one thing.  The higher up the food chain you are, the hotter the competition gets. No matter how good you are (or think you are), if you want to compete and win, you need an edge.

And that edge is the talent that you hire. Period!

The cliché that successful leadership means hiring those who are smarter than you, is a cliché because it has proved to be true over time. So why is it that nearly 50% of all hires are mis-hires?

In my 10 plus years of headhunting in the Industrial sales space, I have seen it time and time again. The recruitment and hiring of talent is treated as an afterthought, and it is ruining careers.

I see the resumes.  I get the emails, LinkedIn messages, and the calls from sales leaders who were on a the fast-track, only to stumble just when they were finding their groove.

I get it, recruiting top talent is not something that is taught and hiring the right way is hard. Many leaders are on their own to figure it out. As you can see from the numbers, most never do.

It is never too late to start reevaluating your hiring strategy, and a great place to start is reading our guide: Winning the War for Sales Talent.  You can download it at

It’s the first step to getting off the C & D-player hamster wheel that is plaguing the industrial sales space and taking back control of your leadership career.  Here’s to your hiring success, and to hiring the A-Players you deserve…

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