You offer your top sales candidates a competitive base salary, a nicely laid out commission plan, and some standard benefits. You give them a desk, a computer, and supplies. You think to yourself — it’s go time! I’ve made the investment, now it’s time to get the returns… immediately!
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The investment in your new hire needs to be ongoing (beyond the comp plan), particularly if you want to build a team of sales people who are educated, committed, and passionate about what they do, and who they work for – YOU.
Invest in your sales reps’ professional development.
Last week, the Founder and Chief Strategist of The Bridge Group Inc, Trish Bertuzzi, came into OpenView Labs’ studio to create a podcast and video series. Investing in employees was a major topic of discussion when we covered building an inside sales team. You can check out the podcast that we created here.
Personal anecdote: At OpenView Venture Partners, Managing Director Brian Zimmerman has really been investing in me as a Sales Analyst in the Labs. He’s encouraged me to attend conferences and networking events. He has bought me “selling” books, and sent me to Sandler Selling Bootcamp classes.
The result: I feel valued and empowered. I feel committed to the firm; I’ve learned A LOT; I’ve and met a number of highly influential sales people, many of which I am communicating with now on a regular basis to share/gather ideas and insights.
Empower your employees
Don’t expect that a comp plan is going to keep your sales reps feeling great about their role and your organization forever. Short term, if they are performing well and hitting quotas — sure. Long term — no. As Trish mentioned last week, “People don’t leave companies. They leave managers.” Show your team that they are so valuable to you that you are willing to invest in their professional development.
In comparison to your other investments, this will seem like peanuts, particularly when you start seeing your attrition rate declining at your expansion stage business.
Here are three great investments to consider for your sales reps:
1. Local Sales Associations and Events
2. Sales Development Books
*Trish Bertuzzi also recommends books that the customers/buyer persona would be reading. Great idea!