When a Sales Rep Leaves, The Deals Don’t Have To Die
We’ve all had situations where a salesperson leaves your company, you divvy up his or her deals among the team, and those deals wither on the vine because no one knows the key contacts or the real state of the deal. All of the time and effort spent generating that lead, qualifying it as a real deal, and bringing it to a certain stage of engagement is wasted, let alone the potential revenue.
How can you best manage the loss of a good rep?
One possible way to solve this common problem is for the sales manager to proactively be on top of every deal for every one of his or her reps, so that when an AE leaves, the manager has the lay of the land. But let’s face it; no sales manager with a team handling more than five or ten deals can possibly have that level of involvement, nor should it be their job to do so. Here are some easier ways that organizations are using to manage the churn.
Include an Executive Sponsor on your bigger deals
It makes sense for a number of reasons to include an executive from your company on bigger deals. This may be your VP Sales, your CMO or your Head of Engineering. Including an executive gives your prospects a level of comfort that you are committed to them. If you do lose a sales person in the middle of the sales cycle, you at least have built additional relationships that can be leveraged to get things back on track.
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Know where to pick up the conversation
While some companies take the imposition of a sales methodology a little too far, it is necessary to focus efforts on capturing the handful of information that will actually move deals forward. Knowing and recording who the decision maker is, what level of engagement your rep has had and what their key pain points are is essential to picking up the conversation and maintaining the momentum of the deal.
Delegate the deals across the rest of your team
One last tip when handling the transition of a sales rep is to try to allocate their deals evenly across your team. While reps will naturally want to focus their energies on the deals that they created, and are only too happy to write off the new ones, you won’t get objective feedback from your team on how good or bad the deals are unless you get a number of reps to pick them up.
Whatever tactics you use to ensure that deals don’t die, don’t wait until someone walks up to your desk to tell you they are going to leave. Put best practices in place today to better manage the deals for the reps that stay and to make it easier to close the deals for the ones who leave.