So you have the world’s best sales team, the type that eats (not literally) sales targets for breakfast and thrive on meeting and exceeding them. While everything may look rosy on the outside, you may not be aware that some or most of them are thinking of moving forward, to another company that is. Not a very positive scenario, right? So how do you prevent your best sales person from leaving you and your company behind?
As an employer or even as a Sales Manager, it’s important to remember that the challenge of finding new leads, converting a difficult prospect or crunching better sales numbers are what’s keeping your best sales person motivated. It is important that you keep their fire and passion burning by taking steps to continuously challenge them from within your organization because if you don’t, you run the risk of losing him or her forever. Traditional challenges like sales commissions are no longer enough because these people are already in a level where they can just move to another company and get the same, perhaps even more. You might be surprised that the best way to keep them longer is to motivate them one-on-one.
Here’s how you can challenge your best sales person to do better and motivate him or her to stay with you for as long as you can.
1. Review recent sales performance with your best sales person
Most companies and sales managers review sales performance metrics with team members who are new to the organization or are performing below expectation. What they don’t realize is that even the best sales talent could benefit from the usual coaching and mentoring. Your best sales person could be feeling left out as you focus most of your time and effort helping non-performers to be just like him or her. Keep your top sales performer motivated by scheduling a sit-down session where you can both talk about his or her recent sales performance. Encourage participation by asking about what they could have done better and then share your advice for constant improvement.
2. Send your best sales person to win back a lost client
Boost your top sales person’s confidence by sending them to clients that you’ve lost through defection. Defection occurs when a client decides to move to the competition even though you and your organization did everything right. Your best sales person is probably the best person to win that client back especially if the sales representative originally handling the account was unsuccessful in doing so. Sending your best sales person to win back a lost client will be challenging enough that if he or she succeeds thier confidence level increases significantly. The result would be two-fold as the rest of your sales team will also feel good about successfully winning the client back. Throw in a reasonable compensation plan for winning the business and you’ll have a happy and motivated sales person for a long time.
3. Set your best sales person up for bigger things
Naturally, once you’ve shared your best practices and shown your best salesperson the tricks of the trade, you’d want them to set their eyes on the bigger prize too. Setting your sales protégé up for bigger things is the next logical step. Ease them slowly into managerial roles by assigning them bigger responsibilities such as starting a sales project or taking care of a small team. This will get them ready to handle advance tasks and train them to think out of the box and on their feet.
Challenge your best sales person by discussing how they can transition into top roles like being a Sales Manager. Provide regular coaching and mentoring sessions as well as assigning tasks similar to that of a Sales Manager. This paves the way for the rule of succession and makes it easier for both you and your team to continue the established team dynamics should it be time for you to move up yourself. This also makes it easy for the company as they won’t need to look for your replacement from outside.
At the end of the day, your top salesperson is probably thinking about how they can improve their skills and if you’re unable to help them with it, the possibility of them moving into a different company becomes real. You are expected to come up with new and engaging opportunities for them to continue working for you and your company. By providing the challenge and personal attention your best sales person craves, you help him or her become more loyal and dedicated to your organization ensuring that you do not lose this valuable individual to the competition anytime soon.
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