Attracting and retaining the best people is a conversation almost always reserved for supporting employees—the front line and behind-the-scenes workers who make companies tick. But what about salespeople? Shouldn’t they factor into that discussion as well? Isn’t the threat of losing a top revenue contributor just as unsettling?
Losing a productive salesperson can be exponentially worse to the bottom line. While everyday employees can cost up to two and a half times their salary in replacement costs, the dollars associated with sales rep defection can be much higher when you factor in repeat business over time and of course, the existing client relationships that leave with them.
Losing quality reps is not just about revenue. All facets of the business suffer. Marketing loses their eyes and ears and that means that the business can lose its competitive edge.
So what steps should you take to make sure your best salespeople aren’t tempted to take their talents elsewhere? Some would say that you need to constantly revise your sales compensation plan to make sure it’s as rich as it can be. I agree, but suggest you think more about using non-cash components like hedonic luxuries and aspirational travel.
For the vast majority of quota busters these types of rewards are actually valued more highly than cash. Why? As a motivational mechanism it takes more and more money to have a significant impact on highly compensated sales achievers. When you offer a “cost free indulgence” instead, it is perceived as a more valuable reward than ordinary money is. It’s more motivating and therefore more effective and that’s something that will help keep your top sales performers.