sales process

The most transformative sales coaching element is coaching to the individual-The #1 Hack to improving sales performance

_To get above average performance, you need an above average coaching process. To do that, you need to coach the individual._.jpg

Every sales team has a mix of different personality types. As leaders and sale’s managers we have to work at managing and coaching to each individual to optimize performance.

The easiest approach to managing sales people is a broad-brush performance and or activity perspective. This will reap average performance because its an average performance management system.

This lack of specificity in coaching fails to address the different work styles, attributes, experience, objectives, and motivations. This results in a lack of new ideas, a lack of effective collaboration, deeper and more meaningful learning is missing, and performance becomes a challenge.

To get above average performance, you need to manage and coach using an above average process. To do that you need to coach to the individual.

What motivates one person does not motivate another. I believe that for sure reps need to be self motivated, that’s an obvious given. But to get the extra mile from your people, to receive exceptional effort, it helps to ensure they are being supported and coached in a way that increases their intrinsic motivation, not hamper it.

I have read from some sales experts that say reps need to be self motivated and we can’t as managers influence them. Hire motivated reps, and fire unmotivated reps, while that is partially true, I don’t entirely agree. I have seen highly motivated sales professionals become disenchanted from lack luster sales management.

In a tight labor market I would not want to make that assumption.

I know from my own experience, I was a highly motivated and driven sales person. That was inside me and no one could take it away. But I would go the extra mile, put in the extra effort, and stay longer when I was working for someone that I looked up to  and felt supported by.

One of the steps a leader needs to take is to determine what makes each of his or her people tick, what’s important to them, what style are they, how do they learn, and what motivates them. Assessments are also a great asset to help in this process.

HBR published an article on the topic of managing to different personality types by Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg and Kim Christfort (April 2017). 190,000 people completed their assessment and they described the results and how you can capitalize on cognitive diversity. It clearly works.

Specific coaching is an underused tool that offers superior results.

It’s one of the most important transformative elements of effective coaching—coaching to the individual.

Are you coaching to your individual team members? Feel free to comment.

For more information and insights in regards to coaching and other sales organization thoughts refer to my website, www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com, feel free to order my book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide To Building Teams That Consistently Win New Business.

 

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

e-mail mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

For individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, speaking or consulting feel free to contact me.

Why are so many of us in sales still spewing out product garbage, too soon and too often?

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It’s crazy to me that we still need to coach sales people not to sell on product. I was just reviewing some old books on my shelf and came across the gem, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book sold millions and has been talked about for decades. It was published in 1989 by Simon and Schuster, 30 years ago.

Here you go, page 244, “An effective sales person first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns, the situation of the customer. The amateur salesman sells products; the professional sells solutions to needs and problems. It’s a totally different approach. The professional learns how to diagnose, how to understand.”

“It’s a totally different approach” – Yah  30 years ago it was!!

I realize that today we are also striving to advance the conversation to insights and value creation, and helping customers with ideas and scenario’s that they perhaps havn’t even thought of.

We still need to help customers solve their business problems by developing outcomes for them that resonate and are meaningful for their business and for them personally.

It’s curious to me that many sales consultants and thought leaders talk about this as if its new thinking.

I remember a family friend who sold for a paint manufacturer, yes paint. He traveled all over Canada selling paint. He was a good friend of my dad, and I was just a kid at the time. So this was 40 plus years ago.

I’ll never forget him talking about selling in our living room, smoking his pipe (yes he was smoking a pipe-not very popular these days). He talked about helping his customers, he never talked about the product.

Why are we still even having this conversation?

Because reps astonishingly, are still doing it.

Lets make 2019 the year we pause, think, ask questions, sincerely care about the outcome, and listen, I mean, really, actively, listen.

I help coach professionals on this topic among others on a continual basis, yes its still an issue.

It’s very rewarding to see them make the shift into outcomes and how they see very quickly that it changes the whole dynamic of the conversation they have with their clients in a positive way.

Please feel free to comment on this topic and join the conversation.

For more information and insights in regards to coaching and other sales organization thoughts refer to my website, www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com, you can also order my book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide To Building Teams That Consistently Win New Business.

