You’ve assembled a dream team of sales representatives. This group is ready to embrace and take on your company voice, learn your product inside and out, and challenge themselves to constantly improve. So how can you be sure to keep these reps by your side for the long haul? Inevitably, sales reps start looking for different opportunities where they can progress their own careers. It certainly is a challenge for any sales leader to retain their top employees in this landscape. It’s important to fully understand how to retain sales employees. With this knowledge, you will be better equipped to appease your reps and keep that dream team assembled and ready to sell.
Challenges in attracting and retaining employees
Attracting the right sales reps for your company is a hard enough skill to master. But the challenge doesn’t end with simply attracting those reps and hiring them. Keeping them motivated to stay on your team creates a whole new set of challenges for today’s business owners.
According to a recent study, the average sales rep’s tenure with one company sits at around 18 months. When you take into account the time it takes to get a rep fully up to speed with your company’s workflow and ready to sell at their full potential, this isn’t a large amount of time to reap the benefits of a talented sales rep. So what are the factors that contribute to these challenges in retaining sales employees?
Today’s generation values the ability to take advantage of new opportunities, especially in the workplace. The reality is, job hopping can lead to career advancement for a lot of the younger sales reps. Getting experience in one sector of sales means they can take that and advertise it to new job opportunities, giving them the ammunition to prove they are seasoned and ready for new heights.
The fact is, sales reps know that they can be replaced at any given moment. This leads to more of a “free agent” mentality rather than becoming loyal to one entity that they believe can and will turn on them at a moment’s notice.
Stale work environments
In relation to job hopping, sales reps tend to see new opportunities as more exciting than their current work environment. Going through the same routines, day after day and selling the same products on a daily basis can become tiring for a lot of reps. When this happens, it’s natural for them to look elsewhere for fulfillment. A new company presents new challenges, new content, new products to sell, and new routines.
The younger generation of sales reps are less likely to look for that stability in order to “settle down” and instead will look to fulfill their work lives. This means they are more likely to move on from one place to another, constantly searching to keep their work fresh and exciting.
Opportunity for growth
Too many sales leaders miss the mark on what the best sales reps are looking for. They think that money will buy everything, keeping their best reps happy. While proper compensation is obviously a need for employees, the best reps are looking for more than that. They want to feel as if they have the opportunity for career growth. If they start to see the writing on the wall that they don’t have the ability for advancement where they’re currently at, they’re going to quickly look elsewhere. Sales reps are proud people and they won’t be happy if they feel as if they aren’t given the opportunity to show what they can do with newer, bigger opportunities.
Employee retention in sales
As a business owner, you want to provide your employees with reasons to stay loyal to your company. Sales rep turnover is an expensive reality for sales leaders, but it’s one that can be curbed to an extent. As we mentioned, it’s an inevitability that sales reps look for other opportunities as it’s the nature of the business. But for the best reps, you’ll want to give them reasons to start declining those opportunities instead of jumping on them.
Build a sense of camaraderie within your team
You want a positive workplace environment, that should go without saying. The happiest reps are the ones who enjoy coming into the office and working alongside their colleagues. Promoting a friendly atmosphere and that sense of camaraderie will go a long way in keeping your reps happy and loyal to your company.
This goes with creating a culture that your business takes on. You want to create as little stress as possible in the workplace and creating a team environment is one way to reduce this. Even introducing and encouraging friendly competition between sales team members is good for morale and relationship building. Keep your team feeding off each other and growing their relationships.
Keep challenges and goals fresh for your reps
You don’t want your reps’ day to day to get stale. If this happens, your reps get antsy and start looking for new ways to fulfill themselves through their workday. You want to be constantly developing goals for your team to accomplish and work towards. This should come both for the entire team as a whole, and for your individual reps. If they feel that they are constantly being pushed, they will see that you think of them as worthy for the challenge.
Giving them the same goals all the time will get them thinking that there may not be much of an opportunity to advance. Create that sense of accomplishment for your reps and allow them to progress with your company.
Build smarter bonus structures
Your bonus structures are an important piece of employee retention. If you have a bonus structure based around quarterly or annual payouts, chances are your reps will stick with your company just long enough to achieve that bonus before moving on. Instead you should look into larger retention bonuses that you can pay out at 1, 2, 4, and 5 years, giving reps more motivation to stay for the long haul.
Providing shares in the company that vest after 12 months is another way to ensure longevity with your reps. Take the time to really think about the way you hand out bonuses for your sales team so that you keep their attention away from the next opportunity.
Retain your sales reps with sales enablement technology
Nothing can replace the feeling of confidence in a sales rep, or a sales team as a whole for that matter. By empowering your team with the tools they need to sell more and more efficiently than they have before is going to put you in a great position to retain that team you’ve worked so hard to build.
Sales enablement technology can help you accomplish this empowerment. By giving your reps the tools to know what to say to leads and customers, how successful other strategies and techniques are for their colleagues, and just a better way to communicate, you are putting yourself in a unique position. Your reps will want to stay onboard knowing that they are always put in a position to succeed and grow.
By reaching out to our team here at SalesTalk Technologies, we can get you started with a free trial of our groundbreaking sales enablement software. See how our tools can help you retain your quality reps and start scaling your business.