5 tips to retain top sales talent

13 Oct 2017

5 tips to retain your top sales talent

Sales talent attrition is a foregone conclusion. A lot of managers know that team they manage will not be same in next 6 months but still don’t know what can be done. Among most of the divisions of business such as R&D, Operations, Finance, Marketing, Customer support, Sales, the attrition levels in sales seems to be always highest.

The companies must pay to find and qualify potential new hires; they also need to invest at least six months and many man-hours getting the new hire up to speed and transformed into a contributing member of the organization.

That initial investment can include subject matter training as well selling skills and helping new hires to understand how to sell to what could be an unfamiliar demographic for them.

Ultimately, as Sales Manager, you like to bring in business and increase your earnings. But if your organization or your team suffers from regular sales talent attrition, you’ll end up spending company money making to fill up your positions only.

In other words, until you get to the source of your retention problem and remedy it, you’ll keep your HR busy and spend more time with your HR than your customers!.

Hiring new resources is great if your company is growing but if you are hiring only to replace old ones than it is a systemic problem and needs to be fixed. Especially losing top performers when they decide to move on to a better opportunity. Suddenly you’re busy trying to plug leaks in a ship and before.

From the Day 1, Be Honest About Expectations

Just as you need to know, how your new hires are? new hires eager to know what sort of work environment they are getting in to. Realizing by themselves on the job after few weeks, months that they didn’t expect this or they were not told this kind of work, for sure will hurt new hires. If this happens, they grow disgruntled and cynical on the job and/or quit in frustration.

To avoid this fiasco, first set realistic expectations at the interview stage itself, being honest with prospective hires about the workplace. Being upfront about the challenging aspects they will face in your company, is always better.

Also asking their expectations and clarifying the same will give them the ground reality. If they’re good, they’ll understand that no sales opportunity is without its pros and cons.

Setting Challenging Goals and Monitoring Progress

Setting challenging and also attainable goal is the main role of manager. Also, it is good to empower your own reps or managers to set their goals and ask them to take up the challenge. This way they will own the goals. After setting goals, providing necessary resources necessary to reach those goals is a must.

A system to keep tabs on the progress, and conduct supportive one-on-one’s weekly basis in which you discuss their performance helps team members a sense of involvement.

Embrace Coaching 

One of the best investments you can make in your new hires is to coach them. Coaching benefits the company by increasing staff competency rate, while at the same time signaling to your workforce that they are worth investing in.

Failing to nurture reps through ongoing coaching will result in a workforce that’s frustrated at being underprepared and under-supported when doing their job. Refer our coaching blog here

Reexamine Your Compensation Package

Money is on the mind of top-performing sales reps.  If not properly compensated, they’re likely to shop their résumé around to more generous companies. Reexamine your compensation package on an annual basis, taking into account what’s being offered at competing organizations.

Tiered plans with rewards for top performers can attract stronger candidates, as an additional compensation for lower-performing but still valuable reps. Give a thought to this question: How much are you saving with your low compensation compared to how much you’re losing in sales talent attrition costs each year?

Exit Interview: What Went Wrong?

Sometimes despite a company doing everything right for their employees, they lose top people. That’s just a difficult reality you face in business. But these days too many companies fail to take advantage of a relatively painless data mining tool: the exit interview.

If you want to know why your team member is leaving,” sit them down one on one and ask what is making them resign? Why are they resigning?. And don’t have their direct supervisor be the one doing the asking—you don’t want those on the way out to hold back anything. Ideally, the exit interview should be conducted by a member of the HR team.