 

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

For individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, part time sales leadership or contract work, advising, or speaking engagements contact me directly;

mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

Some of My Favorite Quotes For Sales Are About Preparation, Why Is that?

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Preparation for me is part of my coaching that I give on a regular basis and it is a part of the culture that I always instill in sales teams.

I know from personal experience that the more I prepared, the better the results I achieved.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary” Vince Lombardi

Certainly, there is a balance, you don’t want to be stymied and end up not doing anything, but if I was to choose between under preparing and over preparing, I’d pick over preparing in most cases.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” John Wooden

Due to the buyer challenges we face today, sales must step up to the increased expectation around the sales conversation. To meet those expectations, it requires thorough preparation. I think the more seasoned you are, the more knowledge you have, the easier you can adapt and meet each selling situation, but even seasoned sales professionals need to spend time preparing for each customer interaction to ensure they are maximizing that extremely valuable customer face time. Typically, you don’t get a second chance.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” Alexander Graham Bell

Getting to the value outcome or solution outcome that matches the client’s needs is the main objective. Getting there requires a deeper understanding of the buyer’s decision process. 

If the value lies not in what you sell, but in the insights and innovative thinking that you bring to the table, then preparation is key.

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my ax” Abraham Lincoln

Even existing clients are often too busy to return your calls or take the time for a face to face meeting. This is the number one challenge facing sales forces today.

This makes it even more compelling to ensure sales is supported with the tools they need, and the time they need to be ready for their sales engagements. As organizations we must ensure we are not inundating sales with non-sales stuff. We can’t expect sales to be on top of their game and win new opportunities if you have them mired with administrative trivia and other tasks that other departments or support should be taking care of.

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” Bobby Unser

That about sums up the challenge. I have said this repeatedly for many years now, the sales rep is the differentiation. I think it has always been that way, but you could get away with more in the past. You could have a good relationship, or you could be the best at follow-up and paying attention to detail. You could have the best solution and price. Now you must have that little bit extra that requires an enormous amount of extra preparation for the rep.

“What you know and how you leverage it is the biggest factor in your success…. How we sell is more important than what we sell” Jill Konrath

One of the most important, limited resources a sales rep has is their time. I am constantly reminding reps with how important their time is, and thus how important it is to spend it wisely. Company’s don’t have a lot patience with numbers not being met. As a result, you need to be productive quickly and consistently to be successful.

“Measure twice before you cut” My Dad

The list of preparation quotes could go on, they are simply an example, to ensure we do not underestimate how important it truly is.

For more information, suggestions, and insights into sales organization imperatives see my website, www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com, and/or order my book The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide To Building Teams That Consistently Win New Business.

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

For individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, advising, or speaking engagements

mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

Are You Having Productive One on Ones With Your Sales Team Members?

Photo by Daniil Silantey on Unsplash

Photo by Daniil Silantey on Unsplash

Are You Having Productive One on Ones With Your Sales Team Members?

A Brief Guide to Conducting Meaningful Sales Rep One on Ones

 

I have always had the practice of meeting salespeople one-on-one every week, even if it was over the phone. My experience is that even the most experienced and seasoned salespeople need and want one-on-one interaction, whether it be for encouragement, help with problem-solving, support with strategic thinking, assistance with call planning or reviews, or internal help, like guidance on collaborating to receive support from other departments.

Even if they know what they need to do, having someone to bounce ideas off is extremely helpful. The essential thing is that the manager needs to be able to add value to the sales representative—they need to be able to help in some way. If the manager doesn’t add or offer any value, the one-on-ones won’t be of any value and won’t be welcomed. In fact, the reps will do whatever they can to avoid the manager, as they will be viewed as a waste of reps’ time.

In my one-on-ones I would always have a specific agenda but also always left time open for free dialogue. The agenda typically included:

 

actions review from previous meeting

results (or the lack thereof)

funnel review and discussion

what needed to be done to move business forward

strategic account planning

help/resources needed

current or immediate known challenges or issues

potential challenges or risks

any coaching opportunities that may have arisen and not yet been covered

personal/career development discussion, if needed or requested

any actions requiring follow-up

open discussion that may surface items

 

You want to ensure that these meetings aren’t viewed as simply the manager’s way to get caught up and keep an eye on things so that they are seen as being on top of things for their boss. While it is certainly important to catch up, the focus should be on the actual coaching and value-add of the manager–sales representative discussion. It’s not about you the manager, its about the rep and how you can help him or her be the best they can possibly be.

