A Guide to Attracting and Retaining Employees for Your Sales Team
The unfortunate fact about sales and sales teams is this: there will be turnover and it will be expensive. You won’t be able to change this or the fact that younger sales reps may be using you as a stepping stone to their next career move. However, while you may not be able to completely stop the bleeding, you can slow it down.
According to studies, the average cost of replacing a sales rep for a company is a whopping $115,00! Obviously it’s in your interest to avoid that cost as much as possible. This means you want to be consistently attracting and retaining employees that fit your business, and you want to have strategies in place to keep those sales reps wanting to work for you.
Attracting and Retaining Talented Sales Employees
Once your business is off the ground, effective sales is what will keep it progressing. Without a sales team in place you have no way of effectively getting your business out there to the masses.
It’s not as simple as just having a group of people selling your product though. You have to have a mindset of really building a sales team, not just taking on a piece here and there to fill employee holes. By making sure the sales reps you hire have a vision that aligns with your business values, and they also show a passion for what they do, you are already on the right track. Just like building up your business, attracting and retaining talented sales employees takes time and it takes effort.
Recruiting sales reps is easy - recruiting QUALITY sales reps can be tricky
Any person can go out into the job recruiting world and find people willing to work a sales job. Again, blindly picking people to fill out your team is not going to bring about any sustained success. By this same token, it can be easy to look at the most high performing sales reps available and want to hire them as part of your team. But there are questions you should be asking yourself when deciding between these talented reps:
- Do they have the same vision as you?
- Will they be effective in conveying the voice of your business?
- Do they have a passion to sell for the long term?
- Are they willing to continue learning and improving their craft?
Sometimes it may be beneficial to take on the less talented, greener sale rep who shows enthusiasm for your mission and the hunger to sell. Afterall, you can always teach the skill to sell; you can’t teach passion.
Why employee retention is important
When an employee leaves, that means spending more money on recruiting fees and restarting the interview process. When you finally find the rep that fits your team, you need to get them trained up to your standards which is going to cost you even more money. The cost of training is high, and the amount of downtime you experience while that rep is in the training process is going to cost you money as well.
The fact is, the sales reps you hire are always actively looking for new jobs. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 68% or reps will be looking in the next year, 45% of those will look within three months, and only 19% of reps have no plans to search out for a new job at all. That’s a large percentage of your employees you will have to replace if you don’t give them a reason to stay with your company.
How to attract sales reps
You want the right people putting your product out there. They need to be confident in what they do, competent in how they’re doing it, and passionate about the whole process. How can you attract top talent to be a part of your sales machine?
Define your brand and your business plan
If you haven’t fully established yourself as a business and don’t yet have a viable product to sell, sales reps won’t have much use to you. Before taking on the responsibility of a sales team, do some selling yourself with your product. No one is going to know your plan and your vision better than you. Establish some footing for your business and take this time to really nail down your brand and the way you want your future team to represent your product.
Once you have accomplished this, it’s important to convey this to the reps you are looking to hire. Empower your team by giving them the voice they need to effectively and competently sell your product.
In order to build a competent team, you’re going to have to offer attractive compensation packages. No one is going to work for free, and no one is going to take a deal that they think can be beat by a different organization. However, this may not necessarily mean paying the highest base salary for your reps. You can attract sales reps with the bonuses and incentives that you offer. Not only will this take away the ceiling on what your reps can make, but it gives them the motivation to sell for you in order to meet those incentivized goals.
You may look at the fact that there is no ceiling on what a rep can make and be scared off. But in reality, if your reps are earning high amounts in terms of bonus incentives, that means they are selling your product and lining your pockets as well.
Everboarding is the ongoing learning that takes place within a sales rep’s time with your company. Showing that you have a willingness to invest will go a long way in bringing in the reps that you need. No employee in any field wants to feel as if they are handed down all of the expectations but receive none of the tools to help them accomplish these expectations. Everboarding ensures that each rep has access to an ongoing learning environment and to the relevant information they need at all times.
How to retain quality sales reps
Sales leaders need to commit to their sales reps if they want any chance to retain their services. Inadequate professional development is a big turnoff for sales employees. Your team is going to want to feel as if you are invested in their time with your company. Give your reps the tools and information they need to succeed and chances are you will find yourself with a happy and effective sales team.
Having incentives in place for your team is going to have them working hard to achieve them. This means more deals for you and more money for them. It’s great for everyone involved. However, too often, sales reps are working towards these bonuses, achieving them, and then leaving for the next opportunity.
You can remedy this by giving out bonuses more in the moment. Instead of having a bonus structure that rewards reps quarterly for example, consider giving bonuses monthly. Give them a reason to stick around long-term by providing the ability to earn extra money month to month.
Emphasizing and encouraging employee engagement is a part of every successful sales team. Without this, your team will feel isolated with no avenue for constructive feedback or questions. When it comes to sales leaders, communication is key to providing information at the right time for each sales rep as well.
Our What2Say™ module that we offer at SalesTalk gives you the perfect tool for having that effective communication with your team. Through digitally analyzing data through past sales interactions, this sales enablement tool will show your team just how invested you are in making sure they are fully prepared to sell and sell well.
It’s inevitable that each rep on your sales team will come across a time where they don’t have the right answer for the prospect. In order for this rep to still sound confident in these situations, they’re going to need real-time coaching from you, the sales manager. This isn’t always easy and can sometimes be disruptive to the interaction if you don’t have the right process or tool in place.
SalesTalk’s Coaching4U™ module provides you with this tool. With Coaching4U™, you can provide your reps with live sales coaching during a call, all without being a distraction to the call itself. Again, your team needs to feel empowered to succeed. Giving them a way for you to have their back in a pinch is going to have them feeling more confident and give them a reason to be confident in your process going forward.
Recruit, Everboard and Retain the best sales team with SalesTalk
By partnering with SalesTalk, you give your team access to the most innovative and effective sales enablement tools out there. Covering all aspects of the sales machine, our modules will be sure to give you the ammunition you need to properly recruit, everboard, and retain the best sales team possible for your business.
Contact us today for a demo of our Sales Enablement package.