6 Ways to Reduce Turnover in Your Sales Team
It can be frustrating to pour time and money into new sales reps, just for them to ditch you within a year of their arrival. Between training, salary, and picking up on their dry leads, it can feel like you’re dumping resources into the world’s most disappointing sinkhole.
On average, one in four new sales hires leave within the first year. So unless you’re comfortable with wasting a full 25% of your turnover budget, you need a game plan to make sure your new salespeople stick around. Check out these six tips that’ll help you reduce your turnover rate in your sales team, and protect your hiring investments.
1. Take Another Look at the Job Description
If I told you to “sell products and meet customer needs,” how many ways do you think you could interpret that? That could mean you work at a desk job for eight hours a day, or it could mean that you’d need to go door-to-door selling vacuums. Either way, that job description sucks.
If your job description is overly vague, your potential hires will never know what they’re getting into. So be as specific as possible. Imagine your job description as a wish to a genie. Think about every possible way your potential hires could misinterpret the words you’re saying, and change the description before they have a chance to call you out on it.
If your potential hires know exactly what’s in store for the job they’re signing up for, you’ll find more experienced candidates. Or at the very least, people that bothered to put in a little research before putting on a suit and a tie for the interview.
2. Offer Your Team More Flexibility
If I’ve learned anything from Dolly Parton, it’s that not everyone is content with a 9-5 job. If you’re making your staff work the same five days a week for eight hours straight, odds are, they need to base every other aspect of their life around your schedule.
What if one of your newer hires has a partner that only works nights. Or maybe they’re taking classes online to finish up their degree, and they’d really like time during the day to focus. Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea to let them come in a few hours later, or maybe give them a day on the weekend to focus on client research.
It can seem counterproductive to spend more resources to offer your employees flexibility. However, you’ll find that your employees are less distracted and trust you more in the long run when they can work closer to their own terms.
3. Offer a More Strategic Compensation Package
Motivation comes from the excitement of rewards in the future. So if your idea of a performance bonus is a pat on the back and a $10 gift card to Panera, they’ll be sulking in their bread bowl while they browse through more appreciative job listings.
I’m not saying you should break the bank just to give your staff a reason to keep working, but it’s important to give your employees opportunities to go above and beyond. For example, you could offer your staff a salary, but you could offer them a flat bonus for specific milestones beyond their quota.
And maybe try to use actual money instead of credits to local chain restaurants.
4. Check In On How They’re Adapting to Your Sales Funnel
Learning a new skill set is stressful. Do you think I got to be this good at the banjo without breaking a few strings in the process? No, it took time and quite frankly, a few blisters.
So when your new hires are adapting to something as complex as a sales funnel, have someone pop in every so often to see how they’re doing. This can help you garner a closer relationship with your salespeople and answer any questions they might have about putting your sales funnel to good use. They’ll feel much more comfortable in their position and stick around once they have the hang of it.
5. Show Them What They’re Working Towards
Mobility is one of the most important motivators for new hires. Unless someone is ecstatic to work at a desk for eight hours a day for the bare minimum, they’re always looking for ways to get ahead. So give them a sense of what’s in their future.
Show your new hires specific tracks for promotions from their position. What does a successful salesperson look like? Are you willing to give them a management position if they prove themself? Can they get their own office with one of those cool, gold nameplates and a Rubik’s Cube?
When you visualize this information for them you’ll find that more hires are willing to keep their nose to the grindstone to achieve their goals and earn these promotions.
6. Upgrade Your Sales Enablement Process
If employees aren’t performing well, it isn’t always their fault. Sometimes, you just need to bite the bullet and take a look at your sales training.
While you can offer your new sales reps top strategies and funnels that have worked in the past, everyone operates differently. Try personalizing coaching plans to suit each new hire, and give them chances to deviate from scripts when it makes sense.
It’s all about finding a balance between consistent expectations and opportunities to take risks. Once you can find that balance for your new hires, you’ll lower your turnover in no time.
If you show your sales team respect, they’re more likely to stick around.
Unless you have a shaky code of ethics and a metric ton of duct tape, there’s no way to guarantee that every new hire stays with your company. Between scheduling conflicts and emergencies, you’re bound to lose some of your turnover investment every hiring season.
But when you put in the work to offer your sales team more respect, you’ll get a return on your investment and keep more new hires than ever before.