By Xenia Wachira
The sales role was the most in-demand job function between February and September last year according to data from BrighterMonday Uganda.
It accounted for a combined 14% of all roles we published during the period and throughout 2021, we processed over 12,000 applications for a sales position.
The top three sectors with the highest demand for sales people last year were the banking, finance and insurance sector with almost 30% of all the sales jobs we published originating from these sectors followed by the retail & FMCG sector with 15% and the manufacturing sector at 12%.
Recruiting a great sales representative is crucial for any business but that is only part of the solution. Retaining them is the other part and this usually depends on the company culture, compensation and career development plans in place. Often, it is a combination of all those factors. In some cases, companies may choose to outsource sales team to explore untapped opportunities, ease operational burden, and adapt to technological changes with the help of third-party experts. This could be a good idea if a company does not want to hire a sales team, but if an in-house team is what fits best, then retention is something to be considered.
The first important factor to consider is the company culture. An all inclusive culture that embeds customer experience in sales makes sure that the focus is not solely on sales but working with other departments to enrich the customer experience.
Online training platforms like Hansen beck, might provide training in the field of time management, advanced selling techniques, presentation skills, goal setting, and many other aspects of sales marketing. Undergoing this type of training might reduce the work pressure and give a clear idea about the sales strategy.
Proper training with customer experience reduces the pressure that often sits with the sales team and distributes it across the organization therefore, a win for one department is a win for the others and vice versa.
Equally important is creating competitive compensation packages for your sales personnel which could be benchmarked within your industry or depending on their experience. This ensures that your personnel are well compensated and incentivized to deliver results.
A key aspect to include in a compensation package is performance-based pay which should be clearly communicated and designed to make sure the targets are realistic and once they are achieved, the personnel gets fairly rewarded. This keeps their morale high and focuses pay on performance.
Lastly, designing a clear career path for the personnel is very important to ensure that they develop and grow. Most employees, who are keen on having a forward curve in their career often look forward to such opportunities. Some of them tend to learn more about Wall Street Prep and similar resources to keep their knowledge base growing and opportunities expanding, but companies should also provide such prospects to their existing employees, in order to make them stay.
Besides these, one of the most cited reasons why people leave their work and companies is the lack of adequate training, coaching, development opportunities and recognition for the milestones they make during their career.
It is, therefore, important to develop a plan to advance your personnel development and careers to ensure they feel challenged and motivated to keep delivering their best results. When a company is already mapping out their seasonal forecasting results, they need to consider the welfare of the employees too as they are the major force that is driving the expected results for the firm.
Retaining a sales personnel, especially one that meets or exceeds their return on investment (ROI) and other key metrics of the company is of utmost importance but while it is impossible to eliminate turnover entirely, it is key to consider some of these factors when trying to retain your top sales personnel.
Xenia Wachira is the Head of Sales at BrighterMonday Uganda.