During the writing of my book The Street Savvy Sales Leader, I went through the process of becoming a professionally certified business coach by the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (Conducted by Shift Coaching, shiftcoaching.ca). It was an extensive process that included several interactive training clinics, a substantial reading list, role-playing, observing practice-coaching sessions and putting in actual real-time, practical coaching hours. In all, the certification entailed well in excess of 70 hours[LC1]  of effort.

I wish I had gone through a coaching process like this earlier in my sales management career, as I would have been a more effective leader and coach if I had. I would recommend becoming a certified coach (from a reputable organization) to any dedicated Sales manager. It will make you a more seasoned, thoughtful and respected Sales leader.

Again, actual coaching means that you need to develop consistent and regular conversations that serve to help the sales process and sales rep development. These conversations need to be planned and must link to what you are trying to achieve as an organization and the culture you are creating.

Any additional thoughts and ideas on one on ones?, Would love to hear them, it is so important and needs to be a priority in all Sales Managers schedule.

For more information and insights into sales organization imperatives see my website,  www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com , or to pre order my upcoming book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide to Building Teams that Consistently Win New Business.

Street Savvy Sales Leadership offers individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, advising, and speaking engagements.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

 

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

 

My Garage Station Sales Preparation Aha Moment !!!

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

I just had an aha moment after needing my car to be repaired at a small family owned and operated service station in a small town of a population of 3,000.

I got to talking to the co-owner of the garage while I was waiting for my car to be finished. This couple  bought the business 3 years ago and they have tripled the business in that period.

Their customer service was impeccable, and you knew they treated their employees (perhaps 5  employee’s in total) like gold.

The co-owner explained to me that they paid their mechanic higher than any other mechanic in the region, gave him 4 weeks off a year, paid vacation, and supplied lunch every single day.

That mechanic treated the business like it was his own.

After my service was complete they went over in detail what they had done and explained to me that the parts were under warranty and that if anything goes wrong, let them know and they’ll make sure they fix it, they then gave me their card so I could call anytime.

The real point of my story is that the one partner used to be a sales person before buying this business. I mentioned that I was in sales to and had written a book about sales. She was intrigued and said she would buy one of my books for sure. There you go, I made a quick sale in the middle of nowhere.

She then went on to say that she knew how difficult it can be to be a sales person and her business receives calls all the time from sales people wanting her business. Whether it be for tools, insurance, cleaning supplies you name it.

Because of her experience as a sales person herself, she is particularly sensitive to sales people and makes sure that when they call she is kind and doesn’t just fluff them off.

The aha moment for me came when I learned very quickly that the sales challenges that I write about extensively are much more pervasive than I imagined.  Sure my book applies to all B2B business, but I really didn’t think in terms of this small an example.

She told me the story of receiving a call from a sales person asking to speak to the owner. She politely asked the sales person if they knew what the owner’s name was. The sales rep responded that no he didn’t know the name but wanted to speak with whoever it was.

She promptly hung up and told me, if a rep can’t even be prepared enough and do the research to know who the owners of the business are, they don’t get any time with me.

Here is a small b2b business owner, in a small town, far from any sized city environment, and she wants a better B2B sales experience. She wants more from sales people.

Just think of how important and how prepared you need to be in every sales interaction, and multiply that 10x for larger and more complex sales engagements.

Buyers expectations are higher than they have ever been, and I mean pretty much any buyer.

Do not underestimate the importance of preparing--if you don't prepare, be prepared to fail.

For more information and insights into sales organization imperatives see my website,  www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com , or to pre order my upcoming book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide to Building Teams that Consistently Win New Business.

Street Savvy Sales Leadership offers individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, advising, and speaking engagements.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

 

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

The Top Three Challenges Facing Sales Organizations Today And What To Do About It !

Photo by Shane Rounce

Photo by Shane Rounce

This is definitely my most important post so far.

