How do you justify investing the time developing your inside salespeople to consider long-term sales careers when so many of them are just waiting to be promoted to their next position? Simple. You still do it.
Actually it’s not “Either-Or,” there’s an “And,” as well as a third critical component to uncovering motivation which will determine the path to travel down, especially as it relates to how you can best support this person. It comes down to tapping into each person’s individuality. This also means having them identify their values, what inspires them and what they want most out of their career. For this to be effective, the manager must be able to, at least temporarily, suspend any agenda, especially an agenda around wanting to keep that person in sales, when in actuality, it’s just a pit-stop on their way to achieving their bigger career goals or they don’t really want to be there.
I see this happen often with inside sales teams. Let’s say the approximate tenure of an inside sales rep is about 2 years, give or take industry and other unique factors. So managers think, “Why should I invest my time in developing and coaching this person? They’re just going to leave anyway. Well, the question managers really need to ask themselves is,
“What Impact Can I Make on Them?”
Ask yourself, “How do I want to be known?” Do you want to be known as the manager who keeps the better producers until they quit or are able to break free from your grip or the manager who promotes underdeveloped people or do you want to be known as the manager who continually develops and promotes proven sales champions into their new roles? Think about how this would impact your career?
Avoid Conditional Leadership
Once a manager makes this internal shift, then they can have an authentic conversation and effectively leverage the following questions. “What does this person truly want? Why do they really want it? Is what they want aligned with what’s possible or realistic? What is best for them? How can I help them get there? How can we create a transition strategy so they can get to where they ultimately want to be within a realistic timeline and measurables to achieve throughout the process?”
Bottom line, you’re ultimately going to lose most of them anyway as they move on to their next role. It’s going to be how you lose them that creates a positive or miserable experience for them and for you. It also reinforces the legacy you’re leaving. Who knows? Maybe when you help them chart a course they can see will take them to where they want to be, they actually wind up staying longer because they’re so focused on what they need to do, that their productivity increases!
You can either fight the system or leverage it so that in the end, everyone, especially the company, wins.
Photo Credit: Victor1558