The Great Resignation, pandemic and massive shift to remote work has put the squeeze on tech-sales hiring. Bottom line – it’s incredibly difficult to identify, engage and hire sales reps, and many tech companies will miss their revenue targets simply because they don’t have enough salespeople.
One area that every company should focus on right now is sales rep retention. Tech sales professionals change jobs every 18 months, which is a nightmare for any leader responsible for growing a business. If you can decrease your sales rep turnover, it will give you an advantage over your competitors and put you in a better position to hit your growth targets.
Here are four actions you can take to avoid high rep turnover:
Invest in initial and ongoing training.
Sales professionals want to be mentored and feel appreciated. One easy way to accomplish this is to invest significantly in onboarding, initial training and consistent ongoing training. The upfront effort will be well worth the return in sales rep loyalty and confidence, and the training will lead to greater productivity. Instead of using your company as a career stepping stone before moving onto another job, reps who receive training are more likely to decide to build their careers on your team.
Build a fantastic sales culture.
Great sales culture doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes the dedication, time and energy of the company’s leaders to make it happen. It also doesn’t happen overnight. Sales culture is fostered through communication, transparency, training, winning, celebrations and off-hours team building. Learn five tips for building great sales culture here.
Have a realistic and achievable compensation plan.
Most compensation plans are not realistic. In fact, most reps achieve just 60% of their quota, which likely means they’re at <60% of their On Target Earnings (OTE). That’s an instant recipe for high sales rep turnover. Make sure your comp plans are realistic. Factor in ramp time. Reward over-performance. Most importantly, make sure your plan is fair and attainable.
Develop a career plan.
Reps want more opportunities for advancement. This can come in many shapes and sizes:
- More quota responsibility
- Bigger accounts to target or manage
- More territory
- Title advancement
- Team lead responsibilities
You should have a career plan that consistently rewards performers and gives them upward mobility in the organization. Similar to compensation plans, career plans need to be documented and achievable. Otherwise they can have a negative impact on rep tenure.
Even in the best hiring environments, it’s still very hard to hire the right sales reps – and keep them there. Start by focusing on the reps you already have on your team. This investment will also have a positive impact on future hiring.