As anyone with experience in sales knows, turnover is one of the biggest issues facing sales teams of all sizes, in every industry. Whether through burnout or simple dissatisfaction, salespeople tend to switch employers more frequently than most other professionals.
Reducing turnover isn’t just about reducing disruption. Turnover is expensive, and every hour spent on replacing team members is an hour not spent strategizing about how to reach new clients and partners. While turnover is an endemic problem for all sales teams, it is especially bad in the world of B2B sales, where the rate can often be as high as 35%.
Fortunately, turnover is not something you just have to live with. There are plenty of ways to increase sales team retention and build a team where reps, managers, and executives want to stick around. Here are three ways of doing so.
1. Improve The Quality Of Your Hires
The first step toward reducing turnover is to simply improve your hiring and interviewing strategy. Being more rigorous in the recruiting stage will help you focus on employees whose values match those of your company and who will be a good fit in your team.
One of the best ways to do this is through smarter sales recruitment empowered by specialized software and a scientific approach to hiring. Working with a sales recruitment company that has the tools and experience to help you identify and hire salespeople with the experience and approach you’re looking for will help …???
2. Review Incentive Structures
In some ways, turnover is a simple matter of economics: a salesperson who decides to move to a different company or leave the industry altogether has made a calculation that their compensation is no longer sufficient for the work they’re being asked to do and that they can find a better deal elsewhere.
If you have noticed that many of your salespeople are leaving to take jobs with your competitors, you should consider whether or not your incentives are falling behind evolving industry norms. This isn’t just an issue of commission — the following are also important aspects of the incentive structure:
- Stock options
Talented, successful sales professionals know their value. If you want to keep the best, you have to make them an attractive offer.
3. Improve Workplace Culture
Empirical evidence shows that workplace turnover is partially shaped by the overall workplace culture — for example, if jumping from position to position is normalized and understood as part of how the industry works, then turnover will be higher.
Changing workplace culture can be hard, but developing an office ethos that attracts hard-working sales professionals is worth it. This doesn’t mean buying foosball tables or bean bag chairs, though: the tone of workplace culture has a lot more to do with things like ownership of the company’s mission, a sense of stability and camaraderie, and the feeling that commitment to the team will pay off in the long run.
Despite the sobering industry statistics, turnover isn’t something you just have to live with. With the right approach, you can dramatically reduce turnover on your sales team and create a culture where workers want to stay in their jobs.
But doing so won’t happen overnight. Making a long-term plan for reducing turnover should start with improving hiring processes, a review of your incentives, and a serious look at how workplace culture could be tweaked to make sticking around more appealing for sales professionals.
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