Of all the challenges sales leaders face, retaining developed reps has to be one of the hardest. The amount of time and money you save by keeping a team of dedicated, high-performing reps is massive — but how exactly do you make sure your A-Players don’t walk?
The answer? Consistent, methodical sales coaching.
Sales coaching is an extremely intricate process which requires sales leaders to truly understand and evaluate their reps. Unlike sales training where a pre-set amount of information is fed to a rep for baseline education, sales coaching is about building a manager-rep relationship aimed at continued growth and optimization. Sales coaching can take many forms, but the most effective sales coaches follow a few key guidelines to ensure successful rep retention.
Give Them a Challenge
Good sales reps are energized, and the ones worth keeping don’t typically want things to get stale. Make sure you foster a friendly, yet competitive atmosphere for your reps by infusing your organization with an air of gamification. Display leaderboards, have weekly announcements of wins across various metrics, even start up interoffice competitions (rep that makes X calls before noon wins Y), etc. Little challenges like these do more than just reaffirm strengths or help team build. They give a sense of collective direction to reps, increasing fulfillment from personal and team successes.
Remember: Don’t be afraid to give your team a challenge, or push when you know they can rise to meet it.
Don’t Put *Too Much* Pressure on the Pipeline – Worry About Development
It’s important to focus on your reps’ individual development as much as you focus on their numbers. Discussing sales goals is general housekeeping for SDR managers, but sitting down with a rep, one-on-one, should be all about their personal growth.
This is our focus at RingDNA. We give sales orgs the ability to measure a variety of granular metrics to help assist managers with determining the areas most crucial for rep development. With RingDNA, everything from call attempts, to time to response, to the last inbound/outbound call made can be analyzed on a rep-by-rep basis. Particularly during onboarding or after new product launches, features like call barging can help reps clear the final few yards and schedule a product demo with a lead.
Remember: Motivating your players to develop a mastery over their field, across multiple valuable metrics, is pivotal for building team strength and retaining A-players.
Get Involved with Onboarding
Onboarding is such a critically overlooked area, but having to replace or arduously train underperforming hires is costly. With managers having to dismiss inefficient reps, making sure your onboarding process is top-notch is one of the best ways to stack your company with reps who aren’t on the way out.
One of the first things you should do in the onboarding process is create a training schedule. This not only helps set expectations for reps, but helps reps have clear expectations and goals. You can supplement this effort by developing a resources library, giving new hires access to everything from case studies to team builders. This all serves to get reps comfortable, informed, and acclimated with everyone on your sales team.
Remember: Onboarding is more than just ramping a rep to sell. It’s about building rapport, proper training, and team acclimation. Getting involved with onboarding intimately will allow you to source and retain the right people for your sales org.
Grow Your Team From Within
It’s almost impossible to foster true team loyalty without reciprocating that loyalty. No one wants to play for a team that doesn’t value them or put them first. Strong coaches recognize opportunities to further develop their A-players.
Focusing on reps’ individual performance is crucial, but so is highlighting your reps’ wins to the team. Gather your reps and run through a win analysis on a closed deal. This provides reps an opportunity to see how others performed well, and adjust their strategy accordingly. Investing in your reps like this can turn your b players into a players, filling out your team with nothing but the best.
As a manager, you also need to ask yourself how deep your bench of talent is and what options you’ve put in place to groom players down the line. Personally investing in your reps may not guarantee better retention, but without helping reps develop their career skills, you won’t find as many who want to stick around.
Remember: While you’re always going to lose a few heavy hitters due to uncontrollable factors, turning the A-players you have into A+ players should always be at the front of your mind.