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Reduce Sales Rep Turnover

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Reduce Sales Rep Turnover
A basic fact, average annual turnover in sales is 25 to 30%. This means that the equivalent of the entire sales organization must be hired and trained every four years or so, and that’s expensive. You can reduce the risk of loosing good sales people by looking at your recruitment, goal setting, and sales leadership. 

Hiring good sales people is notoriously difficult. However, there are a lot of bad ones to choose from and, inevitably, they are good at selling themselves in an interview. Ask the sales person for their annual sales targets for the last three years and their achievement against them. Hire the right person for each sales role such as lead generation/appointment setting or account management. People, especially salespeople with a variable pay component, become frustrated when they’re hired for tasks that are a poor fit with their skills and preferences.
Attract the right sales professionals to your business by creating a supportive culture that replicates success through leadership and proper sales systems. An awesome sales person, who is worth recruiting, will get you to the end of the interview with you doing most of the talking. You will be feeling anxiety about them taking another job. You won’t feel at all sold to. Setup a process for multiple interviews and tests to ensure consistency in behavior and results. Have another sales professional inside your organization or an outside consultant be part of the selection process, especially if you don't have a sales background.

Realistic Goals:
Set sales goals at the beginning of the year based on each individual's performance level and over all goals of the company. Forecasting your future sales based partially on past performance helps to form the baseline. Sales metrics will assist in your forecasting for the year. In some cases you may have to hire more sales people to get to the next level if your current team has reached their personal best. Continuous training assists in increasing personal best sales goals each year. Many companies will evaluate each of their customer accounts to see what opportunities have been missed. If you ask your sales rep or sales team to achieve what is outside their best capacity, you will have a loss in productivity and even good sales people leaving your company. There must be a well thought out process for achieving the new targets with on-going correction.

Sales Leadership:
Clear leadership representation is very important in leading the sales initiatives. It's very easy to say that we will achieve 15% more in our sales goals this year but no clear plan in place. Three areas where companies can make improvements are:
Account Management: Assign qualified leads to the right sales person that can close the deal. A manager should never give an account to a sales person that has no chance of closing and maintaining. It will only discourage them to leaving or the company will lose the opportunity.
Competitiveness: Many managers will encourage competitiveness between sales people or teams to improve sales numbers. However, it must be in done in such a way that it empowers each individual to improve and increase the performance of the whole group. Competitiveness is used to figure out incentives and weed out the weaker performance but this can be very subjective sometimes in execution.
Discouragement: Give new sales people the proper training and accounts that will build their confidence in your products or services. Many companies hire new sales people and give them difficult old accounts to resurrect with a new face and energy. This only discourages the new rep as they will not be able to meet their sales targets and fear losing their job. Assigning accounts to reps is a very important task and care must be taken to cultivate the opportunity. As a Sales Manager, if you were not able to close the account then you should not expect the new sales person to close it without any assistance.
Building a team of professional salespeople is no easy task and requires careful planning and on-going support. The right sales person in a supportive environment can have a huge impact on your sales funnel and your bottom-line.
Level 6 (XP: 2350)
last year
This information is fantastic!

I have the same problem with trying to reduce sales rep turnover. This has been an issue since I opened my company. I pay them well but can't seem to keep them for the long run.

Thanks for the information, I will use your advice to help keep my reps in my company!

By the way, do you have any additional advice to reduce rep turnover?
Reply by BIOPS
last year
Thanks for your comments Joel. The answer to your question is Yes, we can provide other ways to reduce the sales rep turnover in a company. We would have to discuss your individual situation and come up with a strategy that will work with your type of business and sales team. There are many things that can be done to develop the sales professional and team, which will assist in achieving the company revenue, customer satisfaction and getting repeat business.

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