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Sales Staff Retention Secrets

Good successful sales candidates are hard to find which is why Success Moves is never short of business. At interview you will find there is a very limited number of those that are good now looking for a move. A bigger population is those that can be developed to be good sales people. Many try to recruit only those with industry experience not appreciating how limited a game of musical chairs this is. Developing new entrants will always offer you far greater scope if you can develop them. What is even more frustrating is that once you have found them, experienced or new entrants, they can be even harder to retain. This blog highlights the differences so that you can make changes and reduce staff turnover.
Let me outline a clear path in stages.

1. The first way to retain staff is long before you even think of recruiting. You must have your business ready with all the support infrastructure ready. Telephone systems, CRM, source of leads, sales scripts. A clear market, price, promotion all marketing and research done. You should not use sales people to test the market, although the wise company should always listen to feedback and adapt accordingly.

2. The next thing you have to do before you commence is an audit of your corporate culture. This is the part most forget, because they don’t realise how important it is to a new recruit fitting in. When we ask companies what sort of candidates they want, we get answers like. “Young, money hungry, positive, motivated, keen to learn.” That is not enough, we are looking for a far more comprehensive answer. (My next blog covers how to ascertain and recruit to fit your corporate culture in more detail.)

3. Still before you recruit you should design a staff induction and development programme. Much is written on this elsewhere. The key thing to bear in mind though is that until a new person has made their first call their confidence level will be vulnerable. Get them as soon a possible to make some calls, albeit at a basic level. It will build confidence. Many companies lose people early on because it is week two before they have made their first call and fear builds up.

4. When you recruit make it a tough selection criterion. One because you should filter accordingly but also to set up positions within your company as valuable and elite. Too many sales managers have the attitude, ‘If he looks and sounds reasonable give him a chance is the best way to seeing if he is any good. That recruitment plan increases the drop out rate.

5. When they start realise all sales candidates, however tough and experienced, will be vulnerable to negative influence in the period before their first deal. Loss of confidence, self–esteem can be shaken very easily. Be very careful of giving criticism especially whilst they are learning. Always ensuring that the person is fired up after your talking to them. I see managers and employers ‘knocking them down before they are even on their feet’ then being surprised as to why they have low morale, low sales and a high drop out rate.

6. Take responsibility. If you get high drop outs consider it your fault not the person or the recruiter. That way you can make changes. Ask them what went wrong and ask yourself the same question. Then work on what you can change to improve. Doing the same old things again and again will get the same old results.

7. Do not make the common mistake of thinking sales people motivation is all about the commission scheme. What your pay scheme is will never be more than 10% of what motivates consistently any sales person. They will all tell you they are money motivated but in reality their motivation is far more complex. It is a big subject. Recruiters get tired of hearing. “ We want positive money hungry individuals………….’

8. Genuinely care about your sales people. If you see sales people first and last to put money in your pocket they will leave you. Nobody is motivated to work for someone that just sees them as an ATM. Good sales people by definition will be sensitive good listeners and always pick this up. They will also be good enough to pick and choose who they work for. Good sales people are never short of work and are always being headhunted. You should be so confident in your business, products, management that you have no fear of your sales staff being approached by headhunters. In fact they should have such a formidable reputation that you expect it and do not fear them considering leaving.

9. Work very hard to make at least one person in your team a very high earner and achiever. All sales people need a role model who has achieved what they seek. He or she is proof of what is possible and every good sales person will want to equal and then beat the number one.

10. Call Success Moves and get some quality candidates!  Call us now on 0203-675-9099.

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