While companies all face different challenges, there are three universal ones plaguing the sales industry today:

1. The buyer’s journey has changed dramatically. There are now more decision makers in every sales situation; the buyer is busier, more knowledgeable and more risk-averse; the buyer’s expectations of the sales profession are much higher; and the decision process is more complex. Thus, it is harder than ever to move a buyer to make a change.

2. It is tougher than ever before to differentiate your offering. Companies and salespeople are struggling to stand out and truly offer something of sincere value in every step of the sales process to their customers in a very crowded market. Even if you have a product or service that can be differentiated it’s still tough to get buyer mindshare.

3. Sales reps are facing increasingly complex and time-challenging demands. Companies want more data (typically through CRM platforms), reps need to be more knowledgeable about their product and more prepared for every sales interaction than they ever have and there is greater pressure on reps to provide consistently higher sales. The reps may not receive sufficient support, so they need to work harder to balance increased internal demands against winning more sales.

 

So, here we have the perfect storm: a more complex and challenging customer environment, where more time is essential to properly prepare for each customer interaction; a proliferation of products and competitors that makes differentiation more challenging; and increased expectations for both sales achievements and non-selling activities.

 

My strident message to senior sales leaders and B to B executives and owners;

You absolutely cannot have your cake and eat it, too. Sales needs the time to focus on selling and, at the same time, the sales organization needs to close the gap between buyers’ expectations and the sales community’s skills and expertise.

So if you want to be a world class sales organization, give your team the tools and support they need and let your sales people sell. Do not overburden them with non selling stuff !!!

 

Creating a Best-in-Class Sales Team

I have witnessed firsthand these increased challenges in the marketplace and in the customer mindset, yet I believe sales remains an exciting and rewarding career. Despite what others may suggest, sales is not dead, it is evolving. And we in the field must adapt.

In order to meet business growth objectives, you need to overcome today’s challenges. The only way to do that is to build a best-in-class sales team. By best-in-class, I mean a sales organization built on a solid foundation that’s composed of a winning, supportive and collaborative sales culture; caring leadership; an effective hiring process; a strong sales process with robust analytics; proven execution; a customer-driven philosophy; and a mindset of continuous improvement and learning.

 

Below are the 10 imperatives that I believe are critical for developing a sales organization that will help you win in the marketplace and meet your revenue goals.

 

1. A well-thought-out, customized hiring process to find the candidates with the most potential to succeed.

2. A defined onboarding program and talent management system that will get your new hires firing on all cylinders as quickly as possible and keep them that way.

3. A finely tuned sales process and funnel management.

4. Appropriate key performance indicators, metrics and analytics to measure success.

5. Sales planning to ensure you are calling on the right targets and that your salespeople are focused.

6. Sales methodology to ensure consistency and effectiveness in the sales process.

7. Effective real-time coaching to help your salespeople be their best.

8. Compensation and reward and recognition programs that are aligned with what you need to achieve.

9. Change management, because change is here to stay.

10. A caring, high-performance culture where sales employees feel they are a part of something of value and where they can express themselves and collaborate freely in a team environment.

 

These imperatives will enable your sales leadership to create a best-in-class sales team, which will provide your organization with the best possible opportunity to win in the marketplace.

 

It is these 10 imperatives that my book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader is all about.

 

For more information and insights into sales organization imperatives see my website,  www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com , or to pre order my upcoming book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide to Building Teams that Consistently Win New Business.

Street Savvy Sales Leadership offers individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, advising, and speaking engagements.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

 

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

Listen Up Sales Leaders; What did over 100 sales professionals express to me about what was important to them in receiving coaching?

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During the writing of my upcoming book (The Street Savvy Sales Leader, due out September 2018, Figure 1 publisher) I interviewed over 100 sales professionals one on one.

One of the questions I asked was to tell me about coaching that you’ve experienced in your sales career that helped make a positive difference for you.

Four main themes emerged over all others:

Number 1: Trust. The reps needed to know that their manager was genuine and sincere and had their best interests at heart. This meant listening to the reps, asking questions and being open to ideas and constructive feedback. If the leader was trusted, feedback was given  freely.

Number 2: It was important that the coaching was specific to each individual’s needs and goals. Reps wanted the coaching to be unique to them personally. They said they much preferred real-world, relatable examples to textbook scenarios. The reps also indicated that they were much more responsive to collaborative coaching rather than a directive style that simply told them how to do a task.

