I think we’d all agree that finding good Sales Reps is key to increased profits and a more enjoyable sales management experience, but finding them is only half the battle. Retaining your best Sales Reps is where greater profits and the ROI on your sales management effort is found.
Numerous surveys have been published in recent months underlining the dissatisfaction of the workforce. In one survey by Right Management nearly two-thirds of respondents stated that they were unhappy with their job. In another (Mercer), 32% said they wanted to find new work. These surveys are not specific to sales jobs but let’s consider that the level of job dissatisfaction is reflective of our selling business. So what does this mean for us? Well, we know the tremendous cost of turnover so we won’t go there now.
Erring on the side of caution, let’s assume that we have tenured, productive Sales Reps on our team who are unhappy for whatever the reason and desire to make an employment change when the economy improves thus creating better opportunities for themselves.
Here are a few sales management approaches to help solidify your team and secure your best players:
Create a more purposeful and meaningful life at work for your Reps. Allow them the opportunity to contribute beyond the typical financial ways. For instance:
- Include your brightest, productive Reps in round table discussions involving customer service and operation staff members. Let them share their tribal knowledge for improving other aspects of the business by offering their perspective.
- You may have a home-grown Sales Rep mentor on your team who would enjoy the chance to take a new Rep under his or her wing. This is a powerful sales development tool that enriches the career and life of an eager and qualified veteran Rep.
- Give ten minutes of spotlight to a different Rep at each Sales meeting to present their favorite product or service. They do love this attention and it educates the others.
- Honestly, do your Reps dread their regular one-on-one CRM meetings with you because it’s all about your inspection and informational needs? For better results and a happier team, stop immediately! It’s about them not you. Instead of reviewing a dozen or more prospects in 60 to 90 minutes, drill down on 3 or 4 and really coach them toward the close. They will appreciate your help in moving prospects forward in the pipeline and making them more successful and happier with their job.
- Make sure that they are actively engaged in establishing their own financial goals. They need and want “buy-in”.
- Your Sales Team should know your Sales Strategy and how they contribute to the overall success of the company. Do they know your Vision? Your Mission? Your Strategies and Objectives?
- Never underestimate the power of recognition. Recognize often and sincerely. Even that “old pro” loves to see his or her name on the leader board. Trophies and plaques seem a little old school? Only if you’ve never had your name on one!
- Meaningful sales training (that can leave the competition in the dust) with excellent follow through by management is a solid way to enrich a Reps’ life at work. Need a great training topic?
In addition to these sales team tips here are 12 best practices to improve overall job satisfaction of all employees written by Martin Luenendonk, CEO at Cleverism.
One final thought – lack of appreciation and involvement are often cited as primary reasons why people leave their job…not money. Incorporate ideas from above in your repertoire. Your Reps won’t be the only ones experiencing an elevated sense of satisfaction.