If the all-encompassing Pareto principle has something to say about it, around 80% of the work that goes around in any given company is done by just 20% of its employees. This makes those hard-working employees, especially sales personnel, the true secret asset of any business, and is the main motive why certain firms manage to rise above their competition and excel. Of course, it stands to reason that such people should be supported by their companies in order to ensure the mutual benefit of all parties involved. To that end, here are some excellent ways to support top performers for companies of all shapes and sizes:
Grant them autonomy and independence
Top sales staff is generally go-getter types, the kind of people who know what they’re supposed to do without having to be given exact instructions every hour or so. Respect their need for autonomy by providing them with general guidelines and then letting them iron out the details of their tasks. While no excess is good, keep in mind that even periods of occasional procrastination can lead to massive boosts in creativity if used in moderation. You can also allow them to work from home on occasion, as long as their current duties can be fulfilled remotely. Whatever you do, refrain from policing your top sellers too much, and instead focus on granting them the freedom they need to do the best job they can do.
Give out financial incentives
Since time immemorial, people have enjoyed engaging in some spirited competition, especially if the rewards include some sort of financial gain. This is especially true for sales force representatives of a company. High performing sales employees are generally the competitive sort, which means that they’ll likely enjoy rising to the occasion when circumstances dictate it. By giving out things like bonuses or prizes, you’ll be sending them the message that achieving performance leads to personal rewards, so they’ll be that much more likely to put in the effort. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though, lest you find yourself with an overly competitive work environment that’s not conducive to long-term profit.
Provide state-of-the-art technical support
Your best minds deserve to have everything they need at their disposal in order to perform at the highest level. This includes things like computers, software programs and telephones, along with continuous support and guidance throughout their entire learning process and beyond. Make sure your top selling performers never fall behind as far as technology is concerned, especially your older employees who might have a harder time staying in touch with the times.
Encourage continuous development
Speaking of staying in touch with the times, keep in mind that the sales personnel development doesn’t end when the initial job training ends. In fact, in modern times continuous development is high on the list of priorities for people who consider learning to be a lifelong process. To that end, organize regular conferences and training seminars centered on new and interesting developments in industry’s niche. Choose motivational speakers that can fire up your top achievers and drive them to new heights of performance. And if that’s not possible, you can always support an employee’s training by sending them to other key events inside the country or abroad.
Allow enough time off to prevent burnout
Burnout is a natural side effect of overwork, one that is unfortunately all too common in this day and age. High-stress professions, including sales, tend to be especially susceptible to this syndrome, which is why you should take the time to let your employees know just how much you value their work-life balance. This can be achieved through granting them substantial time off so they can recuperate in between shifts. Be wary of employees that refuse to use their vacation days, since they are the most likely to suffer from burnout down the line. Additionally, you can also give employees the freedom to work on side projects at work, a la Google’s famed “20% time” policy.
All in all, supporting top sales performers should be a top goal for any successful enterprise, no matter its size or the niche it operates in. By employing the strategies a business will ultimately have a better chance of gaining the upper hand in a competitive marketplace, while at the same time ensuring that its workforce stays happy, loyal and productive. It truly is a win-win scenario that every self-respecting company should aim for.