8 years ago
July 25, 2016

How to Keep Your Top Sales People Happy

If you don’t want to lose your top sales people, you need to keep them happy. Use these tips to ensure they’re content in your employ.

Rhys Metler

Every sales team has a few top earners—sales professionals that managers would struggle to live without. With millions of mediocre sales reps in North America, you know how hard it is to come by sales superstars. So once you have some on your team, you don’t want to let them go. Not only is turnover costly, but losing your top sales reps can wreak havoc with your bottom line.

To retain your best sales professionals, you need to keep them happy.

Here are some tips.

Keep Them in the Loop

Your top sales reps are vital to your organization. Make sure that they feel like they’re part of the team by always keeping them in the loop. Don’t change your sales compensation plan, selling strategies, or sales process without letting them know. If you blindside them, they’ll feel like they’re not worth much at your company.

Pay Them What They’re Worth

Though sales people aren’t all motivated by money, your top sales reps know what they’re worth and they’ll expect fair compensation for their hard work. If you underpay them, put a cap on their commissions, or refuse to give them raises when they’re deserved, they might look elsewhere for a job.

Don’t Play Quota Games

If your sales people feel like no matter what they do they will fail, they won’t stay around long. Don’t raise quota every month to a number that’s impossible to achieve. It will only reduce morale and productivity and make your sales reps leave, and take your customers with them.

Don’t Micromanage

Top sales people are often lone wolves who do not like someone looking over their shoulder all the time and telling them how to do their jobs. As an effective sales leader, you’ve helped your sales team become the best it can be. You’ve given your reps the training, coaching, tools, and knowledge they need to succeed—so let them succeed on their own, don’t micromanage. Trust them. Empower them.

Give Them Challenges

Top sales pros often leave because they get bored. They’ll move on to another organization that can give them new challenges to pursue. That’s what achievers do. They don’t want to perform mundane administrative tasks for the majority of their work days.

To retain your top sales reps, give them new challenges—this could be exploring new terrain, changing their roles, or giving them additional responsibilities that push them beyond their current capabilities.

Offer Professional Advancement Opportunities

One of the top reasons that sales people leave their jobs is a lack of professional advancement. If your reps feel like they’ve done all that they can do at your company and learned all that they can learn, they’ll move on to pursue other opportunities that will help them climb the corporate ladder. Though you might not want to lose your top sales people by promoting them, you need to help them advance in their careers or risk losing them entirely.

Offer Professional Development Opportunities

If a promotion isn’t possible at the moment, then make sure you at least offer opportunities for professional development. Give your top sales reps opportunities to attend seminars and conferences. Offer to pay for them to earn academic degrees. Career development programs support employee retention—they’ll not only help you keep your top employees but they’ll also improve their abilities, which helps your organization as well.

Give Appreciation and Thanks

To keep your top sales reps happy, sometimes all it takes is a hearty thank you or a genuine act of appreciation. Your sales people work hard and they deserve to be recognized for it. Celebrate the big wins and the small wins. Give specific compliments. Have a sales team appreciation day every month. Make it clear that you notice their efforts and hard work—it’ll not only improve motivation, but retention as well.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.