The moment that strikes fear in the hearts of many is -- no, not a sudden end to Game of Thrones -- but when your top sales producer tells you he wants to quit. It can be quite a shock to the system, especially when he or she has been doing so well -- for the company and personally. They consistently exceed sales goals, they work well with the rest of the team and clients love them. So it can feel like a slap in the face when they say they want to quit. You can attempt a hail mary pass and try to keep them on board with promises of better compensation or a promotion, but the truth is it’s probably too late once you get to that point.
However, you can do some things to keep the desire to quit from arising in the first place.
Even your top sales producers need a cheerleader. No matter where we are in our careers, everybody still has a natural desire to grow and improve. We also want feedback and an occasional pat on the back. By instituting a mentoring program for all, you can keep your top producers satisfied with their work lives. Just knowing that they have a dedicated mentor in their corner improves their sense of work-life satisfaction and makes them more productive overall.
Most importantly, mentoring provides a dedicated space for top sales producers to talk and for mentors to listen. By the time a sales exec says “I quit” formally they have probably voiced their thoughts informally many times over and you have just somehow missed it. If there’s a space where they can vent and work out solutions with a mentor they might not want to quit in the first place. It doesn’t have to be an hours long, time-wasting session, it can just be meeting for coffee every couple of weeks. Keep it informal, but keep it consistent.
Everybody hates working with an idiot that is sinking the boat while everyone else is trying to paddle. When a top producer feels like they’re working with someone that’s not doing the job or riding their coat tails whilst they achieve outstanding results, they are bound to become unhappy. That’s why ongoing training and education are so important. You have to go beyond initial onboarding and training to get everyone on the same page. Not everyone will naturally thrive without consistent training opportunities, so it’s your job to provide those. This will help top producers feel better about the team they have to work with.
Public Relations Opportunities
Everybody wants to be a star; or at least be respected in their industry. If a sales exec is consistently raking in amazing sales revenues, chances are they have something to say that could be useful to others. Give them a chance to become thought leaders in their industry. Work with your marketing and PR departments to create public speaking opportunities or to write a blog post for the company website. This is a different type of recognition that you can get a lot of mileage out of. It gives top sales producers the respect they deserve, and it shows off your company and its great employees.
Try out some of these strategies or improve them if you’re already doing them, and hopefully you’ll be able to keep your top sales producers on your team and not your competitor’s.
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