3 tips for improving employee retention among sales reps

Keep sales reps happy to improve overall success

By Brian Thompson,

Training a sales team requires money, time and additional resources. If a business loses employees they must hire replacements for those sales reps as well as pour more money into training new staff. 

Keeping a team on board is the key to making the most out of the available resources. Knowing how to keep a sales team loyal to an operation will help improve overall retention.

1. Allow freedom 
By providing sales reps with a certain amount of freedom when they work, employers can enhance the overall satisfaction of its staff, according to Entrepreneur. 

Giving your sales team control over when, where and how they get the job done can help immensely. The implementation of strict guidelines and regulations won't motivate employees to improve sales productivity. However, flexibility can boost each individual's productivity and attract potential employees as well. 

"Businesses should praise top sellers and those who have shown significant improvement."


2. Offer support 
According to Canadian Professional Sales Association, offering support and helpful resources to a sales team helps them perform well and improves their experience with an operation. A business should send a survey or ask employees what they would like to see from management.

In addition, businesses should praise top sellers and those who have shown significant improvement. Feeling valued will help encourage sales reps to continue working for the same operation.

3. Proper compensation plans 
The Harvard Business Review indicated implementing a thoughtfully considered and developed compensation plan for a sales team will help encourage more sales productivity. Appropriately awarding those who perform at a high level will also keep a business's top employees. 

When determining how to motivate sales reps using a compensation plan, managers should consider each group of performers. For example, the core performers typically account for a majority of the entire sales force. Keeping this larger group happy and rewarding strides in performance is key. 

A study from the Harvard Business Review demonstrated that low-performing sales reps would likely decrease overall performance if management removed quarterly bonuses and only offered an annual bonus by 10 percent. Core and star salespeople would only decrease performance by 4 percent and 2 percent respectively under the same conditions. With decreased productivity across the board, it is evident providing bonuses on a quarterly basis is one way to successfully compensate sales reps. 

While holding a competition with prizes, such as additional money, might initially seem like a good way to motivate a sales force, the core performers will likely fall to the wayside because top sales reps will dominate competitions. Sales executives should consider providing non-monetary prizes for various levels of performers. 

The low- and star-performers of a sales team also deserve a compensation plan that motivates them and ensures they feel capable of reaching sales goals relative to their abilities and skills. In some instances social pressure can improve the sales productivity of lower performing sales reps while not putting a limit on rewards would be an appropriate incentive for the highest performing individuals.  

With compensation management software an operation can easily implement an operate under a successful compensation plan employees will love. 

Add new comment

About the author

Brian Thompson