A Guide to Retaining Top Sales Talent

June 23, 2016

networking.pngGreat sales organizations are maniacally focused on customer retention. The benefits of retaining recurring revenue streams are obvious. However, great sales organizations are also just as stringently focused on retaining their top sales talent.

When you add up the costs of onboarding, ramp-up time and recruiting a replacement, a focus on retention makes an impact where it matters most — the bottom line.

Here are several best practices for retaining top sales talent.

1. Help Them Find Success

The first months on the job are often critical to a new rep finding success and creating an environment for retention. Talented sales professionals expect to find success quickly in a new organization. Therefore, to keep them around, you need systems that help them achieve success early and often. Thorough onboarding and coaching, as well as clearly identified expectations help set new hires up for success.

2. Support Growth

The best salespeople have a natural desire for growth and success. Therefore, you need a strong program that rewards top achievers and promotes their growth. A developmental action plan is a specific tool used to outline gaps between current sales abilities and requisite skills.

In particular, when your salespeople seek opportunities to learn new skills or improve performance, support them. This support includes specific coaching and training that matches needs. A clear set of objectives and evaluation criteria for each selling stage helps in maintaining a consistent and precise coaching process.

3. Evaluate Employee Satisfaction

The key to retention in any workplace is employee satisfaction. To retain your sales talent, you need to evaluate satisfaction and respond to any factors adversely impacting it. Common elements that affect sales talent satisfaction include:

  • Awareness of expectations
  • Equipped with resources
  • Ample opportunities for success
  • Recognition for achievements
  • Genuine concern from leadership
  • Valued opinions

4. Optimize Your Coaching Performance

Improving sales performance stems from your ability to optimize your coaching performance. Spend time reviewing the development programs, periodic assessments and coaching strategies you use. Determine which techniques work well and which don’t.

Your approach to delivering feedback matters as well. Salespeople want you to project a positive tone and cover areas of success before noting their opportunities for growth. Before sharing your own perspective, it is also beneficial to invite reps to offer their own perspectives on their performance.

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