The strength of the relationship between you and your sales team is fundamental to success. To achieve your goals, you need a talented and dedicated team behind you to execute sales strategy and bring home results.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed best practices for hiring salespeople. Now, let’s talk about how to keep them. It all comes down to three things: satisfaction, appreciation, and support.
Employers have always understood the importance of job satisfaction, but creating and maintaining satisfaction has always been something of a grey area.
Some think compensation is the core, while others point to benefits and quality of life. The truth is, job satisfaction emerges from a mix of different areas. Each member of your team has different priorities and values different “job perks” more and less based on those priorities.
Because of this, creating job satisfaction for your team starts with an open and honest dialogue. Guessing at the priorities of your team is an imprecise method, so it’s far better to just ask them directly .
This conversation doesn’t have to be detailed. Focus on the high-level needs and priorities of your team. If possible, ask each team member to rank their priorities in a hierarchy. Discuss their aspirations from a career perspective and what aspects of their work they are most passionate about.
Next, take what you’ve learned to the drawing board. As much as possible, find a fit between the priorities of your team and your overall sales strategy. Place team members into roles naturally aligned with their interests, and invest in benefits or perks aimed at maximizing their satisfaction.
When your team is producing more results than ever and at the same time couldn’t be happier, you’ll know you’ve succeeded.
Appreciation takes two forms: appreciating effort and appreciating circumstances.
As a leader, you play a key role as a mentor and coach for your team. Never let a good deed go unnoticed. Never forget your team doesn’t naturally have the same drive for the business you do. So when they go above and beyond for the company, the primary beneficiary is you. Be sure to thank them as you would any other effort on your behalf.
Secondly, set your expectations on the circumstances of each individual team member. Improvement, effort, and results cannot be fairly measured on a universal scale.
A 10% sales increase in a tough territory may be the result of greater effort and skill than a 200% increase in an easier one.
One of the biggest killers of trust between an employee and manager is the feeling of not being understood. Make sure your team knows you understand their circumstances.
Your job as a leader is to create the foundation for your team to succeed. Your sales team needs strategic support both to maximize their success and reduce the difficulty of their job.
Constantly ask yourself, “how can I do more to support my sales team.” Get feedback from your team about their needs and ask them what investments would make it easier for them to succeed.
Remember, your team is on the front lines. They know what works and are constantly receiving valuable customer feedback. It is mutually beneficial to get their feedback and fine-tune your support system and sales strategy more broadly.
Take these ideas and apply them to your business. You’ll be surprised how often what’s best for your team aligns with what’s best for your company.