Sales Operations FAQs: What to Do When a Key Staff Member Leaves

Over the years, we have received many questions from sales operations employees who have their hands full with sales compensation issues. Our experts will reply to their concerns in a series of blog posts.  

Q: Managing our sales compensation plans in-house had been smooth-going, but when a key staff member recently was lost in an internal transfer, it caused a lot of problems. How can we avoid this situation in the future?

Make sure you always have people with the expertise and training to take over.

                        Make sure you always have people with the expertise and training to take over.

A: When everything is humming along nicely, organizations often fail to plan for risks and potential disruptions to a process. One of those risks is often related to the people running the process. For example, perhaps too much of the working knowledge about a process is locked in one person’s head, or there might be a lack of consistency in the process from cycle to cycle because it is not sufficiently automated.

My best advice is to establish a consistent, repeatable, and well-documented process that is not dependent on one or two key people. When a key person leaves, this can make the transition easier.

Sales Operations should ensure continuity and repeatability of business processes. Software can help with this, but software alone does not solve the human aspects of the problem. One of the reasons that Sales Operations as a Service is in such demand is because consultants are able to execute consistent, repeatable processes, cycle after cycle.

With this approach, sales compensation plans and sales operations are always protected from personnel issues (such as conflicting priorities, infighting, terminations, reassignments, etc.). Also, there’s never a worry about compliance with new regulations because experts document and maintain all processes on clients’ behalf.

Read other Sales Operations FAQs: How Can Sales Reps Focus More on Quality.

Georgiana Mircea

Senior Consultant

Georgiana has been helping global organizations improve sales performance and operations for over 7 years. Keen to tackle change, she’s an enthusiast consultant that became the primary project liaison for clients across multiple industries.

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