Every sales manager has been there. You spend time and effort selecting just the right candidate. You get your “perfect” AE hired and trained, and they’re doing well. But then you get their two-week notice. Your heart sinks. You have invested time, energy, and most importantly money into this person, only to have them take their talent to another company. What happened?!
We have all heard the phrase, an employee joins a company but leaves a manager. So how can you keep your top talent? How can you become a manager whose people stay?
1. Invest time in your team.
First things first, you have to be a manager who invests time into the team. That sounds simple, but with all of the demands on your time, it can get complicated. So good time management is key. Having a schedule, and prioritizing time with your team is very important.
2. Focus on your top talent.
Put your top people at the front of the list and spend more time with them! But wait, don’t the poor performers need more time?! A great manager knows to invest more time in her top people because they will give her the best return on her time investment. Never ignore anyone on your team, but focus in on your top talent, and let them know that you're committed to them!
3. Be responsive.
And make sure you are highly responsive to their needs. When you are sent an email or text, do you respond right away, or do you make it a lower priority? If your AEs have a problem, do they know they can come to you, and you will make time, focus on them, and give them assistance?
4. Get onboarding right.
When you hire a talented person, it’s important to get your onboarding just right. You can use the Effective Onboarding course to get your talent started off just right.
5. Match your management style to the individual.
Get to know each person on your team personally, find out their likes/dislikes and what type of management style works best for them. Doing an Individualized Management Questionnaire early in the process helps you to be informed in how you train as well as how you manage.
6. Customize your motivation.
What about motivating your team? Everyone likes contests, right?! Well, not necessarily. It’s very important to know how each person likes to be motivated and switch things up.
7. Customize your praise and recognition.
Some people are uncomfortable with public acknowledgment and prefer private praise, while others crave the limelight. Some people prefer recognition with money, others like prizes and still others prefer a trophy or plaque that they can look at each day.
8. Learn each team member's personal preferences.
Take the time to find out their personal preferences and make sure each person gets the motivation and recognition they need.
9. Encourage team building.
And don’t forget team building. Find ways to encourage team spirit and a good working relationship. Team lunches, occasionally meeting after work, and surprises from their manager (gourmet cupcakes anyone?) can go a long way towards creating an environment that people don’t want to leave.
10. Provide ongoing training.
And finally, lets not forget ongoing training for your top people. Make sure each AE has the tools they need to be successful as well as training in new and cutting edge products and technology. Your AEs need to always go into their clients prepared and confident that they have the answers.
As a manager, remember, you don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business.