Top Retention Strategies For Sales Employees

Highly skilled sales employees are one of the most prized assets of any organization. Their experience and expertise in securing and converting leads make them indispensable. Naturally, organizations remain highly concerned with retaining these top performers. In this post, we’ll cover some key retention strategies for sales employees.

The Importance of Retention

With the number of employee resignations rising to 3.5 million in April 2019 alone, senior sales executives are calling employee turnover one of their biggest challenges. Due to the pivotal role that salespeople play in the growth of an organization, having to repeatedly hire and train new reps is an obstacle that must be overcome.

Additionally, a high employee turnover leads to steep costs, hindering revenue generation. Replacing your sales team isn’t easy. The average cost per sales rep amounted to $97,690 in 2017, and that cost will likely continue to grow with time.

Similarly, it takes considerable time (between 5-8 months) to sufficiently onboard and train sales reps so they can start generating revenue for the business. This makes the establishment of effective retention strategies a dire need for sales organizations across the globe.

Avoid this loss of time and money. Set up a consultation with one of HireDNA’s sales recruiting and training experts today! Contact Us

Approaches To Building Employee Loyalty

45% of sales reps start exploring their options within three months of joining a new organization, with only 19% deciding to stick around long term. This statistic highlights a general lack of specific retention plans for employees. Often, there is minimal effort made to address the root cause of the issue.

It’s important to be proactive to help reduce employee turnover. Here are some excellent tactics that sales organizations can use to put an end to the continuous cycle of sales turnover:

Retention Starts with Hiring

Begin your hiring process with a solid understanding of the ideal candidate profile for success in your unique sales environment. List the personality traits, behavioral characters, and skill candidates must possess to perform at a high level. Organizations that use sales assessments in the hiring process to validate compatibility before hiring experience a 39% increase in quota attainment, and lowering turnover by more than 11%.

HireDNA provides science-backed predictive sales assessments with a 92% candidate success rate. Learn more.

Ensure Adequate Guidance

Due to increased workload and higher quotas, sales managers are often unable to coach their reps. This results in a team that is not aligned with the organization’s short- and long-term goals.

Taking this into consideration, ongoing sales training is a must for improving the performance of your sales reps. For example, training your sales reps to shift their mentality to ‘solution providers can result in them taking ownership, and in turn, increase loyalty.

Build Bonds

It’s also important to create an emotional connection with your employees. To help improve team bonding, consider scheduling a casual monthly or quarterly team outing. This provides a space for team members to interact face to face in a friendly setting. Internal sales competitions can also be a great way to improve engagement.

By increasing engagement, you can build a relationship based on loyalty and trust with your team. This benefits both parties. As the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) reports, engaged employees have a 400% lower chance of leaving their workplace. Your engagement efforts can also improve employee productivity and eventually result in increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Offer Challenging, Non-Redundant Work

Sales reps perform best when faced with challenging situations and clients. Dull, repetitive work makes your employees feel like their talents are being wasted or simply unappreciated. To prevent your best members from losing interest in the company, give them fresh challenges that go further than just assigning them bigger clients.

For example, give your sales reps responsibilities that require them to implement complex strategies to attract enterprise accounts. Let them handle the launch of a new product or incoming leads from a specific marketing campaign. You can even consider assigning them an advisory role in addition to their regular work. This can help to keep them interested while also making them feel more valued.

Incorporate Modern Sales Tools

Organizations need to provide salespeople with the right tools to ensure they are making the best use of their ability. As technology continues to improve, modern sales tools allow reps to have the right information at the right time.

For instance, a CRM system like HubSpot allows sales reps to access all customer/lead related information from a single dashboard. Additionally, modern tools support remote access, which allow sales reps to work on the go—increasing productivity and profitability, and improving flexibility in the workplace.

By providing teams with the right set of tools to grow, organizations can help ensure they don’t leave in pursuit of greener pastures.

Build A Positive Culture

As the largest generation of the US workforce, millennials need more than just monetary incentives to stay loyal to an organization. Research shows that 80% of millennials require a work culture that fosters personal development and growth. Similarly, they want to work towards something that makes a positive impact, and holds value.

