Retaining your best salesperson should be a hot topic in every office. Salespeople are the backbone of revenue, however, most salespeople are constantly looking for the next opportunity.
A Glassdoor survey found that only 19% of salespeople have no immediate plans to leave their companies. That means that over 80% of salespeople plan to move to a new job within the next year with nearly half planning to look for a new job within the next three months.
This situation can be financially devastating considering a recent DePaul University study that found that the average turnover cost of a salesperson is $97,690. As you can see, just a few salespeople leaving can quickly add up to half a million or more each year in hiring and training costs and lost sales.
Bye, bye money…
Retaining your best salesperson isn’t just part of ‘best practices’ but essentially to ensure the profitability of your company.
That same study found that half of the salespeople that leave a company voluntarily resign while 33% are involuntary dismissals and 22% are due to retirement. When salespeople do leave a company, the top five reasons are:
- Salary and compensation
- Career growth opportunities
- Company culture
- Relationship with manager
- Senior leadership
Building a retention strategy that hits some of these key pain points can help ensure that you are retaining your best salesperson. These are our top 7 tips for retaining your best salesperson.
Top 7 Tips for Retaining Your Best Salesperson
1. Avoid changing your compensation structure.
Most salespeople are driven by financial incentives. Not only do they want to close that big sale for the benefit of the company – but also to win that commission. Changing your compensation structure or rezoning your territories should only be done with extreme caution.
To ensure that you are retaining your best salesperson, it is critical to ensure that your compensation is competitive and alluring. If your salespeople begin to feel their hard work might net them a larger salary at another firm, it might be hard to convince them to stay.
2. Offer non-monetary incentives as well.
The cost of a salesperson can’t always be expressed in monetary value alone as there are a lot of factors that play into the satisfaction level of your sales team. If your budget is tight, consider offering other incentives such as bonus PTO, free gym memberships or public transit passes.
You can get creative with this. Even considering asking your sales team what they want – you might be surprised that their suggestions are easy accommodations you can make that won’t cost the organization.
3. Provide the tools your salespeople need to succeed.
It’s a technology-driven world. There’s no getting around it.
So it’s important to equip your salespeople with the tools and software they need to perform at their highest levels – whether that’s an iPad to take on in-person meetings or CRM software where they can track and follow-up on leads.
4. Offer them support through marketing, messaging, and materials.
Yes, salespeople should be spending some of their time prospecting, however, marketing and sales are and should be two different departments.
If the weight of marketing falls on the shoulders of your sales team, they will struggle to excel at their actual jobs.
Ensure that your website, marketing collateral, and messaging gives your salespeople the best materials to work with is key to retaining your best salesperson.
Growbots is a software solution for automating your outbound sales including generating targeted leads, running newsletter campaigns, and analyzing your metrics.
5. Provide further training and opportunities.
Salespeople, overwhelmingly, are incredibly driven – to meet their quotas, to expand their careers, and increase their skill sets. Some salespeople will move to a new job in search of new challenges and opportunities.
Even if you aren’t giving your sales team new titles or promotions, you can continually offer new challenges.
Instead of simply expanding their territories, consider opportunities like speaking engagements, leading training sessions, continued learning events or consulting roles within the organization.
6. Promote from within.
Promoting from within is a win/win. Not only do employees love knowing that they can advance within an organization, but it increases employee loyalty, reduces knowledge loss, and allows you to cultivate your own star talent.
Instead of looking outside of your organization to find a new closer, look within. How deep your bench of sales talent? Can you find employees that you can groom to be your next superstar?
Often, you will find dedicated employees that are excited about the chance to take on new responsibilities or roles within an organization.
Creating systems so you can find and groom new talent is a great way to reduce the cost of turnover and engender loyalty within your sales team.
7. Create a close-knit office culture.
Often sales can feel like a dog-eat-dog world, but encouraging your salespeople to interact and become friends can increase job satisfaction and help you with retaining your best salesperson.
In fact, research has shown over and over again, it is important for employees of all kinds to have friends at work.
Research from Gallup has shown that women who strongly agree that they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared to women who do not (29%).
Even though sales can be a bit of a lone wolf position, there are opportunities to create engagement and relationships among your sales team from office parties and happy hours to team retreats.
Finding reasons for your sales team to get together, compare notes, and share stories can help tremendously in retaining your best salesperson.
The great news is that retaining your best salesperson doesn’t have to mean paying top dollar.
You can find creative ways to boost engagement and connections between your salespeople, each other, and your organization.
Just like our salespeople know – it’s about the value and not the price. The same is true for retention of salespeople and across your organization.
Do you have any tips to increase the retention of your superstar salespeople? Let us know in the comments.