It’s a popular storytelling trope—unsure of what to do next, the hero visits a fortune teller, who gazes into her crystal ball to provide a glimpse of the future…
Chances are, you don’t have a crystal ball on hand during your sales hiring process. But wouldn’t it be nice to know the end from the beginning? To peer into the future and know whether or not a particular hire will stay with you or not?
After all, you don’t want to waste countless hours (and financial resources) bringing on new staff members who are only going to jump ship after a few short months.
While it’s true that you can key in on a few important attributes during the interview process, the type of work environment you provide to your salespeople can have an equally important influence on whether or not they decide to stick around. Here’s how you can help.
A Fair, Performance-Based Compensation Plan
Top salespeople don’t just want to achieve huge sales results to make you happy—they have their own interests in mind, too. If you don’t want to lose your top sales talent to the competition, it’s important that you take a hard look at your compensation plan.
Does your plan include meaningful accelerators? Do you fairly reward your top performers? Are you willing to adjust your compensation plan to offer even greater incentive to your employees, or are you trying to scale things back to save your company a few bucks?
While performance-based compensation bonuses can seem costly, at the end of the day, a fair compensation plan is one of the best ways to motivate salespeople to do their best and stick around—while also increasing your total profits.
Engaged, Communicative Leadership
At the start of a new year, it’s not unusual to try to set the direction for the year ahead. But are you actually creating a plan that your team can rally behind? Perhaps even more importantly: have you effectively communicated your goals and processes with your team?
When leadership fails to operate with transparency and clear communication, your salespeople will quickly start searching for other job opportunities.
Truly engaged leadership avoids this pitfall by actively listening to their employees and their concerns, sharing information and providing training to employees, and finding other opportunities to form meaningful connections.
With an engaged, communicative leadership style, your sales team will feel valued and have a better understanding of what is expected of them—making it that much easier to accomplish their goals. When this happens, they’ll be sure to stay.
A Sales-Centric Environment
One of the chief outcomes of an engaged, communicative leadership team should be a supportive, sales-centric environment. After all, when your company views sales as little more than a “necessary evil,” your sales team likely won’t receive the resources it needs to succeed.
Startups should be especially mindful of creating a sales-driven culture. For example, many top salespeople value the assistance of modern sales technology. With increased access to data, automated software, and other applications that simplify the sales process, your salespeople feel more valued and are more likely to achieve their full potential.
Providing your sales employees with challenging, meaningful work and creating an environment where the entire company celebrates their successes will also help your sales team feel supported and motivated. With this environment in place, talent will want to stay for the long haul.
The Product or Service Provides Genuine Value
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” This is especially true of the work your sales professionals do day in and day out.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how talented a particular hire may be. If your business is already suffering from high customer churn due to poor service, or you struggle to gain customers in the first place due to unrealistic pricing or a low-quality product, it’s hard for a salesperson to be successful. When that happens, you’ll have a hard time keeping them around.
Even the best salesperson in the world will likely be a disaster if your product or service fails to provide genuine value. So before you invest your resources in making a new sales hire, take a close look at what your business is currently offering. In some cases, you might need to adjust your offerings or price point so that top sales talent can make a meaningful impact.
While you can’t always guarantee that your top sales talent will stay with you forever, doing your best to provide a rewarding, supportive work environment will go a long way to keep them motivated and loyal to your team.
But enough from me—I want to hear what you think! How do you make sure your best salespeople stick around for the long haul? What have you done to add value to your employees’ work experience?
Looking forward to your perspective, don’t be shy!