Salespeople can be a demanding lot – they want to reap good financial rewards for their efforts. Like any other employee, however, they also want more than just a paycheck. They require recognition of their achievements, they want to see that management invests in their success, and they want to have strong leadership at the head of their team. When salespeople don’t get these things from their employer, they will leave their job for a new opportunity.
Some companies report an annual attrition rate in their sales department of 50 percent. When an organization experiences this type of churn, the best employees are typically the first to leave, as they are able to find new jobs much more quickly.
The Consequences of High Attrition
As good people rotate in and out, an organization can soon find itself locked in quicksand. Hiring and training new salespeople takes time and money – but in order to save money, many organizations cut their training budgets. As new hires come on board, they are thrown into the fire with little preparation or support. This sets them up for failure and dissatisfaction, and they will eventually leave. Meanwhile, dissatisfied employees spread the word verbally and online on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, making it more difficult for the company to attract talent. The cycle can be extremely difficult to break, and most companies don’t know where to begin to dig themselves out.
Breaking the Attrition Cycle
There are some steps that sales managers can take in order to help break the cycle of attrition, including:
- Matching the right people with assignments where they are most likely to be successful-based upon skill set and personality traits.
- Providing ongoing, targeted training that will increase overall sales performance.
- Identifying a clear, progressive career path for talented sales people, and helping team members set (and achieve) goals to help them climb that ladder.
- Offering customized coaching that meets the needs of the individual.
When organizations invest time and resources into helping their teams succeed, it can go a long way towards improving employee satisfaction – and hitting company goals.
Begin at the Beginning
Breaking the attrition cycle starts with attracting and hiring the right people. Not all sales people are created equal, and there is a bit of a learning curve involved in knowing just what skills and personality types your ideal team will require. The hiring process must be thorough and designed to ensure that the best candidates rise to the top each and every time.
Most internal HR teams don’t have the time to focus on such a thorough search for sales professionals. Working with a professional sales recruiter who has experience in your niche can often be the best solution for attracting and hiring the right people. If your enterprise software sales organization would like to learn more about reducing attrition, contact the experienced sales recruiting team at Strategic Search Solutions today.