To cater to this demand, businesses need to be extremely transparent about their goals and vision. Moreover, it is important for sales leaders to recognize and reward high-performing employees for the milestones they have achieved.

The key is to keep the goals realistic and implement performance tracking that encourages employees to perform better. Sending in regular performance updates and bonus reminders tends to go a long way to help improve employee dedication and performance.

Read our blog post on How to Create a Winning Sales Culture for more great tips!

Decreasing Employee Turnover Is A Must

Sales employee turnover is a common problem. As experienced salespersons desert the organization, supervisors are left to restart and rebuild—adversely impacting the overall performance and efficiency of the department.

With a concrete employee retention strategy in place, businesses can work to improve engagement and hold on to their experienced sales reps.

HireDNA Can Help

HireDNA is a leading sales recruiting and training firm. We offer a full range of services to help you build and retain a winning sales team:

Are you ready for all-time low employee turnover rate? Speak with our experts today.

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Building A SaaS Sales Team That Gets Results

Cloud computing is the future. There’s no denying the efficiency it has introduced in key industries across the globe. Particularly, the software as a service (SaaS) industry has been instrumental in driving this global change, with 83% of the enterprise workload expected to be in the cloud by 2020.

However, as any SaaS company would likely tell you—selling their product isn’t easy. Increasing competition in this space means SaaS providers need more than just a good product to be considered successful. They need an effective sales team. In this post, we’ll provide tips on building a SaaS sales team that gets results.

If you prefer to speak directly with a SaaS sales recruiting and training expert, set up a consultation with HireDNA today. Contact Us

Define A Sales Strategy

If you believe a leader in SaaS like Slack, achieved a multi-billion-dollar valuation based solely on their product, then you are wrong. According to a Harvard Business Review study, about 50 percent of high-performing sales teams have proper sales processes in place for their teams to follow.

In the cut-throat SaaS industry, it’s important to have the right direction when hiring sales reps. A plan that provides direction and facilitates growth is necessary. A functioning sales team requires adequate policies and procedures in place to run like a well-oiled machine.

Understand Your Sales Cycle

From attracting prospects to closing deals, the sales cycle is unique for every industry. Sales teams need to acquaint themselves with the customer journey as well as the organizational sales cycle to be able to sell more efficiently.

Part of this process is to understand whether you’re selling a high touch product or a low touch product. The type of product has a definite impact on your sales cycle, subsequently altering your sales technique.

For example, a low touch SaaS product is more or less of a self-service. Prospects typically sign up for products through the website, and your sales department does the rest.

In stark contrast, high touch SaaS products require dedicated pursuit of high-quality prospects, and a unique sales approach.

HireDNA offers comprehensive sales cycle evaluations and assessments to help you identify opportunities for growth and train your sales reps to meet your goals. Learn More.

Identify Your Target Audience

Sales is all about understanding the needs of your customers, and the value you bring to them. You should diligently research the market and conduct competitor research to ascertain your target audience and determine the demographic that best suits your product.

Here are some questions to ask when identifying your target audience:

  • What are the problems that your SaaS product aims to solve?
  • Have you determined the group that actively seeks the solution to these problems?
  • Have you identified the main platforms where you expect to drive the majority of your leads?

Extensive audience research provides SaaS companies the data they require to equip their salespeople with the right information to sell more efficiently. 

Bridge The Sales And Marketing Gap

SaaS consumers are generally well-informed and enter the conversion funnel with a predefined intent in mind. When dealing with such a sophisticated product and customer, marketing and sales teams need to function as a cohesive unit.

In essence, marketing drives your sales team. They are responsible for capturing leads and are also responsible for helping to nurture them before they are passed forward as SQLs (sales qualified leads) to the sales team.

Inefficient communication between the two departments inevitably hinders the potential of the sales team. If the two departments are misaligned, sales representatives will have difficulty convincing prospects to buy your SaaS solution.

Aligning the objectives of the departments before beginning on prospect outreach efforts can have long-lasting benefits for the future of your SaaS sales team.