Number 3: Salespeople need coaching not only to come from a credible source but also to be credible. In other words, the Sales leader is leading by example because of their experience and expertise. The rep values the coach’s viewpoint and recognizes the benefit of creative new ideas and strategic account and sales call assistance.

Number 4: Coaching needs to be timely, even in real time if necessary, and relevant. The immediate application of coaching lessons leads to sticky behavior. Regularly scheduled coaching calls will reap benefits.

Below is a summary of coaching fundamentals that I believe are imperative to a successful sales coaching environment.

         1) Coaching practices need to be developed, supported and maintained company-wide.

         2) Coaching is about listening and asking questions; it’s about helping salespeople be self-aware and staying on a continuous path of learning.

         3) Managers need to gain trust in order to coach most effectively, and they need to genuinely care about their people.

         4) Coaching needs to be specific and relevant to the needs and goals of every individual.

        5) Expectations need to be set up front. What are the deliverables and expected outcomes?

         6) Coaching needs to add value and come from a place of credibility, experience and relevance.

         7) Good coaching should help salespeople stay focused.

         8) Coaching needs to be timely and have a regular cadence.

         9) Coaching should be hands-on. Time needs to be spent in the field.

         10) Not only are the best coaches creative and innovative, they also help their people think creatively and be innovative.

During the writing of my book, I went through the process of becoming a professionally certified business coach by Shift Coaching Inc (www.shiftcoaching.ca). It was an extensive process that included several interactive training clinics, a substantial reading list, role-playing, observing practice-coaching sessions and putting in actual real-time, practical coaching hours. In all, the entire certification process entailed well in excess of 70 hours of effort.

I wish I had gone through a coaching process like this earlier in my sales management career, as I would have been a more effective leader and coach if I had. I would recommend becoming a certified coach (from a reputable organization) to any dedicated Sales manager. It will make you a more seasoned, thoughtful and respected Sales leader.

Again, actual coaching means that you need to develop consistent and regular conversations that serve to help the sales process and sales rep development. These conversations need to be planned and must link to what you are trying to achieve as an organization.

 

I would love to hear your viewpoint on the coaching experience, please feel free to comment.

 

To read about other sales leadership topics or to increase your sales productivity check out my website www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com .

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

For individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, or advising feel free to contact me by email mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

 

What Is Your Sales Turnover Costing Your Business?

Photo by Matthew Kane

Photo by Matthew Kane

A study titled Hiring Top Sales Management, conducted by the Sales Management Association in late 2015, found that a mere 33 percent of the 152 firms involved in the study conducted a well-defined hiring process when hunting for new sales talent. If you extrapolate from these study results, it means that two-thirds of sales organizations hire one of the most important roles in the company using an informal process (in other words: they hire without putting a lot of thought into the key ingredients of a successful hire for their organization). Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement and ways to save companies from lost opportunity by making the wrong call.

What gets measured, gets done, and stats can really help in determining where problems lie. Ideally, you want to know the turnover statistics of your sales force separate from the rest of the company. Also, statistics should be broken down by wanted and unwanted, or voluntary versus involuntary. This is HR language for when someone exits the organization on their own (voluntary or unwanted) or whether they were asked to leave (wanted or involuntary).

A voluntary exit and an involuntary exit are two different challenges and need to be dealt with in different ways. Exit interviews should be conducted for all voluntary exits in order to fix problems that might otherwise continue to arise or to spot underlying trends that you may need to pay attention to.

Let’s look at some numbers to illustrate what I mean. Let’s say you have a sales staff of 46, and three employees leave on average per month. At first glance, that doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? But it equates to an annual sales employee turnover of 78 percent. Almost 80 percent of your sales resources has turned over in this simple example:

Formula: Divide the number of employees who left over the period by the average number of total employees over the period.

3 exits x 12 months = 36 exits

36 exits over 46 total sales force is 78% per annum

For a monthly turnover rate in this example, you would divide 3 exits by 46 staff, which would be 6.5% per month. Obviously, that’s not a good statistic.

