How Long Should Sales Executives Stay At Your Company?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Let’s look at this from the employee’s perspective. There’s a point where staying too long at one place can raise questions about how they will adapt to new environments. Typically that is between 5-15 years.

The concern is that the employee will be stuck in the company’s systems and processes and lack exposure to a wider variety of practices and cultures, thus won’t adapt easily. Therefore anything the employee can do to demonstrate that’s not the case—is helpful. The ability to show a progression in responsibilities and job titles is also helpful. Additionally, if the employee can demonstrate that they are flexible and open to change,  their chances for moving up will improve.

The employee needs to understand that future employers may have these potential concerns. They must communicate that they have moved up within the company and handled different assignments to diminish these concerns. However, this is limited in scope.

Among these few examples, sales executives will move when:

  1. Whoever is supporting their efforts is not fulfilling delivery of products or services by the deadline. It may be that within manufacturing, the plant isn’t getting their orders out on time with accuracy, or possible software updates promised to prospects aren’t happening and even administration lacks follow up.
  2. There are base salary or commission cutbacks in a healthy economy.
  3. There are ineffective managers who may have conflicts working with their direct reports.

HOW do you stop this from happening?

Don’t over hire sales executives without shoring up production issues. Too many sales people running around and complaining that they are not earning commission checks due to support problems will create undue havoc.

Also, don’t cut territories or reduce the sales person’s territory without proper explanation and mutual understanding of the reason. If the cut can be communicated as a benefit like less drive time or flight hours then the rep may be fine with it.

Also, you’ve heard of the “one bad apple” saying. When even just one person is dissatisfied and blames support functions and people in those roles, it is contagious. One or two issues become three or four and then everyone is talking about it. This is NOT what you want.

When things do become smoother and you find yourself in need to hire sales talent, The McCandlish Group can help. Don’t hesitate to CALL US!!! We work around the clock to find the best hire for you!

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