In this article, we’ll cover seven ways you can cut down on sales position turnover.
High sales position turnover can be a serious concern for any company. Putting aside issues of wasted hours teaching and re-teaching methods, software, and products, high turnover greatly damages the ability of a company to leverage the personal aspect of customer-salesperson relationships. Overall, it can be said that high turnover is one of the worst problems for a sales division to have–a cause for quite some concern, when you keep in mind that sales positions are prone to unusually high rates of turnover. In this article, we’ll cover seven ways you can cut down on sales position turnover and start building a strong core of salespeople that will carry your company forward.
Hiring shouldn’t be about getting the best employee for today–it should be about getting a new member for your sales team. Someone that will be a happy, productive coworker to the rest of your team. Sometimes that means hiring someone experienced that can match the rest of your team and seamlessly integrate. Other times that mean focusing on fresh graduates, so you can shape them to a unique way of doing things.
Once you have solid people in every sales position, you can start learning about them. Know who they are as employees and who they are as people. Know their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them to work hard, who they don’t get along with, what they do when they get off work. By knowing your team, you can take efforts to make their work life work smoothly, their work with the team perfect, their inclination to leave zero.
Numbers can tell you things about your team that you wouldn’t expect. If someone has immense trouble with a particular type of work, or when working directly with a certain other team member, you need to know that and good metrics can reveal such ‘hidden’ information. Such problems can lead directly to high turnover–if your boss makes you do work you’re terrible at, or work with people you can’t stand, eventually you’re going to head for the door. Happy people working to their strengths with people they like keep turnover down.
One of the lead drivers of high sales position turnover is the manager with unreasonable expectations. Goals set for a team should be challenging, so the team works hard, but something the team can hit with that extra effort–not something they’ll miss often. Low morale and constant failure leads to high turnover. Especially if those failures are met with harsh words from above.
Communication from above needs to be clear and it needs to be fair. That means making sure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, recognizing failures without harassing individuals, and knowing the situation ‘on the ground’ so that when you have something to say it’s something worth saying–not ‘blather’ from an ‘out of touch manager’. Bad communication leads to disgruntled employees, and disgruntled employees don’t stay employees longer than they have to.
Along with challenging but attainable work goals, you should be teaching your sales team new methods, introducing ideas they’ve never seen, pushing them to their full potential. This also helps with those weaknesses you’ve identified in getting to know your team–if you need someone doing something they’re not good at, and don’t want them becoming part of your sales position turnover problem, then you need to teach them to do it well.
Compensation doesn’t always mean money, especially for the best employees, the ones you wish you could pay more and know a competitor might. Benefits, access to the company car, tickets to an event and a day off to go to that event…that’s the sort of compensation that keeps people around and keeps your sales position turnover rates healthy.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.