For sales managers, there’s nothing quite as painful as when top salespeople quit. Unfortunately, it happens – a lot! According to an Xactly study, 44% of tech sales reps are going to be looking for new jobs in the next year.
Great salespeople don’t come around often, and they are incredibly hard to replace. That’s why sales managers should be constantly working to ensure their top performers are happy, challenged, and motivated – with clear career advancement opportunities.
Here are three things you can do today to keep your best performers on your team, instead of someone else’s:
1. Have a clear path for professional development.
Top performers are typically self-motivated individuals and overachievers. They are constantly working to ‘up’ their sales game, and many strive to be sales managers one day. They seek job opportunities where career advancement is achievable.
Have regular, honest, one-on-one conversations with your top performers. If they are looking for leadership opportunities, set them on a course to achieve their goals. You can learn more about creating a career path with leadership opportunities here.
(If you’ve never had a one-on-one conversation regarding career objectives with your top performers, stop reading this blog and schedule it now).
2. Find out what motivates your top salespeople.
Because top performing sales reps are driven, they often look for sales positions that are both challenging and rewarding. And the reward doesn’t always have to be financial. The reward could be signing a key logo, saving a renewal or upgrading a “marquee” account, for example.
Find out what motivates your top performers and give them more opportunities to excel. Challenge them and reward them accordingly. For a top performer who wants to take on more leadership responsibility, for example, ask them to help out with product development, marketing or sales operations.
3. Beat the “better” opportunities.
A business leader once said to me, “What sales reps don’t realize is that the grass is brown everywhere.” In most cases, it’s true. Top performers sometimes make rash decisions that are not well thought out. They get sold a vision of success from people who are professionally trained to recruit salespeople.
If one of your top salespeople is leaving because of another opportunity, get in front of it. Seek to understand what is so enticing about the new opportunity, and have a conversation about the pros and cons. You might uncover some gray area that could change the rep’s mind. You may also have an opportunity to counter the offer and save a rock star rep.
What do all of these tips have in common? Clear and transparent communication.
Do everything in your power to hold on to your top performers – whether that means giving them more responsibility, better accounts, more management training, or compensation increases. It’s well worth the investment when you consider the time and effort that will go into replacing them.