The famous saying, “Always Be Closing,” only rings true when you have the best salespeople on your team to get the job done.
In the past, high commissions and fancy perks may have been enough to attract premier talent. However, employees today want a variety of benefits that not only give them security but help them develop their professional success and personal well being.
Needless to say, employers have to rethink how they attract and retain top sales talent, and these four ways are a great place to start.
1. Focus on building your brand
People are committed to brands they love, and great sales employees are no different.
Why would a talented salesman want to work for a company with no clout or saleable image when they could easily cash in on brand names that people know and love? With that in mind, you have to position your brand as a dominant force in its respective industry and promote the reputation and aspirations it has for being a top contender against the competition.
Within your mission to promote your brand to top-tier sales talent, you can further discuss benefits, like…
- Partnerships and track record with major clients that showcase your authority in the industry
- What your employee culture is like amongst the sales team and how you recognize staff members for their contributions
- Explain what the possible career track might be for employees and how they can build their portfolios with impressive work and move into management positions
Remember, you need to convince top sales talent why your small business is the best for their career, so don’t be shy about promoting all the benefits of your brand and how you can help launch their professional and personal success.
2. Provide training opportunities
With a firm understanding of your brand in place, your next step is to provide top sales talent with training opportunities to cultivate their employee experience and gain useful skills.
For example, if your business relies on cold calls, then you may want to provide workshops or training sessions to improve conversion rates through a variety of coaching tools. This could include tactics like…
- Call monitoring sessions where you let your employees know that you may be dropping in on calls to gauge their expertise with leads and customer service.
- Call whisper sessions where your employee knows that you’re listening and they can showcase their abilities to you.
- Using scorecards to measure things like employee response rates and problem-solving skills.
- Call recording to sit with your sales employee to go over calls and discuss different possibilities for improvement.
More than anything, you have to provide sales employees with opportunities to better themselves. Whether it’s through training sessions, educational assistance, attending conferences, or having one-on-one workshops every week, your employee will value the consideration and care that you put into their professional development.
3. Offer competitive pay
Especially with sales, employees are mostly in it for the money. So, if you don’t offer competitive pay, your talent pool shrinks.
The basic rule is that if subpar salespeople are hired at a low pay rate, the only thing you get in return is terrible sales numbers. Furthermore, if you manage to hire talented salespeople at a low pay rate, then you’ll undoubtedly run into many cases of employee turnover. Not to mention, you waste even more money on recruiting costs, training periods, and missed sales opportunities.
That being said, your best route is to offer high compensation rates according to an employee’s skill level. If they have an impressive portfolio and ask for a high wage, then keep them happy and measure their performance along the way. If they bring in valuable sales, then great! However, if you notice that their numbers are slipping, then you can have a different discussion to evaluate their income and commissions.
4. Make the work meaningful
Finally, you have to remember that sales employees are people, too.
Nobody wants to show up and punch a clock without it meaning something. So as an employer, try your best to make the work meaningful and fulfilling. For example, if your company is just getting off the ground, emphasize to the sales team that every lead they get is a step closer to putting the company on the map of major competitors. Also, rather than wasting funds on ping pong tables and letting people bring their dog to work, offer incentives that lead to employees having a stake in the direction of the company to bolster the reasons for staying.
The job landscape today is filled with too many quick fixes and instantaneous rewards to hook employees, but if you can provide long-lasting benefits and experiences that go beyond the surface, you’ll have a stellar sales team for the long-haul.
Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
These views are made solely by the author.