3 Things You Want to Avoid to Improve Retention

Published on Nov 16, 2017

Retention of sales reps is crucial to the long-term success of your sales organization. With the annual turnover rate of sales reps being on average 26 percent, failure to keep top sales reps is costly to your bottom line — in terms of talent loss, recruitment costs and training.

DePaul University’s 2016 Sales Effectiveness study confirms that sales talent retention continues to be a critical challenge for sales organizations.

The question becomes what should sales organizations be doing to keep top sales reps from leaving? Below are three things you should avoid doing in order to keep your top sales talent:

1.     Avoid stagnant job roles

Objective: Top-performing sales reps need new challenges and opportunities.

Approach: Top-performing sales reps get bored and antsy when not provided with new growth opportunities. Offer them new opportunities within your organization to keep them from looking elsewhere. Opportunities like providing input on sales strategies to management, launching a new product or service offering, or leading training classes are good examples. Sales reps appreciate feeling valued and knowing that there are career-oriented growth opportunities within the sales organization. A recent study by Willis Towers Watson on employee retention found that “more than 70 percent of high-retention-risk employees say they have to leave their organization in order to advance their careers.” Try to promote by developing your sales team instead of recruiting from outside the organization.

2.     Avoid poor incentive plans

Objective: Top-performing sales reps should always have a new incentive goal within reach.

Approach: Incentives for your sales reps shouldn’t just be tied to annual quotas. Sales reps should always be able to have an “eye on the prize.” Sales organizations could offer some of the following as part of their retention strategy:

  • Give shares of company stock that vest over time
  • Offer additional time off or vacation days at specific intervals (three and five years)
  • Pay for continuing education
  • Provide ongoing career development training
  • Provide substantial bonuses that pay out on specific numbers of years with the company

Your sales team should feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. This will go a long way toward keeping top performers from leaving your sales organization.

3.     Avoid poor leadership 

Objective: Top-performing sales reps want strong leadership.

Approach: This topic comes up again and again when talking to sales reps who have left organizations. Most often they are not leaving because of the company or the job; they are leaving because of their sales management. Leaders need to be counted on to set clear expectations about the sales job role and earning potential. Feedback on job performance should be timely and attached to an employee development plan if needed. Sales reps want to know they have the potential to grow within the organization and that there is an established career path.  

These three tips can help your sales organization reduce turnover . Establishing and investing in your organization’s strategy for improving retention will result in a positive ROI in terms of employee retention and satisfaction.

Interested in a thorough evaluation of your sales recruiting and retention process? Revecent can complete an analysis of your company’s onboarding and retention strategies to identify areas of improvement. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.   Revecent is a national sales recruiting and training consulting firm. We help technology and professional service companies design, build and optimize winning sales teams to accelerate revenue growth. Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.

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