Almost every organization benefits from great salespeople. Salespeople are at the heart of most companies and have a huge impact on the revenue and growth of a business. Many organizations find it difficult to keep hold of their top performers and are in a constant battle with hungry competitors looking to poach their staff. It shouldn’t be this way. Creating a competitive goal-driven culture with a clear career path will entice talent to stay and feel connected to an overall vision. According to Ken Thoreson, President of Acumen Management Group, “poor sales culture drives top talent away more than anything else. It’s management’s failure to focus on the emotional connection with the individual or the failure to focus on improving sales culture.”
With tremendous pressure on sales staff to perform, high expectations on new talent, and the constant lure of a better situation on the horizon, there are plenty of reasons why salespeople find it hard to stay in one place. To prevent top talent from wandering eyes, managers and business owners should provide fresh challenges. Give them an opportunity to lead a client pitch, allow them to run training sessions on new employees, or ask them to provide suggestions on sales strategy.
Limited career growth opportunities and job boredom are the leading causes of employee turnover for top performers across a range of industries, and these factors are even more pronounced in the world of sales. Career progression should be a top priority at any business; seeing other individuals who have worked their way up in an organization is inspiring to new staff and helps keep them motivated. Far too often, sales leaders respond to the loss of top sales staff by recruiting new top performers outside the organization instead of developing the capabilities of the people already on their team.
Every organization should implement a culture of coaching as it sends a message to current and prospective employees that your organization is investing in its people. The best candidates are looking to build their skills and seek organizations that empower personal development and have working L&D programs in place. Hosting personal development meetings on a regular basis helps understand what team members want and provides fresh ideas for the future. People should feel comfortable to talk about their goals and needs with their manager and the rest of their team.
Overall, if retaining staff is proving to be difficult, consider all the potential issues. Make sure pay is competitive and reviewed annually. Create packages that are in line with industry standards and send a survey to understand what is valued and motivates your staff.
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