The three exits per month should be broken down by voluntary and involuntary so you can know how many were let go versus those who left on their own. If, on average, two leave per month on their own, that’s a voluntary turnover of 52 percent and an involuntary rate of 26 percent. Both statistics would need improvement, but it is critical to examine the voluntary exits to figure out the root cause of each of the exits. Without knowing the root causes, the company could be spending a lot of money unnecessarily on trying to fix the wrong things.

There are hugely differing views on the cost of replacing sales hires, varying from a low of one-third of the individual’s salary to over 100 percent of the individual’s salary. I’ve seen numbers as high as $600,000 and more. A 2012 article in Selling Power indicates that salesperson mis-hires can cost as much as $616,000. It is difficult to pinpoint an overall number, however, as the circumstances are so totally different from one company to another. Some might use recruiters to find new hires, and doing so can carry a high cost. Some companies use internal recruiters who, in turn, recruit through job boards on the internet and may also use recruiters. Some organizations might, on average, have mostly long-tenured salespeople while other companies may have mostly less-tenured salespeople. Obviously, the cost will be higher in losing long-tenured, good performers. They are tough to replace.

To go back to the example given above, if you use the most conservative mis-hire cost of 100 percent of the salary of any given sales employee, and that salary is $60,000, the cost would be $60,000 per exit. The turnover in the example would be costing the company a conservative $2 million-plus per year. Again, I view this as conservative if you think about recruitment costs, retraining and onboarding the new salespeople and getting them up to the same productivity levels as the employee who left. This could take three months, and in most cases, six to 12 months or even longer. During this time, no or minimal sales will be achieved and the demands of the manager during onboarding will be significant. Potential customer issues could arise, and there’s the risk of prospects being dropped or lost in the cracks between transitions. The list goes on.

A thorough hiring practice review could help prevent a good portion of these costs. I lived this firsthand in one company where I was the sales leader. We had well over a 60-percent turnover rate when I joined the company. By building well thought out hiring practices in partnership with HR, we brought down the turnover to under 30 percent. This was a massive cost savings for the company and resulted in a significant uplift in sales productivity.

It’s worthy to note, that to attract and retain new hires you need to have a pay structure and a compensation plan that is market competitive and a solid sales culture, or you won’t attract the right people and/or keep them. I have heard it said on several occasions that people don’t work for money. I beg to differ when it comes to sales. Sure, there are other factors, but good salespeople—your top talent—want to get paid well. Pretty much in every single interview I have conducted (which would be in the hundreds), rarely was money not an issue at some point in the hiring process.

For every voluntary exit, the organization should always conduct an exit interview, as mentioned earlier, to understand why people are leaving, especially if they are top performers. This can often be a challenge to get to the root cause, as exiting employees are not always candid or forthcoming about the real reason they want to leave the company. But it is worth the effort to come as close as possible to the answers, so that you can make improvements where necessary. You can also spot problem areas when, for example, the turnover is higher on one sales team on average than it is on another sales team. This gives you an opportunity to probe and find out what might be going on within that team to cause the disruptions/turnover.

Of course there are many factors in sales turnover, but fixing or improving hiring practises is a great start to improving turnover rates.

Key Questions to Ask

For the sales leader, here are some points to consider :

Have you investigated and detailed the drivers of performance for the top performers in your company?

Have you created a model of “what good looks like” that helps make clear those drivers and behaviors of top performers?

Have you developed a program to test for those drivers for new recruits?

Have you created detailed and well-thought-out job descriptions or profiles for all your sales roles?

Have you created specific interview questions and assessment competency tests?

Do you have a standard hiring process to ensure consistent results?

Have you established a hiring criteria grid to organize and rank your hiring short list?

Do you manage and track turnover by tenure and experience, so you can manage the sales rep’s lifecycle and raise the performance based on tenure?

Have you developed an effective reference-checking process?

Do you conduct exit interviews with unwanted turnover employees?

Do you have a compelling story to recruit the best salespeople possible?

I would love to hear your viewpoint on this topic, please comment below. Or email me at mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com

To read about other sales leadership topics or to increase your sales productivity check out my website www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

Mark Welch

Founder

Street Savvy Sales Leadership

www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com

For individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, or advising feel free to contact me by email mark@streetsavvysalesleadership.com