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How To Retain Your Inside Sales Reps


There is nothing better than a crappy job, and believe me, I've had my share. That might seem like an odd statement to most of us, but I'm honestly appreciative of what I learned from those experiences.  Whether it was the culture, money, training, my development etc., there was at least one thing that was sorely lacking; no one job had it all. As a result, what it gave me was a much better perspective on the things that were important to me in my job. Identifying what it is that is important to you and why can help make your work more fulfilling. This is so true for teleprospecting.

The reason I mention this is that turnover generally tends to be a common issue in the teleprospecting world.  I've discovered over the years how important it was to continually stay on top of what matters most to each member of my team. Let's face it, making hundreds of cold-calls a week can wear on you if you're not adequately prepared for the challenge. With the other inside teams I've worked for, it was common to see a regular turn-over on the team and as a result the overall performance was inconsistent at best.

So, what are you doing to make sure your reps aren't dreading walking into the door everyday?  We can't assume that a bad economy will keep people working for you forever.  Your "B" player may stick around because they are content in knowing that they won't get much out there in a tough economy- but what about your motivated "A" players? Independent of economic conditions, they are always on the lookout, especially for the types of jobs that are going to take the time train and develop them.

While we all know that the teleprospecting world can be a cold harsh place, what are you doing to address retention? From AG's perspective, the only way we know to provide a consistent and quality output is to take care of our most important asset - OUR PEOPLE.

Being in business since 2002, we certainly have had the opportunity to test various ways to motivate a team. I'm not going to lie, some have worked out very well and others we plan never to try again.  Here are a few common themes that I feel help to us retain the best people and as a result deliver great sales qualified leads that our clients are excited about:

  • Encourage their creativity: I've always wanted my team to feel that to some degree, they're running their own business. There are some obvious core expectations that we have for our team, but I've found that you need to allow your teleprospectors some free reign to get to a common goal. Some of our top performers may have an altogether different approach on the phone but, at the end of the day, they end up producing a very similar result.
  • Create defined responsibilities: I've had the misfortune of working in environments where the sales territory was a free-for-all and you were allowed to call on the entire U.S. As a result you are not creating a work-place where people take their time out to assist a fellow employee because it isn't in their best interest. It may not always be easy, but try to do what you can to have defined territory or vertical for each rep to exclusively call on. This will by default create a healthier culture because no one is wasting their energy concerned over who may be stealing their hot lead.
  • Be there to help - don't micromanage: Last time I checked, no employee likes getting micromanaged. As a manager, it can easily eat up a good portion of my day and there are other things I would prefer to be doing. Though you want everyone on your team to feel that they are treated equally, it only makes sense to spend a larger portion of your valuable time with people who need it the most. I'll check in with top performers to make sure they have all the tools and training they feel necessary to continue to be successful at the job. With the lower end performers, my check-in sessions are pitched more as "what challenges do you feel you faced with daily that is preventing you from being successful - and how can I help?"

Everyone wants to be rewarded in some way for their hard work. Keeping in mind that we don't necessarily have the disposable income to send your top performer off to the Caribbean, next week I want to talk about ways to incent your team without breaking the bank.


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