How to Attract and Retain a Sales Team of Winners
What does it take to attract and retain a sales team of winners? A winning sales force can make the difference between a successful business and a failing business. It matters a lot yet few companies do it well. But the better you are at building a team that is motivated, competitive, and valued, the more likely you can build a business with a bright and healthy future.
Here are some best practices gleaned from our 20+ years of solution selling training and of observing clients whose sales force is thriving…
Know what critical few sales skills drive success
Take a close look at your current high performers and evaluate what it is they do that makes them currently successful. Then, based upon input from leadership, add any future sales skills required for success based upon where the business is headed in the next few years. These then are the skills that you should look for in new hires and that you should build in your existing sales force.
Reward success and hold poor performers accountable
There is nothing more discouraging to a high performer than to find that low performers are rewarded equally as well. When you have clarified what sales reps need to do to be successful, then you can set clear and fair expectations and goals. Those who reach or exceed goals should be adequately compensated. And there should be consequences for those who underperform. If there is no improvement despite training and coaching, low performers should be moved on quickly.
Leverage your inside sales force to optimize results from your field sales force
Know the ideal balance between the two. With so many purchases being researched and completed online, you may not need to have as large a face-to-face selling machine as before. A top-notch inside sales force can effectively turn leads into sales or at least move the sales process along toward the finish line where an onsite visit with the customer is needed.
Establish meaningful sales goals
The numbers you set as sales targets should spur greater effort. Too unrealistically high and your reps will be discouraged by the impossibility of success; too low and the goals will be so easy to reach that even mediocre sales reps will succeed. Find the “just possible” happy medium that keeps your top talent striving for the prize.
Never stop recruiting
In any economy, top talent that fits your unique sales strategy and sales culture is hard to find. Always be on the lookout for sales winners. You want reps who are naturally competitive and who have established a record of success. When you run across a good prospect wherever you may find them, make contact and establish a relationship so, when you are both ready, they are in your pipeline.