10 years ago
January 5, 2015

3 Ways to Retain Your Top Sales Person

To stay competitive, an organization should be focused on the endeavor to retain a top sales person.

Rhys Metler

how to retain your top sales personTo keep your organization competitive, you spend significant resources attracting and acquiring the top sales people you can find. But once you have those top sales people up and running, what are you doing to retain them? To stay competitive, an organization should be as focused on the endeavor to retain a top sales person as they were in hiring the top sales person initially. Here are three ways to make that endeavor easier. 

Retain Top Sales Person: Help Him or Her Improve

Your top sales person wants to the best that he or she can be. A common mistake that sales managers make is to play up a top sales person’s strengths while playing down their weaknesses. A better approach that will do more to help retain a top sales person is to tackle those weaknesses head on. Perhaps he or she is excellent at creating new business relationships, but needs help maintaining those relationships, or is strong prospecting in certain arenas but could use pointers on prospecting in others. No matter where the limitation is, your personal experience as a sales manager and previous top sales person can help.

Retain Top Sales Person: Make Sure Your Quotas Are Motivational 

It takes constant small pushes to keep a top sales person motivated; without significant motivation built into your organization’s culture, you will find the effort to retain top sales person mounting. In addition to making sure that your sales compensation plan is compensating for the right achievements, you should also make sure that your quotas for your top performers are regularly updated to provide a challenge. Whenever possible, these quotas should include:

  • Year over year improvements. Year over year improvements are a much more reliable motivator than quarter over quarter, especially in industries that are highly seasonal. If it is also possible for your organization to throw in a compensation factor based on year over year improvement, it’s a great way to motivate and retain a top sales person.
  • Targets across tiers. Tiered compensation tied to distinct quotas motivates a top sales person more than the standard base and concrete commission. After all, the more a sales person sells, the more he or she makes. If this is not already part of your compensation plan for top performers, consider it strongly.
  • Short term targets. The excitement of a long term target that involves a generous bonus or other compensation can wear off; combat this by incorporating short term targets that will keep your top sales person (as well as the rest of your sales staff) motivated to succeed.

Retain Top Sales Person: Keep Him or Her Connected – with You 

Your top sales person is engaged with the prospects and clients interested in your organization’s offering, but is he or she engaged with your organization? Company engagement is a key indicator of longevity with a company, and to support the effort to retain a top sales person there is much you can do as a sales manager to promote that engagement. Start the engagement needed to retain your top sales person by encouraging him or her to form a positive working relationship with you.

 Build your relationship on appreciation and respect, and retaining a top sales person will come naturally. With this foundation, your top sales person will want to stay with you and do his or her best work. Moreover, if there should be an issue, he or she will feel more at liberty to discuss it with you early on – allowing you to avert problems and keep your top sales person, rather than losing him or her to the competition. Great sales managers are keenly aware of the advantages that these positive working relationships allow, and work to keep the lines of communication open at all times with this in mind.

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.