Tips to Keep Top Sales Representatives

Tips to Keep Top Sales Representatives

As a business owner, you depend on your sales team to generate revenue. Needless to say, having a high turnover rate or losing your top performers can significantly impact your bottom line, not to mention create additional expenses.

In fact, the average cost of losing a single core sales rep today is $1 million in lost opportunity, productivity, and replacement expenses, according to the 2012 webinar Pathways to Growth: 9 Disciplines to Create Sales Breakthroughs in Turbulent Times commissioned by Salesforce.com. Moreover, it takes an average of six to 12 months to get a new sales rep to full productivity and accustom them to new sales strategies.

With the high cost of turnover, business owners and sales managers are searching for new and innovative ways to lock in their top talent – and keep them there. Check out these three ways in which businesses can avoid a high turnover rate of sales personnel.

Poor Recruiting or Hiring

If you want to be the best, you have to hire the best; however, finding top salespeople is almost as difficult as keeping them. Inefficient recruiting or hiring the wrong prospect can significantly impact your bottom line. Not only are you spending ample time and money training them in sales strategies, but you’re also investing in their ability to generate reoccurring revenue.
While it may cost more upfront to hire a top performer, it’s guaranteed to pay off over time. Look for people who boast similar characteristics to your existing top performers, have goals that align with your organization, and fit in well with you and other team members.

Manager and Agent Relationship

According to the Salesforce study, when a rep leaves a company, 70% of the time it’s because they have a poor relationship with their sales manager. Top performing salespeople often work to the beat of their own drum, which can cause friction between the sales agent and the manager.

Many managers choose to take a hands-off approach with top salespeople, fearing that micromanaging will have an inverse effect. In reality, though, limiting their interactions can make salespeople feel underappreciated and frustrated. To this end, it’s important that managers invest in top performers and take the time to understand what they require in terms of management. Having an open line of communication always works best.

Lack of a Challenge

One of the more frustrating things for business owners and sales managers is to have their top performers underperform. More often than not, this happens because people aren’t challenged enough. Top salespeople are motivated by the innate challenge that sales offers, known as “the chase.” When this no longer exists, salespeople can become complacent and bored. Complacency can also occur if there’s little opportunity to move up within a company. For example, a salesperson might want to transition into a sales management role.

As a business owner, you depend on your sales team to generate revenue. Needless to say, having a high turnover rate or losing your top performers can significantly impact your bottom line, not to mention create additional expenses.

In fact, the average cost of losing a single core sales rep today is $1 million in lost opportunity, productivity, and replacement expenses, according to the 2012 webinar Pathways to Growth: 9 Disciplines to Create Sales Breakthroughs in Turbulent Times commissioned by Salesforce.com. Moreover, it takes an average of six to 12 months to get a new sales rep to full productivity and accustom them to new sales strategies.

With the high cost of turnover, business owners and sales managers are searching for new and innovative ways to lock in their top talent – and keep them there. Check out these three ways in which businesses can avoid a high turnover rate of sales personnel.

Poor Recruiting or Hiring

If you want to be the best, you have to hire the best; however, finding top salespeople is almost as difficult as keeping them. Inefficient recruiting or hiring the wrong prospect can significantly impact your bottom line. Not only are you spending ample time and money training them in sales strategies, but you’re also investing in their ability to generate reoccurring revenue.

While it may cost more upfront to hire a top performer, it’s guaranteed to pay off over time. Look for people who boast similar characteristics to your existing top performers, have goals that align with your organization, and fit in well with you and other team members.

Manager and Agent Relationship

According to the Salesforce study, when a rep leaves a company, 70% of the time it’s because they have a poor relationship with their sales manager. Top performing salespeople often work to the beat of their own drum, which can cause friction between the sales agent and the manager.

Many managers choose to take a hands-off approach with top salespeople, fearing that micromanaging will have an inverse effect. In reality, though, limiting their interactions can make salespeople feel underappreciated and frustrated. To this end, it’s important that managers invest in top performers and take the time to understand what they require in terms of management. Having an open line of communication always works best.

Lack of a Challenge

One of the more frustrating things for business owners and sales managers is to have their top performers underperform. More often than not, this happens because people aren’t challenged enough. Top salespeople are motivated by the innate challenge that sales offers, known as “the chase.” When this no longer exists, salespeople can become complacent and bored. Complacency can also occur if there’s little opportunity to move up within a company. For example, a salesperson might want to transition into a sales management role.

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