How To Create A Sales Culture That Drives Retention

Retention should be at the top of a sales manager’s priority list. While some turnover is inevitable, top sales managers do everything they can to minimize voluntary loss of sales reps. Employee turnover is not only costly to an organization, but time consuming. Consider the resources spent locating, interviewing and onboarding good sales people within your company. Most sales managers fail to calculate the precise figure each new hire equates to in terms of dollars spent, or dollars lost.

The most effective way to retain sales staff is to focus on building a strong sales culture. A strong sales culture leads to strong retention figures, stronger sales talent and a healthier bottom line.

Below are a couple of areas to focus to develop your sales culture.

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Memorable First Day

The hiring process doesn’t end with a letter of acceptance. Sales people form strong opinions about their new organization on the first day. Within the first few hours of starting at the new role they’ll probably have an idea whether they plan to stay with the organization over the long term.

To ensure that their experience is memorable, be prepared for their arrival. Ensure that the following are available: building access cards, parking cards, supplies needed, and a clean workspace. If you want to go the extra mile, delegate someone to take the new hire to lunch, have a welcome card signed by the staff waiting for them on their desk and pre-print business cards and a name plate to make them feel welcome. The first day should clearly spell out the start of a well planned onboarding process.

Effective Training

A common complaint among sales talent is a lack of training required to perform well. It doesn’t make any sense to invest in b2b lead generation services, but not give your sales reps the skills, knowledge or tools they need to close deals.

Provide a well organized training program for each new hire, whether customized or for each new employee within a given job role or class. Training may include a combination of classroom, online and self-study.

Following closely behind this is the lack of further training opportunities. For example the ability to further skill sets, obtain an advanced degree or secure industry certifications. Offer optional coursework options for those go-getters who want to get ahead. And, if applicable, consider offering a tuition reimbursement program for top sales producers as a behaviour incentive.

Design Your Internal Sales Culture

It is believed that sales professionals are more likely to retain within an organization in which they feel a part of, and which they have established friendships. Offering activities for your sales talent demonstrates that you care and that you have them front of mind.

Team building exercises or events don’t have to be time consuming to plan, and they don’t have to cost a significant amount to the organization. Consider small things such as acknowledging birthdays within a given month with cake in the training room, send birthday cards to your employee’s home rather than placing them in their work mailboxes. And offer optional group outings that would appeal to a large cross section of ages and interests (happy hours, softball leagues, night out to see a local sports team play).

People spend more time at work than at home. The more effort you make at creating an atmosphere of friendship and collaboration, the more likely your top talent is to stay put.

Retain Your Sales Reps

The cost of losing top sales people is too high to ignore. You could potentially lose out on existing deals in the pipeline. And face the prospect of lower future revenue. If your sales rep is a top performer then their departure could be a strategic risk to your business.

And the cost of hiring and training new sales people is exorbitant – it’s FAR easier to keep the existing team happy.

With this in mind, plan your sales rep’s journey within your organization. Give them opportunities and resources to grow their career in your company. And find the relationships and meaning they are looking for in their career.

Create An Irresistible Offer That Converts

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