No. 1: Diagnose the sources
Move beyond periodic skip-level meetings, climate surveys or manager feedback. Instead, treat sellers as co-investigators in understanding the sources of drag. Create a collaborative investigation process with a mix of focus groups, guided discussions and surveys to ensure sellers can share specific pain points, and also benefit from the perspective of their peers to understand which issues are unique to their circumstances and which are shared. This arms you with knowledge on how to prioritize and monitor projects going forward.
No. 2: Ensure development opportunities
Enable your sellers to envision a career path that aligns with their aspirations and interests, which may increase the likelihood that they continue to meet quota in the short term and stay with the broader organization — along with their institutional knowledge — in the long term.
No. 3: Empower sellers
A substantial number of sellers feel like they have little control over their destiny. Fifty-six percent of sellers feel like a cog in a machine. Those who feel this way are more likely to experience drag, which increases the likelihood of subpar performance and active job-seeking.
Empowerment is key to addressing this source of drag by encouraging sellers to make their own decisions, solve customer problems and improve business processes. But this requires sales leadership to support new ideas even when they are risky, foster creative freedom to solve for customer needs and reward sellers for finding ways to improve sales processes. You don’t have to hand over total control to sellers. Instead, carve out carefully scoped opportunities for empowerment within select guardrails.