Hiring The Right SaaS Sales Reps

In this highly competitive space, you need to find sales rock stars with the right set of skills. Your reps should have exceptional product knowledge and the ability to connect the product as a solution to a prospect’s problems / goals. Here are a few things to look for in the best SaaS sales reps:

  • Tech-Savvy. While your reps don’t need have support-level technical skills, they should be fluent in the tech space. They should have the proficiency to understand your product and speak about its features knowledgably.
  • Long-Term Client Relationships. Many SaaS companies operate on a subscription basis. To that end, it’s important that your reps understand the nature of long-term B2B relationships. They should be able to identify the potential for long-term relationships in a given lead and should have the ability to nurture those relationships.
  • Solid Track Record.Nothing speaks louder about a rep’s ability to sell than a proven record of success. While startups often seek out younger talent as a way to save on costs, it’s still important to look for some kind of experience.
  • Strong Profiling Ability. A strong SaaS sales rep will be able to adequately profile the targeted customer and adjust their strategy to improve the sales process. If your rep chases undesirable leads, this wastes the company’s time and money.

HireDNA provides comprehensive candidate assessments that assess 21 core selling competencies. We have a successful placement rate of 80%! Learn more.

Build Your Winning Sales Team

Building a successful SaaS sales team on your own can be a challenge. HireDNA is here to help, offering leading technical sales recruiting and training services to build and improve your sales force. From screening, recruiting, and hiring top sales candidates to training and equipping your team for success, we are your partner throughout the sales development process.

Why Choose Us?

  • 20 years of invaluable experience
  • 80% of our sales talent search ends in a successful hire
  • 79% candidate retention
  • 50% faster new hire ramp-up
  • 92% of our recommended and hired candidates reach the top half of the sales force within 12 months
  • Our partners have experienced 25% top-line revenue growth

Ready to equip your SaaS sales team with industry-leading expertise? Get in touch today.

Contact Us

Assess Sales Training Needs: Find & Resolve Performance Gaps

In a demanding sales environment, identifying the real problem behind low productivity is crucial. Uncovering performance gaps is often the first step to assess sales training needs. This process can help decision-makers to identify real factors that influence the performance of their sales team and fix them through high-quality training. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to identify and resolve performance gaps through training.

If you prefer to speak directly with a sales training expert, set up a consultation with HireDNA today. Contact Us

Why Perform An Assessment?

A sales training assessment is a crucial step to improving the performance of any sales team. The Objective Management Group (OMG) provides some promising statistics on the use of assessments vs the lack of assessment:

Use Assessments

  • 61% Quota Attainment
  • 14% Attrition

Don’t Use Assessments

  • 49% Quota Attainment
  • 19% Attrition

The comprehensive, science-based OMG assessment, which HireDNA uses in our evaluations, has proven to be even more successful. With the OMB assessment, organizations have achieved 88% Quota Attainment and only 8% Attrition. Learn more about HireDNA sales staff evaluations.

How To Find Performance Gaps In Your Sales Team

When laying the groundwork for your training program, there are several questions that need to be answered:

  • Does it do a satisfactory job of highlighting areas that need improvement?
  • Does it sufficiently address the performance issues that hinder employee productivity?

Proper analysis of training needs can unravel such answers, leaving you with precise data on how to proceed with your sales department. Here’s how to perform a sales training assessment to uncover these gaps and create a plan of action.

Conduct A Preliminary Analysis

Before you identify the barriers to your sales rep potential, you need to assess their current standing. You can then use that information to establish the desired outcomes of a sales training program.

In order to meet the organizational objectives, managers and supervisors must have a clear understanding of the current level of knowledge and skills their sales team possesses. The initial analysis also sheds light on the existing barriers to growth, which can be used to ascertain a realistic set of desired outcomes.

Determine Your Organizational Priorities

In order to come up with effective performance drivers, organizations need to prioritize their learning objectives. This provides insight into what actually matters for the organization and allows experts to prioritize goals/learning outcomes when designing the training regimen. For instance, if your priority is to improve your customer satisfaction scores, your training procedure should specifically include ways to deliver a better customer experience.

