Sales Team Development Strategies for the 21st Century

Tactics to help employee retention in sales teams

The importance of employee retention is, perhaps, more acutely felt in the sales environment than any other organizational capacity. If your sales team is a constant carousel of employee turnover, your ability to build successful sales teams is severely impaired. New members of your sales team won’t have the embedded culture of your organization, lasting and meaningful client relationships will be more difficult to foster, and a high staff turnover rate says more about your company, its leadership, its services and its products than any expensive brochure.

In this article, you’ll learn a few tactics that you can build into your sales team development strategies to improve your employee retention.

Why employee retention matters to a sales team

High staff turnover numbers can destroy your team’s ROI in a number of ways, including:

·       You lose the benefit of talent and experience

If your best sales talent stays on board, they are more likely to pass on their knowledge and experience to junior members. The relationships they have built with clients should produce better sales numbers.

·       Poor employee retention damages the customer experience

When trusted sales people leave and your clients are never sure who they will be dealing with, it harms trust. The occasional exit is expected, but a constant change in salespeople is disruptive to the sales process. When the entry/exit door is constantly revolving, client relationships wither – if your salespeople don’t trust you as an employer, why should a client trust you as a supplier?

·       High staff turnover cuts into the bottom line

When an employee leaves, it is not only the loss of their talent and experience that costs your organization. The cost of replacing someone is high, especially if that someone is a top performer. A study by the Center for American Progress concluded that it costs an average of two months’ salary to replace an employee. The higher your staff turnover, the more this cost cuts into the bottom line.

·       When employees leave, it damages morale

One of the factors that people most enjoy about their work is interaction with colleagues, and their in-house relationships. These bonds cannot be formed if employees are constantly leaving. Teams with a high turnover lack cohesion. The collaborative effort falters, and morale falls.

·       It becomes harder to attract the top talent

It is easy to learn about a prospective employer today, and this includes their reputation as an employer. Websites such as Glassdoor regularly survey to learn what it is like to work for various organizations. A bad review could harm your chances of hiring the top talent.

5 tactics that improve employee retention

To combat employee retention problems, the key is to ensure that employees are engaged with their work and that the employer/employee relationship is strong. While compensation and rewards recognize ability and achievement, such tactics have a limited effect on employee retention: once a bonus has been spent, it is quickly forgotten.

Delivering a positive employee experience is key to building a culture which encourages employees to stay rather than leave. The way that an organization and its managers treats its employees is a constant force that can be used to reinforce this positive experience. Here are five tactics that sales managers can use to create the internal culture that improves and maintains employee retention.

1.      Training and development

Investing time, effort and money in your sales staff in developing your sales team. Learn what each individual’s needs and aspirations are, and help them to achieve their potential. Sales managers should take a lead role in this process, by fostering a good manager/employee relationship and by providing mentorship to their salespeople.

2.      Communication and feedback

To engage people and win their hearts and minds, sales managers must be effective communicators. An environment in which open, two-way communication and feedback is encouraged and expected provides the forum for concerns and questions to be voiced and ideas to be put forward. This should be a constant process, using appropriate channels for communication. These include team meetings, one-to-ones, email, the company intranet, etc.

3.      Engage the sales team in change

In today’s world, the market is in a constant state of flux. Continuous change can upset employees and lead to high levels of resistance. Such unease naturally damages employee retention. Therefore, it is imperative that leaders reassure their teams through change.

Engaging employees in the change conversation is key to helping teams come to terms with evolution of business practices, products and services. Early-stage engagement also helps to better inform decision making through change. In short, without collaboration, your change efforts will unravel.

4.      Foster team spirit

Create a team spirit and improving morale by creating a shared vision in an environment of trust by employing team building strategies for premier league sales targets. In communicating vision and mission, leaders must be clear and concise, listen well, and be courteous and flexible. By displaying these qualities, a leader will help to shape team culture as colleagues align behind collective objectives.

5.      Create a better work/life balance

If the organizational culture expects employees to work long hours, perhaps without breaks, in the high-pressure environment of sales it is likely that you will experience employee retention issues. A healthy work/life balance is essential.

Organizations should ensure that employees are offered ways to improve their work/life balance, be it via more telecommuting opportunities, flexible working hours, insistence on taking vacations, an extra day off to compensate for periods when work load is high, or a variety of other strategies. Burnout is real, and a healthy work/life balance is a major reason people choose to stay with an organization.

In summary

High staff turnover is damaging to organizations in many ways. It harms morale, knowledge and experience is lost, and the bottom line is impoverished. Therefore, the importance of employee retention should be considered as a priority when developing sales team development strategies for the 21st century.

The five tactics outlined within this article will help to improve engagement, employee retention, and, ultimately, the productivity and profitability of an organization. The key to open these benefits is in delivering these strategies.

Contact us today, and discover how we could help your sales managers deliver the strategies that will transform employee retention rates.

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