How to Block the Competition from Poaching Your Sales Stars

Employee retention tips for salespeople

When it comes to employee retention, salespeople can be quite a challenge. It is the Salesperson “Key Employee Retention Paradox”… When they are not performing, invest in training until they start cashing in the chips. Then when they do, the world discovers their success. Blink your eyes and they get poached, taking valuable relationships with them.

With the cost of turnover for salespeople higher than almost every other position, easily 5x to 20x of the employee’s salary, retaining good employees on the salesforce is where the shoe pinches many organizations.

To add more complexity to the mix, it is even more competitive to retain a top performing salesperson in technical industries such as finance, technology, life sciences, or pharmaceuticals. You need to find somebody with interpersonal skills, perseverance, and the competency to pass the licensing exams. And then they have to be able to articulate complicated concepts to a non-technical audience. Finding one of these people is like the search for the Holy Grail.

It is universal. Key employee retention, especially for technical salespeople, is a puzzle for most organizations. Here are three turnover solutions we bring to clients that consistently improve employee retention.

Give Them Training they Can’t Get Anywhere Else

Many organizations make the mistake of providing a training program to entry level salespeople and then assuming that once they become successful, the learning ends. In fact, the opposite is true. With more success comes more pressure and responsibility. Especially in a technical field, the customer’s demands become more sophisticated as the salesperson achieves success. The top talent is who needs the most training, not the least. If you’re not willing to provide these highly demanded employee retention strategies, the competition will.

Sell Them on Your Firm Like They are Long-term Customers

If you want to master key employee retention for your salesforce, you’ve got to sell your firm to them over and over again. Put on your sales cap and act as if you are selling a product (a job at your company) to your top performing talent. Giving special attention and time increases the chance they will join, and accept the company’s first offer. If he or she feels they are treated like the best customer on the planet it conveys that the company is committed to winning their trust over and over. This is how customer loyalty is created through the sales process. Listen to figure out what they really want, and then deliver it.

Research the Competition For Them

Sounds ludicrous, right? But if they’re successful, you know the competition is contacting them. So why not beat them to the punch and make the information available to them? It’s wacky, but by doing this you are assuming control. You gain the ability to explain the differences between your brand and the competition directly. You have the home court advantage here. And by the way, you may learn a thing or two about what your competitors are doing in the process.

Retensa has been in the business of helping companies improve employee retention to prevent their top salespeople from leaving for the competition for nearly two decades. As thought leaders in this field, we’re curious to hear your take on retaining good employees. How have you handled sales turnover at your organization? What’s worked well? Please comment below.


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