A Sales Culture for Retention
Pay NOTHING until you meet interested decision makers
Retention should be at the top of a sales manager’s priority list. While some turnover is inevitable, top sales managers focus on building a strong sales culture. This leads to strong retention figures, stronger sales talent and a healthier bottom line. 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.
Consider the implementation of the following tips:
Memorable First Day
Some sales managers think that the hiring process ends with the offer letter’s acceptance. However, good sales people make their decision about whether they plan to stay with the organization over the long term on their first day. 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.
A common complaint among sales talent is a lack of training required to perform well. 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. 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. 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. 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). Offering activities for your sales talent demonstrates that you care and that you have them front of mind.
These three ideas are certainly not all inclusive of what you can and should do to build a strong organizational sales culture. But, they will help to establish the type of sales culture you desire for your organization, and will positively impact your overall retention figures and sales growth.