Top Tips for Retaining Sales Reps

BY Kathy Crosett
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In a perfect world, our superstar employees would stay with the team forever. We all know that doesn’t happen. As a sales manager, you likely face an attrition rate of at least 30%. Employee turnover at that level is disruptive and expensive. You can take a few steps to cut down on the number of people who leave your team.

Expectation Management

One of the biggest mistakes hiring managers, of any team, can make is failing to set expectations during the interview process. Mike Monroe discusses this issue in his recent Sales & Marketing Management column. As a hiring manager with years of experience, I completely agree with his advice. If you expect your sales reps to make 40 client touches a day, explain that need in the interview. If you expect your employees to travel overnight once a month, be upfront when you are discussing the aspects of the job with candidates. 

Make sure that any team members who interview top candidates also feel free to explain, in detail, how successful employees usually perform at your company. If you sugarcoat the less enticing aspects of a position just to get a person through the door, you can expect trouble down the road. The employee might not quit right away, but they’ll feel justified in looking around for another position.

Operational Improvement

It may seem like employees have chances to jump ship every day, but they might hesitate to do so if you give them good reason to stay. These good reasons don’t always involve a huge salary boost. Like other employees, sales reps want to improve their skills. These employees also want to see what their career path looks like. 

The Voice of the Sales Rep survey, conducted by SalesFuel, revealed that nearly 39% of sales reps have left a company because of the lack of opportunity for advancement. Take the time to develop a career path for your sales reps. Show them how they can move from entry level positions to more senior roles in your company. 

When you give employees something to work for, they’ll focus on the future with you instead of looking for greener pastures.