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How to Retain Your Top Talent


Great salespeople are invaluable to a B2B organization. It’s a shame that far too many companies don't devote enough focus and attention to retaining their salespeople.  The voluntary turnover rate among salespeople is one of the highest of any industry (14% higher than other industries), according to a study by Compensation Resources, Inc. (CRI). When salespeople don’t feel engaged, motivated, and empowered to achieve their potential, they eagerly look for other opportunities.

  1. Lack of confidence in offerings

According to research by Anaplan and SiriusDecisions, the number one driver of turnover among salespeople is a lack of confidence in a company’s product and/or service offerings. When salespeople don’t genuinely believe that the products or services they are tasked to sell improve the lives of their customers, they’re engagement levels plummet.

Top performing sales organizations are laser-focused on ensuring their salespeople buy into the company’s values and mission. The process begins during the recruiting stage and remains a concerted effort over time. Decades of experience and natural talent quickly become irrelevant in the absence of passion.

  1. Lack of selling time

Much of salespeople's valuable time is squandered performing administrative-type tasks. According to ZoomInfo, salespeople spend less than half (41%) of their time selling. The process of carrying out routine and mindless activities poses a severe drain on morale. Manual CRM entry can be especially draining. Salespeople spend a staggering 32% of their time searching for missing data and entering it into their CRM systems!

Accessing tools that automate the routine tasks can reserve more time for salespeople to sell. We’ve seen customers save more than 20 hours a week by using Affinity to automatically populate their CRMs. Auto-population ensures that all communication data is inputted and affords them with fingertip access to critical information. In turn, they are liberated from the shackles of monotony to actually go out and spend time on building real relationships. 

  1. Lack of access to best-in-breed sales tools

Salespeople are like athletes. To achieve peak success in the increasingly competitive sales arena, most prefer to be fitted with the best equipment. Far too many companies fail to recognize the importance of arming their reps with the latest tools. Research by Affinity client, LinkedIn, revealed that top salespeople are 24% more likely to attribute their success to sales technology. If your salespeople rely on obsolete tools that aren’t well integrated, they’re much more likely to leave.

  1. Too much complexity in the sales process

Many companies adopt unnecessarily complex sales processes. They offer an extremely complicated portfolio of products, a multitude of different add-on features, and/or develop complex pricing schemes. According to research by one of our clients Bain, this type of complexity is a recipe for disaster. When B2B companies increase the complexity of their sales models, they typically experience a 40-60% turnover of salespeople. If your bent on retaining your best salespeople, it’s imperative that you embrace a sales model that is as simple and streamlined as possible.

  1. Lack of mentorship

A study by the American Society for Training and Development found that 75% of executives attribute their success to their managers. Salespeople, like all employees, need mentors who can propel them forward. Sales managers must not only train their salespeople, they must inspire them to grow personally and professionally. Unfortunately, the reality is grim. Research by CSO Insights revealed that and salespeople don’t feel that they get enough support and coaching when they need it. According to SalesLoft, less than one quarter (23%) of sales reps say their manager serves as a role model for how a manager should act.

High turnover rates among salespeople wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line. From recruiting fees, to retraining fees, to jeopardized customer relationships, the results of turnover loom large. Research by DePaul University revealed that the average time required to replace an sales rep ranges from 6-8 months. The associated costs can be astronomical and include an average of $29,000 in acquisition costs, $3,600 in training costs, and $50,000 in lost sales in territory, for a grand total of $115,000! It’s well the effort to ensure that your salespeople remain engaged, motivated, and inspired.
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