Talentfoot: Your 2018 Guide to Landing and Retaining the Industry’s Top Ad Sellers

What does it take to build and motivate high performing sales teams in the AdTech and MarTech landscape?

Talentfoot partners with executive leadership teams to identify and onboard the industry’s top sales performers to critically impact companies’ bottom line results.

We recently conducted a national poll of sales talent, ranging from the individual contributor to vice president-level, to gain current insight into their motivation and mindset.

Consider these findings as you work to build and retain your 2018 sales team:

Top 2 Reasons Digital Professionals Choose a Career in Sales

  • More Lucrative – The majority of sellers choose this career path due to significant earning potential. These professionals embrace the concept that putting in the hard work will lead to higher reward.

  • Flexibility – Many of today’s workers need flexibility to keep things afloat on the home front. Sales roles may allow for control over one’s schedule and workplace, enabling shifts where needed.

Top 2 Reasons Sellers are Departing from their Employers

  • Weak Leadership – A lack of strong leadership and/or mentoring can be discouraging for hungry sellers who crave career growth. A continual revolving doors amongst the leadership team creates unease and uncertainty about the future of the organization.

  • Premature Hiring – We often see organizations aggressively hire sales talent, only to find that the market isn’t ready to purchase the product, or the product isn’t ready to be marketed. Sales talent is unlikely to stick around when the product can’t be sold.

Top 2 Reason Sellers Accept the Position They Are in Today

  • Company Culture – Full-time employees spend more time with their colleagues than family and friends. To retain the best, it’s critical that sales professionals feel engaged, happy, motivated and proud to be in their place of work.

  • Opportunity to be Entrepreneurial – There is a lot of appeal in building something new within a financially stable environment. This offers a way for individuals to make their mark on an organization.

Top 3 Most Attractive Variables of Compensation Packages

  • Onboarding Transparency – It always helps to establish, from the onset, the basis for measuring one’s success.

  • Clear Compensation Plans – Sellers are financially motivated. Therefore, it’s important they have a clear understanding of their personal goals with an outline of exactly what needs to happen to achieve success.

  • Uncapped Commission – Organizations want peak performance from their top performers. Uncapped commission models spur sellers to deliver even after they’ve reached defined goals.

Top 5 Components of Compensation Plans that can Demotivate

  • Shifting Goals – When goals are moving targets, it can be incredibly frustrating. Operating under a cloud of perceived unfairness can take the wind out of any salesperson’s sails.

  • Unrealistic Goals – Setting unattainable goals without the input of the sales team results in a significant disconnect between the sellers and leadership. Leadership appears out of touch with reality and sellers see little reason to try.

  • Overly Complicated Plans – It is practically impossible for sellers to track their earnings when compensation plans are complex, confusing or subjective. Such plans also cause distrust, as they are perceived as intentionally limiting.

  • No Guaranteed Compensation – Offering a 100% commission plan with no base salary creates an underlying feeling of unease. A base salary, even if minimal, demonstrates the company’s willingness to invest in the employee.

  • Capped Commission – Once top performers hit their cap on commission, they have little incentive to continue to sell.

Top 6 Action Items for Landing and Retaining the Industry’s Top Sellers

  • Develop a Transparent Compensation Plan – To earn trust and maximize incentive, design clear and simple plans for which it is easy to calculate earnings.

  • Continually Hone Leadership Skills – Management style and effectiveness are key drivers for talent retention. Reflect on your own leadership style. Collect feedback from your team and learn from these responses.

  • Nurture a Company Culture – Take honest stock of your workplace. Can your culture be defined? Is it unique? Is your team is proud to be a part of it? Gather suggestions and examples.

  • Cultivate New Initiatives – Provide opportunities for ownership and accountability. Tap your sellers to lead a new initiative for the company and create a company-wide impact and professional growth.

  • Collaborate on Goal Setting – Collect input from your team when setting goals—prior to the start of your fiscal year. By consulting with your team, you will avoid setting unreasonable benchmarks that may result in frustration.

  • Leave Commission Uncapped – Do not cap commission. Remember that the majority of your team has chosen this career specifically due to high earning potential. Let them shoot for the stars—it benefits everyone.

  • Let Talentfoot help your organization design compensation plans, enhance its corporate culture and develop leadership that will attract and retain the very best talent. Start by gathering input. We would be happy to conduct a confidential poll amongst your team to collect feedback. Contact us at info@talentfoot.com.

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