By Ryan Barone
Retaining Sales Reps Using These Strategies
Draft talent, develop talent, and then put that talent to the test when it’s ready for the spotlight. Really, your job as a sales leader is much like that of a sports franchise general manager.
But as any fanatic knows, it’s a hard pill to swallow when a cultivated prospect turned star player leaves your team voluntarily in the midst of their prominence.
Hiring a sales rep is a challenge, but what about retaining sales reps?
When a prized rep jumps ship on their own, it’s a similar feeling.
All of that time and resources devoted to onboarding, now gone. Morale and optimism around heading into a new quarter with an all-star team, also gone. Most obvious of all, a chunk of future sales and revenue, poof, gone—just walking out the door.
Hate to say it, but it gets worse.
It’s not just that top talent and subsequent quarters’ closed deals have left your organization, but it’s the fact that all of that goodness has been replaced with a demanding need to start from square one with a new rep—forget finding a great replacement, but securing a suitable one at the very least is difficult. All while you’re forced to watch deals pass you by in the process.
It hurts in more ways than one, and you need to be working to stop the bleeding.
The obvious question is, how? Which can’t even be answered until you answer the “why?” as in, why are reps leaving? Especially the good ones? What is it that first triggers top performers to even entertain the idea of departure?
Here’s the trick for retaining sales reps:
Keep any thought of just how greener the grass might be from ever creeping into one’s mind in the first place.
It’s easier said than done, of course, as even the slightest crack in the door can tempt a rep to peer through, and eventually open it to leave altogether.
To help keep that exit closed and locked, the peep hole taped up and out of commission, here are some things to consider—and pitfalls to avoid when it comes to retaining your reps.
Don’t draft talent just to fill gaps, and treat every hire like a superstar in the making.
When a rep leaves, there is often misplaced comfort placed in a conclusion like “oh well, they just weren’t right for the role.” It’s like “poor fit” is a get out of jail free card. It wasn’t anything with their role, the compensation you were offering, or the culture you created. They just didn’t fit, and oh well.
That shouldn’t be the case.
The people you hire are just as much of a controllable factor as any of the other buckets presented below.
It’s a vicious cycle, though. Rep leaves, so you scramble to replace them, and hurriedly, you hire the wrong person—or maybe even the right person, but fail to inadequately onboard them. They soon leave, too, and off you go once again.