The role you play as a leader in the retention of your salespeople has a huge impact on your business. The more you develop yourself as a leader, the greater influence you have on keeping the team you built in place.
This is important because when your salespeople stay, your organization has the ability to retain customers and maintain a loyal customer base, which leads to your success.
When you have effective leadership practices in place, you can create an environment that fosters a positive work environment, building strong relationships and helping to develop a customer-minded approach. With this attitude, your people will be more willing to stay and give their best every day.
5 Ways You Can Directly Impact Sales Retention
There are many ways you can directly impact sales retention, but here are five that come to mind, along with strategies for you to implement now.
1. Employee Engagement
When leaders promote a positive workplace that prioritizes employees, people want to stay longer.
Leaders who listen to their salespeople can increase innovation and allow people to feel as though their voice matters. They will also develop higher customer satisfaction, which leads to long-term success. We know that when an employee is engaged, they are 3x more likely to stay with a company. Your actions truly do impact the retention of your people.
Take time to listen more than talk to your salespeople. Listen to their concerns, worries, obstacles, and goals. Ask how you can help them navigate through these opportunities.
2. Clear Expectations and Accountability
Effective leaders ensure that their sales team has a clear understanding of goals and expectations, along with accountability. When you understand how your work contributes, it becomes easier to see how your efforts matter to the company’s success.
Consider whether you have crystal clear expectations. Are the expectations black and white or gray? If you ask someone to make 50 calls daily, ask yourself, “Is that clear?” It may be clear to you, but what is the goal of those 50 calls? Anyone can make 50 calls, but the real success lies in how many appointments they secure. When someone has clear expectations, it allows for greater success.
The best salespeople have a natural competitive spirit and like to have someone notice their successes. Being their accountability partner allows you to be that cheerleader that drives them to succeed. Make a note for yourself of their goals for the week and check in to see how they are progressing. When they know you are on their side, that may be the extra push to get them across the finish line.
Once clear expectations are in place, providing autonomy for your salespeople allows them to know they are trusted and valued to get the job done. When someone is treated with this respect, they tend to be more self-motivated, and that adds a boost in productivity. When you give people the freedom to decide how and when their work gets done, they aren’t bound by undue pressure that brings stress. No one likes to work for a micromanager who looks over your shoulder all day.
Not every person works the same during the day. Some are morning people, some afternoon. Having the freedom to accomplish goals in a way that works best for each person allows them to manage their day as they see fit to achieve their goals.
While it is important that you provide the freedom for a salesperson to work in a way that functions best for them, when you have a relationship that is open and honest, you’ll know they are on track to accomplish their goals. Communication is key here. While people desire the freedom to work how they feel is best, they don’t want to be ignored. Stay in touch with them, ask how you can support them, but stay out of their way when you need to.
4. Ongoing Training and Development
When leadership invests in training and development programs for their sales teams, they equip them with the skills and the knowledge they need to excel. It is important to keep people informed about updates to products and services so that they can provide accurate information to clients. When you arm your people with more information, they can become more consultative in their sales approach, educating clients to understand better how your products can help their business grow. People crave growth, and one of the smartest things you can do is implement a training and development program during the year.
Don’t make training and development a one-size-fits-all all kind of thing. Individualizing your approach to training will lead to better outcomes for both you and your sales team. One way to garner a better understanding of their goals, aspirations, and how they learn best is to conduct a Growth Guide conversation. During this one-on-one time, you’ll discover motivators and ways to manage them the way they want to be managed. People are different, and no one wants to be managed or treated the same way. Take time to listen to how they want to develop and grow. When you make it about them, you’ll see growth across the board. When they grow, the desire to stay increases.
5. Psychological Safety
Creating an environment where people feel safe to speak their minds is essential for leaders to establish. Good salespeople put enough pressure on themselves, so leaders should approach expectations in a way that supports, not adds to, their stress. Being a coach, not a pressure cooker leader, motivates people to overcome tough situations. Asking for ideas and helping strategize solutions is more supportive and improves communication, leading to fewer surprises on both sides.
Although you may feel the pressure to hit budgets, remember your people do as well. Guiding them, instead of driving them can be the best course of action.
Ask for their thoughts and ideas often. This opens the communication lines and contributes to higher performance and employee retention.
The role you play as a leader does impact the retention of your salespeople. When you develop a relationship that is intentional, supportive, and caring, people want to stay.
Take time to engage better, set clear expectations, provide autonomy, create a development plan, and provide a safe zone for your sales team. When you do, you will build a winning team that will stay longer and help you achieve success.