Employment in this economy is a wonderful asset, to say the least.  However, this abcnews.com story points to an impending problem – retention.

Even Americans who are lucky enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey that found only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work.

That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue.

The economy will eventually turn around though it appears it is going to be a slower process in comparison to historical recoveries.  When it does turn and hiring picks up, there is going to be a tremendous push for retaining top sales performers.

I have talked to top salespeople recently who are not satisfied with their current position, but they are unwilling to make a change right now.  Interestingly, I have had a few of them contact me to get their oar in the water for when hiring picks up again.  At that point, they will use their sales prospecting skills to find a new opportunity for themselves.

The key to improving retention is understanding the salesperson’s motivations and identifying their reward structure.  Here is an example of how it works – if you have a salesperson who has a strong Utilitarian motivation (hopefully you do), they are driven by return on investment.  They will appreciate practical, efficient workplaces that assist them in their quest to close deals.  A sales department rife with gross inefficiencies will grate on this salesperson.

Now that you know their motivation, it is important to understand what rewards them.  Here is a fine point, but an important one.  If your salesperson is rewarded by Material Possessions, you can expect them to respond to money so they may acquire the possessions they desire.  This seems logical.

However, if you have a Utilitarian salesperson rewarded by Status & Recognition, their will respond more to titles, exclusive clubs (President’s Club) or money that they can use to gain access to a higher status (e.g. private golf club membership).  Both salespeople will appear to have similar reward structures, but they respond differently based on their deep-seated structures.

If you are interested in learning more about your team, please contact us at your convenience.

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