Start the New Year Off Right: How to Keep Your Top Producers

In 2015, the retention of top producers (the top 10% of a sales force) will once again be a critical issue for many sales organizations. Losing top performers has a negative impact on a company that reaches far beyond lower volume. A top performer’s presence in a market is not easily or quickly replaced. Studies show that top producers are inextricably linked to a company’s sales performance. (Another reason to have a good rookie program. Rookie programs are very effective at generating new top producers). If top producers are so essential, then why do companies tax the organizational system with so many underperformers that eventually, better producers leave because of poor operational performance?

Let me explain: All businesses are challenged to manage their finite resources. Whether these resources are financial, technological or a manager’s time commitment, the fact is that there is a limit in their supply. Because of the limitation, resources have to be judicially managed for an organization to be successful. What does this have to do with losing top producers?

In mortgage banking as in other industries, the reality is that a few individuals are responsible for producing the majority of volume (the 80/20 rule). What this means is that companies must align precious resources with the most effective users.

So why do managers ignore the 80/20 rule and allow operations to be compromised with loan production that is improperly documented and submitted by poor quality originators? The quick answer is that the pressure to hire originators is so great and the competition so strong that hiring is done with a blind eye to making the right choice. Instead, managers make the available choice to meet hiring quotas. The result? A sales force with a large contingent of underperformers who are using the company’s finite resources ineffectively. When this happens, a company’s top producers start listening to the competition’s hiring pitch.

The best way to retain top producers is to provide them with the best resources including quality managers who can help them move to the next level. It is clear from our research that with proper development, a $50 million producer is more likely to become a $75 million producer than a $10 million producer reaching the $20 million mark.

Need more information on retention strategies that really work? Contact me to discuss.