Getting (and Keeping) Top-Performing Salespeople

Six non-monetary motivators for medical device sales superstars

Top medical device sales organizations come to us for help because they’re facing turnover of close to 50% (voluntary and involuntary).  No matter what the market conditions are like, it’s all too common to lose your best performers to the competition, or to hire someone who’s been a superstar salesperson for a competitor but can’t seem to get results for your company.   One leading firm facing these challenges worked with us to develop a competency model for evaluating potential new sales professionals.  By comparing job candidates to the model, the firm reduced turnover to 5%.

We all know that the right people in the right places doing the right things can achieve truly amazing results, but how do you find and keep the sales superstars and guide them toward success at your company?

Most important: hire smarter.  We’ve found that one of the best ways to achieve much-needed consistency and strong sales results is evaluating salespeople’s drivers and motivators as part of the interview process.  In fact, the 2010 Sales Performance Optimization survey by CSO Insights found that more than 80% of firms assess candidates before hiring said it either improved or significantly improved their “hiring success rates,” as related to ongoing performance and retention.

Once you’ve hired a top-performer, how do you keep him or her committed to achieving great results for your firm?  After evaluating thousands of medical device sales reps and managers, we’ve uncovered a surprising fact about what motivates top-performing medical device sales professionals:  Money doesn’t always top the list.

In most cases, medical device salespeople are well-compensated for their performance, often drawing mid-six-figure salaries.  However, they want more than just a good paycheck!

  1. They want a clearly defined career path with a specific timeline and measurable accountabilities along the way.
  2. They are driven by success and achievement.  They want opportunities to perform at the top of their game.
  3. They demand ongoing coaching and continually seek ways to learn and grow their skills.
  4. They crave recognition as top-performers.
  5. They keep their finger on the pulse of the industry, taking the temperature of the market, and assessing the competitor’s offerings.
  6. They seek out and respect sales managers who are attentive, understanding, knowledgeable, and willing to coach.

It boils down to this:  Top-performers know they’re top-performers, and they want to stay that way.  They want opportunities to achieve, develop their sales skills and get recognition for their record of results.  And they’re smart enough to demand strong coaching, smart mentoring and excellent guidance along the way.