Three tips for retaining great salespeople this summer

Attracting, and keeping, good salespeople is at the top of every sales manager’s list of priorities. The better we are at inspiring, and holding on to, great salespeople, the happier, more engaged and the more successful they will be. Here are three things that you’ll want to keep in mind this summer to help your organization keep your best salespeople.

Remove the roadblocks. You want your sellers to focus on selling: having conversations with prospective buyers, making sure that they have enough opportunities in the funnel and managing that funnel from initial contact to close. As a leader, you must make sure it’s as easy as possible for your sellers to get a given deal through the internal systems. That means minimizing the administrative load your sales contributors must carry. Yes, they need to do some reporting and they must get essential information to senior leadership. No, they don’t need to generate detailed reports that no one ever looks at. And no, they shouldn’t be spending big chunks of their day managing inventory or attending operational meetings. Do your best to remove the organizational roadblocks that keep salespeople from doing what you hired them to do: interact with buyers.

Consistency. Salespeople want consistency in three different areas:

Do we treat the members of our sales team consistently or do we give some people “special consideration?” The phenomenon of treating a so-called “star performer” differently from the rest of the team is known as entitlement and is highly counterproductive. For those not being treated the same way as the “star performer” there is inevitably resentment, confusion and a sense of unfair play. And those who are receiving special treatment come to feel like they’re above the law and are justified in focusing on “me” over “we.” Add it all up and you’re looking at a tumor on the sales organization.

How do we act? What are the processes that we follow? Do we even have a process as sales leaders? What are all the things that should happen predictably, such as sales meetings and one-on-ones or account reviews? We need to have a known process, but most salespeople don’t like process and may feel that too much process represents micromanagement. In fact, the right amount of process, and consistency, equals freedom. That consistency and comfort, should always be clear to the members of your team.

How do we react?  Salespeople want to know how we react to certain situations. They want to understand our emotional makeup and they want stability. If we have a strong emotional response to issue X on Monday, but for no apparent reason downplay the same issue on Tuesday, we are sending mixed messages and that makes salespeople uncomfortable. An unknown, or ever-changing, target can be confusing and unsettling for salespeople. We want them to focus their energy on the buyer environment rather than on figuring out how we’re going to react to something.

Tools/Training. Salespeople may sometimes feel bombarded with too many tools or, perhaps, may not understand the value of these tools. Our job is to identify the tools, and training, that offer the highest impact and then make sure they are being used properly to make the salesperson’s job easier and more efficient. For instance, you certainly want to make time to train your salespeople and you want to make sure you’re reviewing, and coaching, their talk tracks based on that training. Personalized playbooks, as an example, are important tools because they clearly lay out the daily, and weekly, behavioral plan for each individual salesperson. Another tool, the precall planner, helps both managers and salespeople focus on the critical action items for an upcoming call. It allows salespeople to strategize ahead of time about the most important things they hope to accomplish during the call. 

Address those three big issues—roadblocks, consistency and tools—and you will find it much easier to hold on to the best salespeople this summer and beyond.

Jim Marshall is owner and president of Sandler Training of Tampa Bay which provides sales, corporate and management training to high-achieving companies and individuals. Contact him at 813.287.1500 or

You May Also Like

Habits of salespeople who thrive during times of economic uncertainty

Are we in the midst of – or are about to enter – a period of economic uncertainty? Who knows? But some high-achieving salespeople don’t just survive hard times – they create new “personal best” performance levels during potential down cycles in their business. How do they do it?  In a new white paper, the

Four big takeaways to grow your business

Every year, more than 1,000 of the world’s top sales, leadership and management professionals gather in Orlando for what we call the Sandler Sales & Leadership Summit, where we network, share ideas, celebrate each other’s successes and participate in sessions led by top Sandler training professionals from the United States and around the world. The

The Etiquette of Enthusiasm

Have you ever had an idea so strong you felt like you could not wait to share it? It seems most of us will agree, publicly at least, that we don’t like a “Donnie Downer” (surely you can appreciate the reason we don’t say “Debbie Downer”…), and yet very rarely do we think our enthusiasm

Is your selling process aligned with your buyer’s journey?

What process do your buyers follow before deciding to buy?  Regardless of the person’s title, product, service or industry, we can map out a clear progression from the time a prospect is considering a purchase until the contract is signed and payment is made. The stages of the buyer’s journey that salespeople need to understand

Other Posts

20 Questions with Freddy Williams

President, CEO Boys and Girls Clubs Suncoast Freddy Williams is a Florida native and proud Boys & Girls Club alumni. He was named president and chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast in 2016. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast serves more than 20,000 local youth each year and

Global executive coaching and leadership consultancy relocates to Tampa from London

Newmanity, a leadership consultancy, plans to relocate from London to Tampa due to the business growth in South Florida, according to a statement. Newmanity has experience working with the world’s biggest brands including Mcdonald’s, Lego and Reckitt, the statement said. Newmanity is an executive coaching and leadership consultancy that works at the intersection of business,

On the Scene: TBBW Awards 2023 (PHOTOS)

More than 500 guests, including finalists and sponsors, were in attendance for the 2023 Tampa Bay Business Women Awards, held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in Tampa. Fifty women were honored for their work in business and the Tampa Bay community, with 17 being named winners in their categories. Rhea Law, president

20 Questions With Ian Black

Ian Black is the founder of Ian Black Real Estate. He has worked in commercial real estate, in Sarasota-Manatee since the 1980s but prior to that, he lived in his homeland of Northern Ireland, which he fled shortly after his real estate office in Belfast was destroyed in a bombing during The Troubles. He opened