Ten ways to retain and develop salespeople

  • Ensure you have a mentor in place (that doesn’t mean the MD)
  • Information is key – encourage attendance at conferences and seminars as well as subscriptions
  • Performance related bonus schemes motivate no end – KPIs don’t just mean financial targets though
  • Money is it’s own reward so give time in lieu, buy books and of course, drinks – maybe even set up an Amazon wish list for the company
  • Regular team meetings should be more than catch ups – encourage debate and brain storming – but keep them short!
  • Make reporting simple and ensure the whole team knows about successes and don’t niggle about expenses
  • Set quarterly tasks – rethink your approach to presenting, or the newsletter focus or even target sectors. Trust their brains and get genuine buy in
  • One to ones are essential so take the time to spend an hour together – a drink after work or a lunch will build bonds and spend the time listening not talking
  • Training on the job is one thing but make sure there is a plan! If not write one together – set targets and stick to time lines
  • Get outside experts to come in and train your team – every pound spent on training will see a return on investment tenfold! Even refreshing objection handling techniques will reap results.

If any of my previous managers had done just half of the above properly I probably wouldn’t be writing this post, I’d still be working at an agency! If you choose to follow this path be consistent and deliver – human beings are more disappointed when they are promised change that isn’t then delivered than if they know for certain things are just going to remain the same.

If you’d like to have am informal chat about any of the above, about our training offer or even how to set up a development plan for your sales team then get in touch.

7 Comments on “Ten ways to retain and develop salespeople”

  1. I agree with much of what you have written there, with the exception of “Get outside experts to come in and train your team – every pound spent on training will see a return on investment tenfold!” – over the years I have spent tens of thousands of pounds on external training and have NEVER seen ANY return WHATSOEVER!! Now you may say that’s because ofd this or that or whatever, but it is my experience.

    1. Hi Adam, thanks for the comments. Glad we agree on most things! Have to say I am surprised by your opinion on external training. My own experience has been fantastic – hats off to Shan Preddy – and I found it made a real difference to get outside perspective. I guess the intensity of the sessions I undertook helped, and I know my employers at the time saw a difference in my confidence, approach and results. Knowing the calibre of people who come up through RSW I can only assume the trainers themselves just didn’t get the set up there, or the skills they were trying to pass on just weren’t relevant. Anyone else out there shares Adam’s experience? Or can someone (apart from us) who undertakes sales training perhaps offer to explain why he didn’t see ROI? I guess more detail needed, but I understand his disappointment because we all want to believe these things make a difference. I would offer to do half a day with some of Mr W’s folk for nothing to see if they get owt of it but he already thinks I’m a cheeky sod as it is!


  2. LOL no I don’t think you’re a cheeky sod at all Owen!! But to be honest with you, with a team as good as the one I have here these days training us unnecessary 😉

    Being serious for a minute though, I think you’re probably right. The thing is that no trainers we have ever used have really got us.

  3. I can’t imagine teaching sales techniques to salespeople at a new business / lead gen agency – sounds like a tough gig for anyone, no matter how talented they might be.

  4. My take has always been there’s always going to be some approach, technique or bit of knowledge that you don’t know yet, or even worse that you’ve forgotten and any course you go on can help you dig this out or discover it! Again the trainers I have had have always been excellent. Like us I am sure round table sales meetings occur at both your offices where you talk about an approach and share ideas, JP is always good at this and there’s an element of “learning” involved in listening too. Still, you’re both right, it’s hard to teach experts.

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