Brief overview:

In the last edition of the blog, we x-rayed seven key reasons why top business development talents leave their jobs. In this publication, we are going to examine five out of ten strategies to retain top business performers in your business.

A great number of employers assume that monetary enticements are all that matters to keep top-tier business development talents engaged. Research has established that it takes much more than financial incentives to keep top-tier performers in their jobs.

Here are five strategies you can apply and keep top-tier business development managers on your team.

1) Provide new challenges and opportunities: High-performing business development talents crave fresh professional challenges to overcome from time to time. The new challenge could be the launch of new product(s) or service offerings that will engage their interest and further improve their wealth of knowledge. High performers also value opportunities to learn new business development skills, lead training sessions, or provide advisory roles in business development strategies.

2) Boost employee engagement: The employee engagement survey examines the emotional connection employees have for their employer, which in turn, influences their application of additional discretionary effort to their work. According to a Corporate Executive Board study, employees with lower engagement are four times more likely to leave their jobs than those who are highly engaged. Having annual or bi-annual employee engagement surveys enables employers to gauge the prospects of losing top-tier business development talents before they leave.

3) Initiate smart bonus schemes: According to Richard Harris, Founder of The Harris Consulting Group, “the goal is to keep the carrot within reach” at all times, through a more frequent mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives. Harris suggests offering the following to retain high-performing reps:

  • Larger retention bonuses that pay out at 1, 2, 4, and 5 years
  • Shares in the company that can be vested within 6-12 months
  • Extra vacation time at 2- and 4-year cliffs (“At two years, all sales reps should get two consecutive weeks of vacation to come back fully charged”)
  • Offering to pay off the sales rep’s student loans at certain intervals
  • Continued sales training and professional development training on a yearly basis.

 4) Rethink 1:1 meeting: 1:1 meeting should be about career development and not a pipeline meeting to discuss numbers. 1:1 meetings offer great managers the opportunity to learn how to invest in their team members by understanding them beyond their pipeline and learning more about the challenges they face in the marketplace. Taking time to help team members get better at their craft will make it harder for them to leave.

5) Advance onboarding process: A business development team’s onboarding process should consist of a lot more than running through a phone script and showing new hires where the restrooms are. There is great need for a robust process to ensure new business development talents understand the role and the product/services they will represent in the marketplace. In a nutshell, new hires should be able to ‘sell’ the company before they enter the market (I will do a blog on this topic soon).

At FieldWork Recruiting, we can do the heavy lifting for you and develop customized strategies to help retain high-performing talents in your team. You can email us here or better still, call us at 1300 375 910. We are here to support your business growth.

Next week: we will publish the concluding part of 10 Strategies to Retain Top Business Development Performers: Watch this space!

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