This step particularly requires the input of senior management and top-level executives, as they are typically responsible for determining the company’s priorities.

Identify Your Sales Growth Bottlenecks

Once you’ve laid the foundation for a sales training needs assessment, the next step is to identify key factors that are hindering your sales team’s performance. In order to bridge performance gaps, you first have to identify them.

HireDNA offers comprehensive sales staff evaluations and assessments to help you identify KPIs, uncover skill gaps, and discover opportunities for growth. Learn more.

Here are some ways you can assess and pinpoint areas that need improvement:

Analyze Periodic Reports

As far as your sales team is concerned, a glimpse of the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual managerial evaluations can lend important insights into the performance of the sales department.

  • Was the team able to meet their monthly targets?
  • What was the most commonly cited problem among sales representatives?

Following up with team leaders can offer up a different perspective, while allowing you to understand performance issues from an inside perspective.

Closely Monitor Sales Representatives

One of the most effective methods of identifying performance gaps is by observing employees during their on-job hours. You can even go as far as formulating a task-based scenario or simulation and carve out the areas that exhibit inefficiency.

Live observations can reveal some real barriers faced by your sales representatives:

  • Is their unfamiliarity with the technology you are using leading to extended call times, and subsequently increasing call-drop rates?
  • Does conflict resolution continue to present an unsurmountable barrier to your sales department?

Observation is one of the most effective ways to extract actionable data that can help you to create a plan of action. The direct exposure to the problem helps experts create a sales training solution tailored to the exact scenario.

Conduct Employee Surveys

Surveys provide an excellent platform for employees to reveal performance issues that are hidden from management. From ineffective online training forums to company policies that are proving to be an obstacle, surveys can reveal what otherwise would not make it to the surface. There are several methods to try, including surveys, polls, focus groups, and live webinars.

This feedback is highly valuable, as it comes directly from the sales representatives that you’re trying to train to be more productive and efficient.

Tailor Your Training Strategy

Having assessed sales training needs, including current capabilities and the blockages that have hindered your sales potential, it’s time to formulate a training plan that can increase the performance of your sales team.

An effective training strategy revolves around the needs and performance issues of every individual sales representative, while also catering to the organization’s macro-goals. The key takeaway is for organizations to understand that every individual represents a different knowledge-base, a different skillset, and therefore, a unique challenge when required to train and improve.

Build Your Winning Sales Team

Time is money. Businesses cannot afford to train their salespeople for weeks. This is where the sales recruiting and training experts at HireDNA step in. Whether you need to assess and train an existing team or quickly ramp up a new hire, we offer a suite of innovative sales training tools and strategies to help turn your staff into a winning sales force.

Why Choose Us?

  • 20 years of invaluable experience
  • Training time decreased by 50%
  • Our training enables organizations to leverage 33% more sales opportunities
  • Our partners experience 25% top-line revenue growth

Ready to train your sales team to be the best? Get in touch today.

Contact Us

5 Sales Training Techniques That Improve Sales Performance

Learn five proven sales training techniques to improve sales performance. 

Sales is one of those professions that can never be mastered. Products, services and marketplaces are continually evolving, which means training and development are never-ending processes.

It’s also the case that more than 80 percent of what employees learn is forgotten unless ongoing learning and reinforcement takes place. To drive your organization’s sales performance, coaching and training need to be delivered on a continual process. And to ensure every member of your sales team has the tools for success, there are five proven techniques you can utilize.

1. Role-play Exercises

Roleplay exercises provide a great way of applying what sales employees have learned to real-world situations. It’s one thing to learn the theory, but it’s another to apply it in the right way. Assign the roles customer, colleague and employee as required, and set the scene with a scenario that is common within your industry.

Role-play is often as much about the journey as it is about the result. Employees need to think in their feet, improvise and utilize their knowledge and skill to achieve the desired outcomes. However, just as important are confidence-building, problem-solving and listening.

2. Mentoring by Experienced Salespeople

Young or inexperienced sales professionals can benefit greatly from having a more experienced peer to talk to for advice. As well as offering advice based on broad experience, a mentor can offer emotional support, help with goals and be a friendly ear for complaints and grievances. It is vitally important that relatively new sales professionals can speak to someone on their level in complete confidence.

