Many sales leaders know the pains of a revolving employee door. Not only does it cost the company in terms of hiring efforts and productivity, all too often, clients are lost in the shuffle. There are many qualities a good sales pro just can’t be taught, so when one of those born-to-be-in-sales employees walks out your door, it’s more painful than ever.
Even though sales jobs are highly demanding – long hours, constant travel, busy schedules – medical sales pros are one group that still report they love their jobs. Is that enough to make them stay?
With the many challenges of medical sales, and growing turnover rates in other sales fields, what are leaders doing to keep employees engaged, motivated, and satisfied?
Guest Post by Robyn Melhuish is Communications Manager at MedReps.com.
Here’s what’s keeping medical sales professionals happy and what could keep your sales team engaged as well:
A good sales rep is a “manager of people” and the ability to structure their own time and their own call strategy gives them the freedom to be just that. Working according to their own timeline, and that of the client, affords them the autonomy and flexibility to run their day in whatever way works best.
Micromanagement is something most employees dislike. In sales, it could be the main reason you’re losing talent. Due to high competition, medical reps are expected and entrusted to make on-the-spot decisions based on the needs and requests of their clients. This gives them the feeling of “running their own business,” which was ranked as the second largest contributor to satisfaction in our 2016 Med Reps Job Satisfaction Study of 1,400 medical sales pros.
It isn’t just medical sales pros who are looking for a less controlling work environment. According to a recent Unify survey of 9,000 workers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, an overwhelming 95 percent of respondents said the future ideal workplace wouldn’t be controlling.
Focus on the Meaning of Work
Sales is a challenging. Trying to sell without passion for what you’re selling and who you’re selling to is nearly impossible. Forming strong relationships with clients, knowing their needs, and having the best product for them is what many sales pros love about their jobs. If that is taken away, so is any loyalty to the company.
Medical sales pros feel they have the ability to make an impact, which is what 12 percent of them in our job satisfaction report said is the best part of the job. Other industry reps are saying the same thing about the jobs they want to stay in. And this isn’t changing. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016 surveyed 7,700 millennials, and of those who said they will stay with their employer for more than five years, 88 percent said that they feel a sense of purpose there.
Share the end results of sales with employees. Connect the company’s mission statement, their duties, and the client’s success to show how their job has a purpose beyond making the sale and hitting quota.
Share this impact during monthly goal sessions to use meaning as a key motivator to their success.
“Cutthroat” and “highly competitive” – these negative terms are often associated with sales. And, at times, sales can be that way. When hard work is recognized, however, the people on your team will begin to see competition as a fun and positive challenge.
Top sales professional are rewarded, first and foremost, through compensation. In our 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report, we found that medical sales reps who travel 50 percent of the time command the highest incomes: $167,061, on average. Those who do not put in this kind of extra travel effort earn significantly less ($125,344).
In addition to comp, rewards and recognition can go a long way, no matter the industry or job role. The reason is simple: If employees don’t know whether or not they’re doing a good job, it’s difficult to stay motivated. Globoforce found, in their study, The ROI of Recognition in Building a More Human Workplace, that recognition makes 86 percent of employees more proud and happy at work, not to mention 85 percent more satisfied with their jobs.
No matter what industry you’re in, sales reps want a workplace where they feel appreciated for those late nights and long hours on the road. Be open with your team and encourage them to be open with you.
It’s easy to become discouraged or have moments of feeling burnt out in this field. Giving reps a place where they can share their questions, concerns, or even doubts about the job will increase engagement and allow you to address issues before they turn into employees walking out the door.
What management techniques do you find work best for sales employees? Let us know!