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Ensuring Good Sales Personnel Stay Put

(June 2005) posted on Mon Jun 06, 2005

Tips to keep your sales staff productive and happy.


By Marty McGhie

You can lose business to a good competitor in any number of
ways"?price, product diversity, quality, turnaround time, and
there are many others. One of the fastest ways to lose business,
however, is when one of your top salespersons leaves for another
company. Let's face it, business is all about relationships, and
your relationships with your customers are established and
maintained through your
sales personnel.

Of course, it's always
wise as managers to create
opportunities to associate
with your clients, so that
your sales reps are not the
only link to your customers.
You need to be in the picture.
Hence, in the event that a
salesperson does leave, you
have a much better chance
of retaining your client. But
better to avoid that problem in the first place"?to set up a plan
enabling you to keep your top sale reps.

Rewarding success, penalizing failure

Your first step in retaining your top salespeople should be to provide
them with a compensation package that allows them to make
good money. Sales people are a unique breed: Essentially, they
are willing to begin each month with nothing in their pocket except
the hope that by the end of the month they will have earned a large
commission from their efforts.

Don't fall into the trap of creating a situation that will stifle a
salesperson from earning big dollars. If, at the end of the month,
one of your sales reps has earned a huge commission check,
you should be thrilled"?that means you have lots of sales. Too
many owners and managers believe that their sales reps should
not make more money than them, but that thinking is wrong.
They are building equity in your business.

To this end, you should set up a compensation plan that creates
the right mixture of salary and commissions to reward
them for high sales. Don't neglect the extra benefits they'll need
to succeed. This can include cell phones, car and expense
allowances, computers, health-care benefits, retirement plans,
and any other fringe benefits (within reason) that may help
keep them happy.


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