Assigning the right mentor to a sales professional takes care of the ongoing training and development needs that are crucial in the role. As a manager or business owner, you can communicate with the mentor at regular intervals to assess the employee’s progress.

3. Field Training With Feedback

Nothing prepares a sales professional for the countless scenarios they will face like field training. An employee can spend hours in the classroom or on e-learning courses, but nothing develops sales techniques like real-world experience

Shadowing an experienced and successful achiever is a great way for less experienced sales professionals to apply key techniques. While employees may make mistakes, there is someone there to offer guidance when it is needed. And let’s be honest: Learning from mistakes is an intrinsic part of developing sales skills.

4. The Use of Real Success Stories

Nothing inspires and motivates a sales professional like a real story of success and achievement. Simply knowing what is possible through hard work and a willingness to learn is enough to give inexperienced employees the will to develop in their role.

Whether you use the mentoring process or public speakers to communicate sales success stories is up to you. As long as you give people a flavor of what they can achieve, you can drive motivation levels for increased sales.

5. Expert Coaching by Sales Training Experts

To bring a fresh perspective to training, consider bringing in a sales training company to work with your more inexperienced sales professionals. These specialist companies employ accomplished and experienced sales experts with real-world experience — who offer invaluable advice and insight.

Using a third-party sales training provider allows your employees to tap into a wealth of proven expertise. And if you and key members of your sales team aren’t solely responsible for training and development, you can concentrate fully on your own responsibilities.Visit our site to learn more about how we can help your company maximize your sales training investment to accelerate revenue growth. 

5 Tips to Improve Sales Force Retention

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.

Why Most Sales Training Programs Fail

Companies invest a significant amount of revenue into the development of their salespeople each year.

Corporations in the US alone spend over $70 Billion on training, and still, there is a mass of sales reps that underperform.

In fact, according to, The Science of Selling; by David Hoffeld, 38-49% of ALL salespeople fail to make quota each year.


Many companies are incorrectly addressing the training needs of their sales force. Fortunately, many of the mistakes organizations make when creating and delivering training programs can be fixed.

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons sales training programs fail, and how to avoid these pitfalls to produce lasting results.

Failure to Customize the Training to the Needs of Your Team

It’s important to take inventory on how your sales team is performing, and determine what areas you would like to improve to ensure your sales training program has the most impact.

Take the time BEFORE you develop your curriculum to conduct an evaluation. Gather key insights on the strengths and weakness of your team and use the information to customize the training to address those areas. This approach will enable you to focus your time on the tactics and strategies that will have the most impact on your performance.

Unfortunately, many companies overlook the importance of an evaluation and rely too heavily on making assumptions about their training needs. Assuming incorrectly increases the risk of implementing a program that is not relevant, thus reducing its impact.

Not Aligning Your Sales Process with the Training Methodology

Many companies approach sales training as a one-off event. Once the training is over, sales reps are left on their own to figure out how to implement what they learned. It’s no surprise that nearly 50% of the training is forgotten within five weeks.

Planning in advance for how you intend to align the training content with your day-to-day sales process will go a long way to reinforcing lessons learned. It allows your salespeople to apply strategies and tactics regularly through repetition resulting in true behavioral change.

Not Establishing An Accountability Plan To Reinforce, Monitor, and Measure Results.

Having a plan for holding your reps accountable is essential to measuring results from for your training program. It’s like Peter Drucker, the management guru, would say, “You can only improve what you can measure.”

To make the best use of the time and resources invested in your sales training program, you should define what you would like to get out of it BEFORE you start. Begin by asking the following questions:  

  • How will we measure success?   
  • What metrics will be used to track performance?
  • What areas would we like to see improved the most?
  • What are the expected results?
  • How often will we meet with the team to review progress?

Having a sales training program that increases revenue and performance is what every company wants. The way to get the most value out of your training is to ensure your curriculum is tailored to the needs of your team, it integrates well with your daily sales process, and you have a well throughout plan to reinforce and measure your results.