Your top sales rep is one of the best hires you have made, and you are rightly proud of the relationship that has developed out of this collaboration. What would happen, though, if your top sales rep were to leave without warning? Actually, even top sales reps who are attempting to leave quietly aren’t generally successful, and will give at least one or two warning signs. Here’s what to look out for.
1. Your Top Sales Rep Isn’t Open with You
You can usually rely on your top sales rep to be open with you about his or her challenges and successes. But the last few times you have attempted to engage in conversation, it did not seem like he or she was interested. There were no stories about recent clients, and he or she didn’t have much news to share. Has your top sales rep been having a series of off days? Probably not. This is a warning sign that your top sales rep is disengaging and preparing to move elsewhere.
2. Your Top Sales Rep Is Avoiding Other Interactions
Unless he or she has a meeting with a prospect, you can usually count on your top sales rep to be present at departmental meetings. And when the sales team meets for lunch or dinner, your top sales rep is almost always there. That is, until he or she isn’t If your top sales rep appears to be avoiding interactions with the rest of the sales team, it could be a case of internal conflict, but he or she probably would have discussed that with you. If this hasn’t happened, take it as a sign that you might be about to lose your top sales rep.
3. Your Top Sales Rep’s Sales Are Stagnant
From quarter to quarter, you can always rely on your top sales rep to push for bigger sales from increasing numbers of clients. When sales are stagnant for one quarter, it isn’t necessarily a reason for alarm; a multitude of factors can set back even a top sales rep. But if the slump lasts for two quarters or more, it might be a sign that your top sales rep is treading water until a new opportunity arises.
4. Your Top Sales Rep’s Overall Metrics Are Slipping
Your top sales rep typically develops the most new business, finds the most opportunities, and takes the most inbound calls. Yet when you look at the various metrics that you track, it appears that your top sales rep is slipping in one or more categories. This denotes a serious withdrawal from daily sales activities that will cumulatively result in a disastrous drop in performance. Your top sales rep might even be aware of that, but as he or she prepares to check out, you should be looking for this sign.
5. Your Top Sales Rep Stops Talking about the Future
If your top sales rep is thinking about leaving but is not yet ready to share those plans, the easiest way for him or her to avoid dropping hints is to avoid talking about the future. This sign is easy to spot since sales reps are forward-focused, always looking ahead to the next big sale, the next quarter’s goals, the incentives to be reaped at the end of the year. When your top sales rep stops talking about the future, be prepared to start a conversation on his or her plans.
It can be disconcerting when you pick up on signs that your top sales rep is preparing to depart. However, forewarned is forearmed, and if you watch for these signs you are in a better position to talk to your top sales rep and find out what is really going on. Chances are good that with the right approach you can convince your top sales rep to stay on, if you act early based on the signs
Guest post written by Matt Cook