I found this very interesting article talking about retaining top staff - sales - but I guess this maybe applicable for other areas of work as well...
Singapore - How much does it cost to lose a high performing employee? When you take into account their salary, benefits, orientation, training, and administration, it can be very costly.
How much does it cost to lose a top sales professional? When you add up the potential lost revenue, market share and profitability the individual can bring in on top of the usual expenses, the costs - including turnover and rehiring - could be immeasurable.
Tom Abbott, sales manager and trainer at Soho Sales Coaching, shares five tips to help HR professionals retain sales professionals:
Having strong sales leaders
Sales professionals are looking to their managers for guidance, direction, and leadership. What is the vision for the department or organisation? What are the objectives as far as sales volume, sales revenue, profitability, return-on-investment, market penetration, and market share?
Leaders must share their vision with their teams and encourage them to contribute so they can take ownership of the organisational vision. Great sales leaders focus on the "what" (vision and objectives) and leave the "how" (tactics and implementation) to their sales teams.
Improving compensation plans
When it comes to establishing compensation plans, most organisations look at either fixed salary, commission, or combination plans. Sometimes it helps to differentiate between existing accounts and new accounts. It's important to compare the value of each sales dollar produced from existing accounts to new accounts. You can also look at the effort needed to maintain existing customers versus acquiring new customers.
Organisations are beginning to move away from fixed prize giveaways and gift cards, and moving toward online points-based compensation and incentives catalogues. These catalogues could include tickets to concerts and sporting events, travel packages and even products on commerce websites.
Investing in professional development
While all sales professionals must be oriented with your products and services, you may consider providing further development activities to those who have been with you at least one year. These individuals tend to be highly motivated top performers who want to learn.
You could invest by encouraging them to use your products and services, going on plant tours to see how the products they are selling are being produced, talking to teams from other departments. It also pays to let them listen to customer feedback, read trade and technical publications, as well as go for internal and external sales training.
Assessing productivity and profitability
Quantitative criteria include: sales volume in dollars or units, growth over previous years, new accounts, and profitability. Qualitative criteria includes: attitude, product knowledge, communication skills, customer feedback, selling skills, and personal initiative.
Automating your sales force
Sales force automation (SFA) and customer relationship management (CRM) software helps your sales professionals track information such as: number of calls per day, time spent per contact, revenue per call, cost per call, ratio of orders to calls, number of new customers per period, and number of lost customers per period.
SFA and CRM tools are easy-to-use and provide a real-time view of sales performance and compensation. In addition, they can provide calculations of projected commissions from converting leads to opportunities. Compensation management software and commission tracking software can also integrate with CRM tools such as Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and Salesforce.com. These tools are much more versatile than spreadsheets for organising information and help to further incentivise sales professionals.