In today’s climate, it is not surprising that many companies have struggled to retain their sales team. External factors such as economic downturns, the pandemic and recessions have seen some companies lose the fight for survival.
A recent Forbes article notes that failing to attract and retain talent is a top reason companies will fail in the next 10 years. Failing to sell will also close any business very quickly.
We cannot disagree that sales competency and motivation play a vital role in keeping your best people.
Retaining salespeople – Understanding the competency of a salesperson
Amid what many are calling the ‘Great Resignation’, many companies are re-evaluating and restructuring how they attract, develop and retain talent. Companies are reviewing the skills they need to achieve their goals, ensuring they have the right people in the right roles.
Many companies also invest in new sales hires, processes, training and development, coaching and technology. These steps are bearing fruit. For instance, a recent Gartner report reveals that 57% of Chief Sales Officers are seeing an above-target attrition of sellers in their organisation.
One of the first steps that successful companies take is understanding the competencies within their sales team. These include, but are not limited to:
- Desire vs commitment
- Sales DNA
- Ability to prospect
- Qualifying new leads
- Consultative selling
- Active listening
- Social Selling
- Building rapport/trust
At Doqaru, we track over 30 core sales competencies with our data-driven tool. Evaluating several competencies provides a detailed understanding of whether a salesperson can do their job and what training or coaching they might need to support sales performance.
Some of the benefits of evaluating sales competencies include:
- Hiring the right people – predictive validation on performance is possible when data is used
- Relevant and tailored onboarding programmes
- Restructuring initiatives that add value
- Better support for salespeople within their specific selling role
- Motivating salespeople based on their individual tendencies
- Building an effective sales team and reap the rewards across the business
Retaining salespeople – Focus on Motivation
We are all motivated differently. This can make it difficult for sales managers to meet the needs of their teams. Yet, if managers don’t motivate appropriately, is negatively impacts performance.
Salespeople are not necessarily motivated by money, which can come as a surprise for some. Motivation can appear as Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and/or Altruistic.
Intrinsic sellers tend to be motivated by recognition, fulfilment, satisfaction, enjoyment, love of selling, mastery, or even when they have something to prove to others. They are often more consistent in a longer and more complex sales cycle. Of all the sales competency assessments that Doqaru have done, over 70% of sellers have been fully intrinsically motivated.
Extrinsic sellers tend to be motivated by money, rewards, toys, vacations, and material things. They are more effective in a shorter and/or more heavily commissioned sales cycle.
Altruistic sellers are motivated to serve others at a cost to themselves. These salespeople put the customer ahead of their company’s needs and requirements.
By meeting the individual needs of your team, you are likely to retain them in your organisation.
Retaining salespeople – Assessing sales competencies and performance
At Doqaru, we always start with the data. Or our MRI, as we like to call it. Scanning the business and understanding what is going on, together with the objectives highlights any gaps and opportunities.
Part of the MRI is an analysis of the sales team’s competencies. If your team don’t have the right expertise, driving sales performance becomes more challenging.
Our sales competency evaluations and improvement analysis (SEIA) help you understand your team’s current capability. The data from our analysis provides a detailed understanding of the opportunities and gaps that might require support, hiring new people, or revising your sales and marketing strategy.
If you’re looking to drive better sales performance in your team, here are three steps to consider:
1. Start with your people in mind
Businesses often jump into changing the strategic direction when something isn’t working. In reality, you can have the best strategy and processes. However, if you don’t have the right people, the implementation will not work.
2. You can’t measure what you don’t track
Understanding and tracking the right data allows continuous improvement and growth. Over time, you build and maintain the effectiveness of your sales team. Consider sales enablement technology for tracking and supporting your team. Agree on KPIs and engagement data.
3. The buyer’s journey is key
We often forget about the buyer’s journey when we build sales processes. Processes and selling behaviours must align with the buyers’ needs in today’s world. If your process is outdated, consider a refresh. For instance, more buyers want to interact on digital channels. So, make sure you have the right information available online. Train your salespeople to be video proficient and to use social selling techniques.
Want to find out more about how Doqaru can enable your B2B sales function?