Succession Management: How to Replace your Star Player

Jan 30, 2014
1 min read
It's not easy to replace a top employee. In fact, it costs 3x a sales rep's salary to replace them. Here's how companies can tackle turnover of top talent.

With only days left in the Winter 2015 transfer window, the biggest deal has seen Swansea top goalscorer, Wilfred Bony, moving to Man City for a hefty £28 million. Credit to Swansea for making a £16 million profit on transfer fees alone, but they don’t seem to have addressed the problem of who is going to step into Bony’s prolific boots at Swansea. The Welsh club can either spend big, or look internally for a replacement which will bring about changes for certain players in the team.

Recent form shows Swansea has suffered a lack of confidence as a consequence of losing their best player. A 5-0 loss at home to Chelsea, followed by being knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition are not good omens for the team. Success breeds success and the opposite may happen if Swansea does not effectively reorganise the structure of their players. Once again the world of business and football share similar attributes; both are results-based operations where failure to score your quota of goals and deals could mean a swifter route to the exit door.

Clearly, the importance of clarity and transparency in goal setting should not be underestimated, especially when you are asking a player to exceed on past performance. Clarity of role, alignment, and success are the three core aspects of competent objective setting. When a team member is replaced, it’s critical to understand the impact of the change on others. Any extra responsibility taken on board by the replacement player or employee needs to be realistic so they feel they are valued and have the tools to succeed.

Every move the employee takes in new territory should always be aligned with the company’s DNA or organisational culture and match to the overall business mission. Sometimes the best replacements are internal, Apple and Microsoft have had relatively smooth transitions for Tim Cook and Satya Nadella. In football, a successful case of change would be Southampton FC, which lost four first team players last summer but thanks to adapting the roles of existing players, who already understand the team’s mission, they are set for their best Premier League finish in history

  • Sales Coaching and Motivation
Karrie Lucero
Karrie Lucero
Content Marketing Manager

Karrie Lucero is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned marketing and journalism degrees from New Mexico State University and has experience in SEO, social media and inbound marketing.