Combatting Employee Turnover Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
It’s no secret that turnover among auto salespeople is typically around 60%. This costs dealerships more than most realize. Mistakes made on the learning curve, frustrated customers and lost conquests are only some of the side effects of employee churn.
Great salespeople and teams can be cultivated but you will only be able to retain them under the right circumstances. Understanding why your salespeople quit their jobs will help you develop your strategy to retain them. Here are a few reasons why automotive salespeople quit their jobs:
1. They don’t feel valued. Being underpaid, not being able to make decisions and not being trusted to do good work causes employees to flee for more rewarding work.
2. Poor communication with boss. A boss who doesn’t clearly communicate expectations, or whose communication is abusive or unpredictable will surely lose employees.
3. Not being set up for success. Everyone who starts a job, starts with the intention to do good work and bring value. This can only happen in an environment that is supportive of success. Do you have the right equipment for your reps to do their work? Are you able to provide qualified leads? Are you providing adequate training for your reps? Humans are wired to seek stability. As an employer, your job is to facilitate that.
4. They are not doing what they do best. Very few salespeople hunt and close equally well. Some are better hunters and others are better closers. Most salespeople hate making cold calls and all of them will tell you they don’t want to spend time calling cold leads. Nothing is more frustrating than spending valuable time calling people who already purchased a vehicle somewhere or who were never very interested in the first place.
5. The environment is too competitive. Few people want to go to work and feel like nobody has their back. A group of hungry salespeople in a quiet dealership tend to get the fight or flight response going. Even strong salespeople won’t have the energy to engage in that kind of battle every day.
6. No opportunity for advancement. Not everyone wants to do bigger things, but many people like to know that their role at work could expand in some way. Not necessarily to management positions, but something more just the same.
Now that you have some insight into why your salespeople are leaving, here are some ways you can combat the problem.
1. Change the way you pay your salespeople. That may seem like a dirty phrase, but it will eliminate the problems caused by fierce competition and provide much appreciated financial stability. Don’t worry. This will not make ambitious salespeople lazy. If your salespeople are lazy, then you hired the wrong people. Mindset is everything. You cannot be successful if you are worried about making ends meet. People do better work when they are not feeling desperate. Consider giving a salary and bonus combination, instead of putting them on a draw. People work to get money, not to create debt.
2. Give sincere praise and recognition. Take the opportunity to acknowledge a job well done both privately and publicly. Even the smallest accomplishments should be recognized. This simple act will build loyalty among your employees, bring more positive results and keep them engaged.
3. Use a lead filtering system to provide quality leads and appointments to your reps. You can use RMN Marketing for this service. Having hot, qualified leads and verified appointments ready for your salespeople to close allows them to focus on their favourite part of the sales process. Their closing ratios will be higher as a result. Furthermore, your reps will stay where they can be successful and you will reap the financial rewards all the way.
4. Let go of your need to control everything. Set parameters for your sales reps to make decisions about sales and anything else that gives them a sense of control over their professional destiny, so to speak. Elicit their input around ideas that will help build your business. While you’re at it, get them to make suggestions for process improvements. Being the boss, doesn’t mean all ideas have to be yours.
5. Make sure your reps are working to their strengths. Great salespeople don’t necessarily make great sales managers. In fact, pulling your star off the floor and into the office will surely drown the team. Make sure you promote the right people and place them into the most suitable roles. Use aptitude tests and personality assessments to help you figure out which roles are the best fit.
6. Provide regular training sessions for all sales and leadership roles. Well trained people perform better and will be more likely to stay with the company that supports them. If you don’t train your employees, they will only be giving you their worst while they are with you. Who wants that?