Manager's Playbook: How to Retain Top Sales Talent
Many businesses rely heavily on talented employees to help the business thrive. Whether that be marketing and sales managers, salespeople, or HR, businesses need knowledgeable team members to carry the business.
Every staff member is as important as the last, and keeping employees happy is a huge part of any successful business. Being able to retain talent is crucial to the success of any business.
One way to keep employees happy is to provide them with recognition for their hard work. Tools like employee recognition software can simplify the process, but there are other strategies that will keep your team engaged—and loyal.
So, how do you go about attracting such spectacular talent? More importantly, how do you keep them? Let’s look into how to attract and retain top talent in your business.
How to Attract Top Talent
Here are some strategies that can help you attract top sales talent:
- Create an attractive job listing: A well-crafted, engaging job listing can help attract top sales talent. Include the key responsibilities, required qualifications, and what opportunities there are within the business for growth and development.
- Offer a competitive salary: Talented salespeople are typically motivated by the opportunity to earn a competitive salary. This is helped by offering a generous benefits package too. Be sure to offer a salary package that is proportional to the candidate's experience and skills.
- Provide opportunities for growth and development: Potential employees are attracted to the idea of enhancing and developing their sales skills. Highlight your organization's training programs, coaching, and mentorship opportunities to show them why your company is the best choice for them over competitors.
- Emphasize your company culture: Although working from the office every day has almost become a thing of the past, it’s still important to emphasize the values, mission, and vision of your organization to give candidates a well-rounded idea of company culture.
- Leverage your networks: Another way to attract top talent is to use referrals from employees and industry contacts. Sales staff often interact with other sales teams, so encourage your employees to refer qualified candidates. You could offer a monetary bonus if that candidate is then hired to boost referrals.
- Engage with candidates on social media: Many top salespeople are active on social media, so consider engaging with potential candidates on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social platforms. Share content highlighting your company culture, values, and success stories to attract top sales talent.
Consider using diversity recruiting software to attract a more diverse pool of candidates and ensure that your organization benefits from the unique perspectives and experiences that a diverse team can bring.
How Do You Motivate and Retain Top Sales Talent?
Now you’ve attracted top talent—how do you keep them? Here are some ways in which you can motivate and retain talented employees.
Offer Raises When Possible
This might seem obvious, but it's one step that many companies overlook. Candidates may be tempted to join a team because they love the job, but a poor salary could put them off. On the other hand, they could join the team and not receive a pay rise for another five years.
You need to stay competitive when it comes to keeping hold of your best salespeople, which means you’ll need to offer a competitive compensation plan.
This can include base salaries, commissions, bonuses, and other incentives through competition. Whilst too great an emphasis on competition can create a bad working environment, getting teams to compete for team rewards can be a great motivator, encourage team spirit, and show that you value their achievements.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
Top talent may not start off at the top. In fact, they may have worked their way up the career ladder to get to where they are. They want to know that you can offer them further growth within their sales career.
Offer them access to additional training courses like additional certifications, 1-1 coaching from management, or access to sales conferences and industry seminars. This is not only satisfying for them but expanding their skillset can be a huge help to your business.
Create a Positive Sales Culture
A positive work environment can go a long way in retaining top sales talent. Encourage collaboration and teamwork. Recognize and reward achievements when you see them, and promote a culture of openness and transparency—whether you’re working at the office or remotely.
This can be particularly important when it comes to sales. There can always be an element of competition and comparison, especially when teams are trying to push as many sales as possible. However, if you want team members to stick around you want to foster an environment where team members help each other so they all succeed and that an increase in overall sales is the clear objective.
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Nowadays, flexible working is pretty much a requirement for many employees. Many top salespeople value flexibility in their work arrangements; it can help them cut costs on commuting and sometimes even save them money with childcare. Consider offering flexible schedules or remote work options to help your sales team achieve a better work-life balance.
Provide Regular Feedback and Support
Regular feedback and support can help your top talent stay motivated and engaged. Provide weekly, monthly, or quarterly 1-1s to help your sales team improve their performance and find ways to grow their career.
