In today’s hyper-competitive landscape, the departure of even one high-performing sales professional can result in significant revenue loss, decreased team morale, and a void that takes time and resources to fill. According to benchmarking data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire is nearly $4,700, and the average executive cost per hire is more than $28,000.
Sales professionals are the backbone of revenue generation in any organization. So, what entices top sales talent to join, remain engaged, or exit a company?
Why Top Sales Talent Comes On Board
Transparent and Motivating Compensation Plans
In the world of sales, convoluted compensation structures are more of a deterrent than an incentive. A straightforward and motivating compensation plan that rewards the behaviors essential for achieving strategic objectives and driving sustainable revenue is a must – it is no longer just about base salary. According to a Salesforce report, 52% of salespeople prioritize compensation when considering a new job opportunity.
A company’s brand is no longer just for customers. According to Glassdoor, 84% of job seekers consider the company’s reputation as an employer before applying. Top sales talent is likely to join a company with a strong market presence, positive reviews, and a good reputation as an employer.
Career Advancement Opportunities
A LinkedIn survey found that 45% of employees who switch jobs cite a lack of career advancement opportunities as the reason for leaving. Sales professionals are driven individuals who often look for roles that promise more than financial gains, including career growth, new roles, and opportunities to lead.
Why Top Sales Talent Stays
Sales Enablement Tools and Technologies
According to Accenture, 59% of salespeople say they have access to too many sales tools, indicating that not all tools provided are useful or efficient. Sales talent needs the right tools to succeed. If the company’s technology is outdated or cumbersome, top salespeople may leave for companies that offer better tools that make it easier to meet their quotas. As a sales leader, equip your team with tools that make their work easier and enable them to excel in their roles.
Training and Development
The 2023 State of Sales Training report states that 65% of high-performing organizations incorporated non-technology simulations such as in-person role plays into their sales training, compared with 39% of organizations that were not high performers. Providing opportunities for skills upgrading through workshops, regular training programs, and conferences to cultivate a culture of continuous learning and growth is necessary.
Top sales talent often desires flexibility, whether in the form of remote work options, flexible hours, or a supportive company culture that understands the value of work-life balance. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 53% of employees place a high importance on achieving a balance between their personal and professional lives.
According to a Columbia University study, the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with a rich company culture is a mere 13.9%, compared to 48.4% in companies with a poor culture. Organizational culture is increasingly recognized as a vital factor in attracting and retaining employees. Top sales talent often seeks a supportive, inclusive, and motivational work environment.
Why Top Sales Talent Leaves
A survey by Glassdoor indicates that approximately 35% of employees will look for a new job if they don’t receive a pay raise within 12 months.
A main reason top talent comes on board and a main reason they leave. Salespeople gauge their value and success through their earnings. If a salesperson feels that they are not adequately rewarded for their efforts or see a disparity between their earnings and market rates, it can be a major motivator to seek employment elsewhere.
Job Role Misalignment
A Gallup study reveals that less than half of U.S. employees strongly feel that their job description aligns with the work they are asked to do. Often, sales roles can evolve or change, leading to misalignment between what a salesperson is hired for and what they end up doing. This can result in dissatisfaction and, ultimately, departure.
Poor Management and Leadership
A Gallup poll found that approximately 50% of employees quit their jobs to get away from their managers at some point in their career.
Last week, our CEO shared a quote by Alexander den Heijer that really resonated with me – “When I talk to managers, I get the feeling they’re important. When I talk to leaders, I get the feeling I’m important.” Remember, the importance of effective leadership cannot be overstated.
Have you considered implementing Stay Interviews?
Stay interviews can be an invaluable tool for understanding why your employees are sticking around, and they can offer insights into how you can improve retention.
Here are some thoughtful questions designed to get at the heart of what keeps your employees engaged and what might make them consider leaving:
- What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
- What do you like most or least about working here?
- What keeps you working here?
- If you could change something about your job, what would that be?
- What would make your job more satisfying?
- How do you like to be recognized?
- What talents are not being used in your current role?
- Do you feel you are fairly compensated for your contributions?
- Are there additional benefits or perks you’d like to see?
- Do you feel you can achieve your career aspirations here?
- Do you feel you are getting the professional development you want?
- Do you have the resources and support to accomplish your work without feeling burned out?
- How effective is the communication between you and your manager?
- What would make you leave our company?
Losing out on top sales talent can have a domino effect on team performance and overall revenue. Understanding the factors influencing top performers is essential for recruiting and retention. As a sales leader in 2023, this understanding is not merely beneficial—it’s crucial.