5 Tips to Improve Sales Force Retention

Published on Nov 7, 2017

Numerous hours are spent training new hires for their roles within the sales force. 

Organizations invest time, effort and money getting reps up to speed on their new roles and providing insight on the organization’s sales culture. When a sales rep leaves, the organization is back where it started with recruiting and training. Sound familiar? According to DePaul University’s 2015-2016 Sales Effectiveness – Sales Acceleration Survey the cost of losing a sales rep is substantial:

“The annual turnover rate for sales employees is high at 26 percent, and the average cost per sales rep turnover is $97,690.”

So, how do you convince your sales reps to stay? Here are five tips for retaining top sales performers prior to hiring them:

1. Lead by Example

Employees appreciate and value strong leadership. Share company roadmaps, goals and objectives upfront with your sales candidate. Begin fostering excitement around their new role and how they will fit into the overall mission of your organization. Set objectives and expectations during the interview process, so potential job candidates clearly understand what will be expected of them in upon hire. According to a recent study on HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2016 by Glassdoor:

“67 percent of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a clearer picture of what to expect about working at the company before taking the job.”

2. Implement a Strong Sales Culture

Establish a sales culture that matches the type of sales talent you want to hire. Use your sales culture as a guideline for hiring new reps. Hire people who not only have the skill sets you are looking for, but also fit seamlessly into your existing sales culture. Developing a conducive environment for your sales force creates a connection between your sales rep and your organization.

3. Establish Employee Development Plans

Have a development plan in place that provides a roadmap for new sales employees. The plan should include measurable goals and a timeline for achieving those goals. In your organization’s interview process, share the basic career roadmap while discussing your sales candidate’s interests and career goals. Take the time to discuss your organization’s development plans for new employees, so the candidate understands the opportunity and commitment offered for progressing their sales career.

4. Provide Ongoing Training

Organizations that provide ongoing training opportunities for their sales reps demonstrate they are invested in their employees’ success. Discuss any training opportunities with candidates during the interview process. Share how your organization’s sales training includes both instructor-led and online courses covering a broad range of topics from products, services, tools and systems to soft-skills they will need while interacting with customers. Let your candidates know upfront that your organization is committed to their career development.

5. Offer Employee Benefits

Employee benefits play a large part in recruiting and retaining top sales performers. Benefits can include perks like providing health insurance, sales bonuses, flex time, telecommuting or tuition reimbursement. Benefits should be aligned to your sales force and provide motivation for the sales rep to remain with your organization. Discuss benefits and perks with your sales candidate during the interview process and be clear on whether or not any of them are tied to specific sales targets.

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 talent acquisition 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 sales enablement consulting firm. We help technology and professional service companies recruit and optimize sales talent to accelerate growth. Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.

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