Friday, November 17, 2017

Good Salespeople Rarely Leave Their Company; They Usually Leave Their Boss

An article by Rich Chiarello, President of Above the Line, LLC

25 years in sales management and executive roles taught me the number 1 reason salespeople gave for leaving their current position was they didn't feel valued or appreciated by their manager. Money usually came in 4th, 5th or 6th on their reasons for leaving. Lack of career progression or potential came high on the list, usually 2nd or 3rd. But the most damning reason of all was sloppy management.

"I'm too busy to ..." are often the last words a bad manager utters before their top salesperson decides to leave their team.

Managers who have a top salesperson in their team should understand their job is to get the best out of them. Generally they require little management but when they ask for help, it is usually a bad mistake to leave them hanging in the wind. Even a worse mistake to make is to promise that you will make the time they need with you, and then keep breaking that promise.

"You're known by the promises you KEEP not the ones you make!"

Managers tied up with busy work quickly become a bottleneck if their  inaction, indecisiveness or inattentiveness prevents the salesperson from being able to move forward on a deal or to resolve a problem.

Do it once, and you might be forgiven. Twice even. But make it a pattern especially where the manager makes promises to take action and then does nothing, and they leave the salesperson with the sense that their manager cannot be relied upon when they are needed to clear the path, approve resources or make time for a meeting where the salesperson needs some help.

Look after your good salespeople and they will look after you, your target and your profits. Encourage them to leave by bad management, inaction, being a bottleneck, breaking your commitments to them or not giving them the time and attention they need and you will be hit by a quadruple whammy:
  • They'll leave
  • They'll go to your competition
  • If one top performer leaves, a second is 50% more likely to leave within 6 months
  • You will have to go through the pain and cost of recruiting a replacement

Love your great salespeople (but not enough to end up in court!).

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