For decades, economists and sociologists have been talking about the impending gloom and doom that might come when the baby boomers decide to retire on an outsized scale. Seventy-two million men and ladies, mainly in management and executive positions, would suddenly leave the workplace, leaving a vacuum of profits and productivity.
For the foremost part, it hasn’t happened that way; an outsized portion of my generation has decided that continuing to figure – a minimum of for the nonce – would be preferable to aimless days spent on the beach, then we’ve hung around for tons longer than expected. Slowly but surely, however, the change is coming. And as many folks are avoiding the sunset, it’s leaving some problems for sales managers to fill.
Whether you’ve got a multi-generational sales department, or soon will, here are a couple of tips for getting the foremost out of your producers:
Start recruiting today.
This is definitely one of those problems that ignoring won’t fix. If you’ve got a couple of “veteran” salespeople who account for the lion’s share of your accounts, then at the very least, create some contingency plans. Recruit some newer salespeople or a minimum of having a couple that you simply could usher in if you needed to rent during a hurry.
And while you’re at it, try lecture the lads and ladies on your staff about their short and long-term plans. Remember, with salespeople, things can go tons of various ways: while some love the challenge and competition and decide to work forever, others decide that such a lot of money makes work unnecessary. Be prepared in either case.
Give younger producers a taste of leadership.
In sales departments dominated by established baby boomers, there’s sometimes little room for growth at the highest. If you sense this is often the case, attempt to work a number of the younger group into leadership positions. The void that’s felt when a couple of top salespeople leave is not just within the bottom line; confirm others are able to step in and take their places.
Devise good account tradeoff strategies.
There probably is no scenario where you would like to lose one among your best salespeople. But, the great thing about retirement is that generally speaking, you’ll need a minimum of seeing it coming. Use that to your advantage: See if you’ll plan strategies to transition accounts from one rep to a different over the course of months or years.
A good strategy for this is often to let the retiring rep keep some residual income from his or her existing accounts. That way, they need a robust incentive to form sure that things go smoothly which their best clients are taken care of – even after they need formally moved on from the corporate.
Make sure your reps can sell to different generations. It is often easy to forget that retirements and career transitions are only getting to happen inside your company. Your clients are brooding about moving on to different challenges, too. For that reason, it’s essential that each rep on your team, no matter their age, be ready to sell to other generations. This is often a neighborhood where a little touch bit of training can go an extended way; like determining personality styles, the precise wording and tactics that one uses with an older or younger person are often a touch bit different.
Also, encourage your salespeople to form contacts throughout their buyers’ companies. If key contacts or decision-makers plan to leave, will they be ready to retain the account? Baby boomers aren’t just selling; they’re making a lot of buying decisions, too.
Unless you’re a boomer who’s quickly approaching retirement yourself – and perhaps even then -managing a team that’s made from, and may sell to, different generations isn’t an abstract challenge. Catch on right, and your company will roll throughout this ongoing process. Ignore it, and you will soon be reading about your colleagues who paid more attention.
Carl Henry may be an adviser. He focuses on helping companies within the selection of top sales and customer service talent. Carl is additionally a licensed Speaking Professional and, therefore, the author of several books and articles associated with sales, sales management, and customer service. He conducts seminars and webinars for clients worldwide.