How to Stop Competitors From Poaching Sales Talent

Stop Competitors Poaching Sales Talent

In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, attracting and retaining top sales talent has become increasingly challenging. Skilled sales professionals are in high demand. And rival companies are always looking for talented individuals to lure away from their competitors. This constant threat of talent poaching has become a persistent bogeyman for leaders who are constantly seeking ways to protect their top performers and maintain a strong sales team. In this article, we will explore actionable strategies that you can use to keep your sales teams intact and thriving.

What is Employee Poaching?

Employee poaching is the practice of recruiting and hiring employees who another company already employs.

It typically involves targeting high-performing or highly skilled employees to entice them to leave their current job and work for a competitor.

Employee poaching is often seen as controversial, as it can disrupt businesses and relationships between companies.

It can also create legal issues, such as breaches of non-compete agreements or confidentiality agreements.

The Facts: How Employee Poaching Hurts Organisations

As you have probably already guessed, the real cost of poaching is significant. 

According to a study by the Center for American Progress, poached employees can cost a business up to 20% of an employee’s salary to replace them and up to 213% of an executive’s salary.*

Worse yet, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that it can take an average of 42 days to fill a job vacancy and that the cost of unfilled job vacancies can be significant in terms of lost productivity and revenue.**

If you thought that was pricey, check out some other costs you might incur from a victim of talent poaching:

Direct Hiring costs: When an employee leaves, your company must spend money recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement. Costs include job board postings, recruiter fees, employee referral bonuses, and other expenses.

Lost Productivity: When a sales employee leaves, it may take time for a new employee to get up to speed and become as productive as the previous employee. This can result in lost sales, missed targets, and reduced revenue for your company.

Decreased Morale: When employees leave for a competitor, it can lower the morale of the remaining staff, who may feel undervalued or overworked. 

Damaged Company Culture: When employees leave, it can disrupt a company’s culture and team dynamic, especially if the employee was well-liked or had a significant role.

Competitive Disadvantage: You lose not only the employee’s skills and knowledge but also their client base or industry connections.

6 Tricks to Stop Competitors Poaching Your Sales Talent

With no time to waste, let’s jump right into them:

1. Create A Strong Company Culture

Develop a positive and engaging work environment that inspires your sales team to stay with your company. Offer valuable sales incentives, such as bonuses, stock options, and employee recognition programs, to motivate and retain them.

2. Offer Competitive Compensation

Ensure that your salespeople are receiving fair and competitive salaries and benefits. Research industry standards and adjust your compensation plans and packages accordingly to attract and retain top talent.

3. Invest In Employee Development

Provide your salespeople with opportunities for professional growth, such as training programs, mentorship, and career advancement paths. By investing in their skills and knowledge, you will enhance their loyalty to your company.

4. Create Non-Compete Agreements 

Consider implementing non-compete agreements that prohibit your salespeople from working for a competitor for a certain period after leaving your company. However, note that these agreements can vary in legality and enforceability by location.

5. Stay Informed

Keep tabs on the job market and competitors in your industry. If you see that other companies are actively recruiting your salespeople, take proactive steps to address any issues or concerns they may have and reiterate your commitment to their professional growth and development.

6. Communicate Regularly

Encourage open communication with your sales team and regularly check in with them to understand their needs, motivations, and potential concerns. This can help you identify any issues before they become bigger problems that lead to talent poaching.

Final Word: Are Competitors Wrong for Poaching Employees?

Whether sales employee poaching is considered “wrong” depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances, the industry and the culture of the companies involved.

For most, sales employee poaching is often seen as a normal part of industry competition. 

However, in some cases, employee poaching may be considered unethical or unfair.

In such cases, the poaching company could face legal consequences, including potential lawsuits or damage to its reputation.

Ultimately, companies must be mindful of the potential risks and consequences of poaching and follow proper recruitment practices.

For example, not inducing employees to breach their employment contracts or engaging in deceptive or illegal practices to persuade them to leave their current jobs.

Also read: The Ethical Guide to Talent Poaching on LinkedIn

Support Employee Development; Never Lose to Competitors

Providing opportunities for professional growth and advancement make employees feel appreciated, trusted and valued in their position with your company.

Equip your sales team with the skills all sales professionals and business owners need to be ultra-effective in sales and multiply revenue.

Too good to be true? Check it out for yourself:

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