Business executives can be forgiven for not wanting to think about a key, upper sales management employee leaving the firm. They cannot, however, be forgiven for not planning how to deal with such a possibility. Planning for changes in the sales leadership environment will not only pay off when the time comes, it also will allow companies to reap benefits in both sales team loyalty and retention.
By preparing tomorrow’s sales leaders today, through investment in training, companies can groom prospects who believe in the firm’s mission, have absorbed its culture, and understand the challenges it faces. You can hedge your bets against the odds that while there will always be some attrition, by having a group of competent ‘bench warmers’ ready to move up the ladder, the departing employee can be back-filled relatively painlessly. And by keeping these practices in place, when a lower level sales manager does take over the sales department, the new, outside talent that replaces him can learn the ropes and then be ready to assume the top spot when the next position opens.
For the next- in- line to be successful, companies must dedicate resources to his training. Investing in future leaders will demonstrate to employees a commitment to their satisfaction and engagement. They will repay the organization many times over, even before they ascend to the corner office.
An added benefit is that when interviewing and comparing different companies and opportunities, candidates typically place a lot of weight on companies that invest in their staff by offering continuing education.
Strategic buy-in, efficient use of resources, diverse approaches, and “outside the box” training opportunities will allow the company’s strategic sales goals to align with the personal career goals of its salespeople, culminating in hitting the long-term objectives of the company.
Ann Zaslow- Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in Executive Search since 1999. ISC places high performing sales professionals across the country, with a strong emphasis on the following industries; Paints & Coatings Sales , Food and Beverage Sales, Medical Device Sales, and Software Sales.
Contact ISC today to strategize with an experienced sales recruiter, and put a plan in place to have a strong pool of successful sales professionals delivered to your interview table.
You can reach the author directly at or via phone at 888-866-7276.