Why Top Sales Talent Leaves
There’s no single reason why top sales reps might leave your company. Each person will have their own motive for wanting to say goodbye. However, it's important to be able to spot patterns, especially if you find that your top employees are leaving your business.
For instance, if you find that employee turnover is high across the board, consider what you may need to do to make employees want to stay. You may even ask them to complete a questionnaire or hold an exit interview to establish what you need to change for future team members.
It could be something as simple as issues with the onboarding process, which HR metrics can help you to establish. These key data points help assess the processes within HR. This includes onboarding, employee satisfaction, performance reviews, and attrition. Understanding exactly where the problem lies can allow you to learn and grow for future employees.
Here are the most common reasons why top talent leave:
- Lack of growth opportunities: If an organization doesn't provide opportunities for career development and advancement, top talent may feel stagnant and unchallenged, which could lead them to seek opportunities elsewhere.
- Poor management: Sadly, employees often leave managers, not companies. If top performers don't feel supported or valued by their managers or feel micromanaged or mistreated, they may choose to leave.
- Uncompetitive salary: Top performers are usually aware of their worth in the market and expect to be compensated accordingly. If an organization doesn't offer competitive compensation and benefits, top talent may be more likely to leave.
- Poor work-life balance: A work-life balance is extremely important for many. If your business doesn't provide opportunities for flexible work arrangements or paid time off, the best talent may feel overwhelmed and burned out. This could lead them to seek a better work-life balance elsewhere.
- Outdated equipment: Having to work with old equipment can make it hard for employees to do their job properly. This can include using outdated technology or old hardware.
- Toxic company culture: A negative or toxic company culture can drive away even the most talented employees. If businesses are slow to resolve conflicts in the workforce or don’t take complaints seriously, top talent may feel unsupported and undervalued and decide to leave.
- Personal reasons: Sometimes, top performers leave for personal reasons, such as moving to a new city, starting a family, or pursuing a new career path.
Business Benefits to Retaining Top Sales Reps
Retaining sales talent isn’t just about keeping your team around because you like them. Retention is also great for your bottom line.
Talented salespeople are often responsible for generating a large portion of a business's revenue. Sales dashboard software can help you keep check of the top-performing employees. Retaining them can help ensure a steady stream of sales and revenue, ultimately leading to increased profits.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Employees often build strong customer relationships, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Retaining these salespeople can help maintain these relationships and provide a consistent customer experience.
Reduced Turnover Costs
High turnover can be expensive for businesses, as it can result in recruitment, hiring, and training costs. Retaining top salespeople can reduce these costs and provide continuity in the sales team.
Top salespeople are often highly motivated and productive, which can positively impact the overall productivity of the sales team and the business as a whole. They can keep morale high in the office. They’re also a great example to new employees, as it’s beneficial to be able to show candidates you’re able to retain staff.
Psst... Interested in tools that can skyrocket your sales? Discover the magic of sales productivity tools in our article.
Shorter Sales Process
Keeping the same team of sales professionals around for the long term means they understand who your customers are and what they want. They have a deeper understanding of pain points and can easily navigate through the steps in your sales process. New hires need time to understand how to reply to a specific question or pain point—skilled sales reps can quickly provide an answer and keep the prospect moving through the sales funnel. Sales reps who understand your messaging, company goal, and features and benefits spend less time on each prospect and close more deals.
Retaining Top Sales Is the Key to Business Success
High staff turnover is bad news for any sales organization. But when those employees are responsible for some of the best sales in your business, it can be hard to watch them leave. Your bottom line could be under threat.
What's more, high sales team turnover can create a negative perception of the company's culture and stability, making it difficult to attract and retain top talent in the future. This negative perception can grow internally too.
Many employees don’t like to watch their valued colleagues leave. They may begin to question their role within the company themselves, and it could even prompt them to leave shortly after. Sometimes this can create a domino effect of staff leaving.
In a practical sense, increased staff turnover generates more work for the departments across the business. HR and recruiting will spend more time finding an onboarding new sales professionals.
High-performing sales teams start with finding top sales talent–but keeping those sales leaders around is even more important.