Why Your Top Sales Guy is About to Quit
Finding and recruiting top sales professionals is a constant challenge for most business leaders and just when you think everything’s OK, your top sales guy hands in his notice. What’s worse, is have you ever noticed that your bottom sales performer never quits? And now the expensive lottery that is the recruitment process starts. The most popular misconception is that every sales person leaves for more money, and Yes I am sure some do, however the majority do not. The conversation now gets difficult, as most business leaders take it personally. When we talk to top sales people, the reasons they give for leaving are usually one or more of the following:
1) They’ve stopped learning.
The best Sales People are the best because they continuously want to get better. If they are not learning from their Sales Leadership team, they then get frustrated because they are ambitious. If you have any doubts about this ask at your next sales meeting, in a very nurturing manner, if your sales team have any interest in sales training. Your top performers that are hitting their sales targets will say Yes, and your bottom performers that never hit their sales targets will say No, because they are trapped in their comfort zone. Think of it like this. When you go to the gym do you expect the trainer to be fitter than you? Yes of course you do. So when sales people go to work, they expect their sales leaders to be better than them, so they can learn or at least provide other options for them to learn.
2) You’re going in a different direction.
Successful Sales People have bought into and share the Companys’ Vision and Values, or rather the company has successfully sold the sales people the Companys’ Vision and Values. This way their paths are aligned and they achieve success by working together towards their goals. Picture a boat about to set sail and the Captain wants to head East but the crew want to sail West. Something has got to give, and it’s usually the sales person who jumps ship to find a boat going in the direction he wants.
3) They are not being successful.
Every person inherently wants to turn up and do a good job. “Stuff” may get in the way that limits or prevents a sales person from hitting their sales targets, which then demotivates the sales person. This stuff appears in the form of excuses that sales people give for not hitting their sales targets. Some are genuine and some are fluff to cover poor performance, and finding out which is which is what good Sales Managers, Directors and VP’s do well.
The Money Myth – Once a sales person is unsettled and decides they need to change jobs, they then always look for a job with more money – remember they are ambitious. They do however want and need a reference, so when it comes to the exit interview the last thing they will tell you is the truth in case it upsets you. After all if a salesman was to say “I’m leaving because you refused to help me develop and grow, I don’t care about dominating the Global widget market and by the way your sales process is more like a sales prevention process”, how would you take it? It’s much easier just to say “sorry boss it’s not you it’s me, I simply can’t afford to turn this opportunity down”. This is further evidenced by the number of sales people who retract their resignation when their current employer matches or exceeds they higher pay offer and then within 12 months quit for good.
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