The selling season is here. Have you “stocked” your sales floor with top-notch salespeople to meet the increased traffic? Based on your responses to our 2015 Dealer Business Trends & Outlook survey, many of you say finding good employees is the issue you’re most concerned about. What steps are you taking to attract and retain good people? Many job seekers are evaluating potential employees based on more than just salary and benefits. In fact, they’re evaluating you as much as you’re evaluating them on a whole range of tangible and intangible factors. 

I’ve read some interesting statistics that may help you recruit and retain a stellar sales team. First, a test for you: If salary is the most important benefit for potential employees, do you know what comes next? Career growth opportunities is #2, according to Glassdoor for Employers, a company that offers recruiting and employer branding solutions. Work-life balance, location/commute and company culture and values round out the top 5 things job seekers take into account before accepting a job offer.

The first four factors are fairly straightforward, but identifying and improving your company culture may be more difficult. In an interview on a Hubspot sales blog, marketing expert Craig Rosenberg says that sales leaders who want to change their company culture need to have a more dynamic work environment. He suggests:

  • Having more fun
  • Better enabling your team
  • More clearly connecting individual roles to the company’s mission
  • Recognizing the importance of employee contributions
  • Increased transparency

Rural Lifestyle Dealer columnist and business coach Monte Wyatt shared strategies to back up many of these ideas in a recent column. He says, “Over-communicate rather than under-communicate. Share the successes and describe the future of the dealership every month, every quarter and every year. Be sure to include the financial results. It is empowering and motivating for an employee to have visibility to company details.”

Wyatt also advises 100% inclusion. “The dealership’s leaders are responsible for 100% inclusion. Include the team in discussions about achieving your dealership’s goals,” he says. Being included in those helps the team take ownership of seeing that those goals are met. 

He also stresses recognition of the individual and career development. “Create a personal development framework for your dealership. It could include simple actions like: one hour of training every 3 weeks, scheduled development conversations every month, or personal development plans where everyone identifies 1-3 areas for improvement in a set timeframe. When a dealership shows interest in helping a team member develop, the team member grows and becomes more committed. When individuals grow, the business will grow,” Wyatt says. 

Finally, here’s another interesting statistic from the Glassdoor survey that may be helpful when recruiting and retaining your sales team: “78% of sales professionals said they would accept less money to work at a company selling something compelling.”

Rural lifestyle dealers have a head start in that area. Today’s compact equipment is high-tech, full of options and fun to operate. Energize, enable and connect with your team and sales will grow.