Why put an effort to please your sales department when you can alienate and get them to work at other companies? Why work on maintaining healthy sales forces, if you can sabotage them at every step, here are 12 battle-tested tips on how to get rid of the best salespeople within a quarter.
1. Sales commissions cap
Highly efficient sales organizations consistently attract and retain the best sales talents, rewarding them with well-chosen incentive systems that are better than the market average.
Commissions are the easiest and fastest way to mutilate sales forces. Keeping restrictions on commissions removes the motivation of salespeople to close sales after reaching the limit and motivates them to transfer the transaction to the next accounting period, the so-called “Sandbagging”.
When it is, for example, a quarter, the organization may incur measurable losses due to customers who were not invoiced.
2. Frequent changes in the remuneration plan.
Changing the rules of the game is the fastest way to frustrate players. Information for the Sales Department that their maturing sales potential will lead to a lower payout than expected, the team demoralizes.
If a correction is needed, the team must be notified in good time with the specific reasoning behind the decision being prepared.
3. Payment of commission only for the sale of specific products/services.
If the BDM/AM makes a sale that generates the desired profit for the company, pay him for it. Paying commission only on the sale of some products, and others not, despite both types of sales-generating profit for the company, demotivates the best employees.
Rewarding a representative for each sale that benefits the company adapts it to the company’s goal.
4. Penalty for the sales team for poor after-sales service.
Punishing the team for after-sales service diverts attention away from making sales.
The best companies focus their representatives on providing sales results, always rewarding excellent results. Sales reps have a different approach to after-sales relationships with customers.
As long as sales representatives sell and maintain healthy relationships after the so-called “delivery”, no matter how engaged they should be, they should achieve the desired result. Maybe the solution will be the specialization of sellers – hunters and ranchers?
5. Failure to provide innovative products and services.
The best sales reps have to sell great solutions. They are not satisfied with the sale of offers “we also have it”. The best-selling sales organizations must provide products that solve significant customer problems.
Otherwise, they risk losing salespeople to the competition, which will develop excellent and innovative products.
6. Keeping weak salespeople in the team.
If hiring good salespeople seems expensive, talk to any sales leader who has ever built a team of mediocre salespeople.
Unprofitable salespeople are exhausting financial resources, burdening managerial resources and damaging the brand’s reputation on the market.
Filling a vacancy quickly can be tempting, but it shows other better sellers that you don’t have to try, which in turn reduces overall team performance. Is it worth it
7. The sales manager who does not leave the office
Managers cannot manage sales from the Sauron’s Tower. Successful managers are fully committed to clients to discover their needs and are associated with their team. Representatives should meet with clients together with their managers. For Inside Sales managers, the rule is the same.
They should make video calls or phone calls to clients. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving feedback from a manager who has no contact with the realities of a sales team meeting clients without the support of that manager. The best sales leaders spend time developing relationships with customers and employees because they build trust.
8. Avoiding training and coaching.
Coaching not only affects the company’s revenues but is also a retention tool that is directly related to job satisfaction. Research shows that salespeople who have regular training and coaching more often recommend their workplace to others. In other words, they are “promoters” using the standard NPS (Net Promoter Score) satisfaction measure.
9. Taking over the best clients by the supervisor or assigning them to their team favourites.
Let your representatives be responsible for their own work. Chuck Blakeman, business advisor and author of the book “Making Money Is Killing Your Business”, writes: “Ownership is the most powerful motivating factor in business, and decision making is the foundation of ownership.”
Representatives who retain the property of a potential client from the upbringing stage have the motivation to close them. Managers should allow sales to be closed to those sellers who generated leads and lead the customer to the closing process.
10. Focus on working time instead of results.
The results are important. The best sellers thrive in the environment, and their results are evaluated based on measurable business goals.
It may seem frustratingly irrelevant when the sales leader pays too much attention to the agent’s hours of work, work, and time spent “sitting” or drinking coffee when that salesman delivers results. Of course, when we have a sales process built – our sales department should follow it.
Team micro-management demotivates the sales team to act. To maintain the greatest sales talents, set clear expectations for success and focus your KPIs on these results.
11. Payment of commissions with a long delay.
Providing sales representatives with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to strengthen proper sales behaviour and maintain their loyalty and productivity.
For the best BDM, it can be demotivating to ensure high sales and not receive commissions. Providing sales representatives with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to strengthen proper sales behaviour and maintain their loyalty. According to Mark Roberge, who built the sales team at HubSpot, bonuses/commissions must be paid immediately.
12. Forcing salespeople to attend too many internal meetings.
Time spent at meetings is a time when representatives could sell. Before inviting a sales team to a meeting, seriously think about whether it is necessary. If it’s not necessary, don’t make them sit. If you need to include them, make sure you have a clear and specific program.
Move quickly and systematically. The best thing what you can do for your sales reps if they need to be absolutely in a meeting is to provide the maximum amount of information in a minimum amount of time. Instead, start each meeting with a plan. It is important to stick to the plan once it is set.
These mistakes can cost you the loss of the best-performing salespeople. If you notice that you are doing something on the list above, immediately stop yourself. Use if you can these 12 proven tips.
None of these items is worth risking the resignation of the salespeople you have recruited so hard.
Fast Forward Solutions specializes in recruitment services in the area of International Sales & Digital Marketing, mainly for Clients from the Tech Sector. Our rigorous and proven methodology combines role profiling, executive search, and assessment of candidates, complemented by consultancy services.
We provide guaranteed results and quickly reach top talents available on the market, thanks to which every organization co-operating with us will be able to increase sales, reduce operating costs and improve human resource efficiency, company valuation, and investors’ confidence. Tom Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, executive recruiter president, and founder of FFS.