Let’s be honest, we usually see it coming, or at least we do in hindsight. At some point almost every employee will quit; especially in today’s workforce where people tend to change jobs every few years. It’s impossible to expect employees to be lifers, and even harder to expect that from a star sales producer. Your competitors are trolling the waters just waiting for your top performers to show an inkling of discontent. However, there are usually signals that will alert you when a top sales exec is considering a move.
Here are five signs your top sales execs might be getting ready to bolt. Hopefully if you’re ready for it, their departure can be either salvaged or easier to swallow.
1. No longer commits to long-term projects
This is one of the first signs. Even if they don’t know they’re quitting yet, you’ll know by the uncertain look on their face when you mention plans for projects that have extended timelines. Whether your sales exec is unhappy, looking for growth opportunities or has a major life event that requires a job change, you’ll know it when they have trouble making commitments beyond a few months out.
2. More active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is where people tend to start testing the waters if they’re looking for a new position. You’ll notice an uptick in their number of connections, groups joined or updates to their profile. Some people even change their status to “open to opportunities.” Make sure you are connected to all of your employees on LinkedIn so that you can take a peek when you feel something might be up.
3. They’re holding something back
If a top sales performer is looking in a different direction you’ll probably start to notice that they seem to be holding something back. Sometimes this will be especially noticeable during meetings because they contribute less, don’t suggest new ideas and are generally quieter than normal.
4. Somebody else got the promotion
This is a big one, especially in sales, because egos get bruised pretty easily. Some people will start looking elsewhere the minute they are passed over for a promotion. Some will hang on and try to improve so they can get the top job the next time around. Either way, this is the time to be on the lookout for letters of resignation.
5. Enthusiasm has taken a dive
If you start to notice that one of your top sales execs has lost their gusto for the job this is a sign of trouble. When productivity drops, and they stop doing simple things like returning phone calls or emails, they are probably on the way out. When you know you’re going to leave a job, you tend to check out mentally and it becomes harder to keep doing it as well as you did before.
Are any of your top sales execs displaying signs that they might abandon their post soon? If they are, it’s time to have a chat. Be honest and let them know they can be honest with you. After all, you don’t want to force anybody to stay if they’re no longer excited about the job.
Nation's Executive Search Group is sought out by leaders in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing Services and Decision Analytics for mission critical sales and marketing leadership talent. For more information, email or call Rob at (410) 827-0180, firstname.lastname@example.org