Why Does My Sales Team Have Such High Employee Turnover?

By July 4, 2018 Uncategorized


Does your sales team sometimes feel like a revolving door? Just as soon as you’ve got one member trained and producing, another hands in their notice? Are you sporting an employee turnover rate that inspires fear and trembling?

First off, don’t panic.

If you’re running a sales team, employee turnover isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, if your business is boasting a turnover rate of 0, that’s actually a bad sign. It’s an indicator that there are some people on your team that are being rewarded for underperforming. (Which is never a good thing.)

That being said, you don’t want to invest time and energy training team members who up and leave before actually contributing to the organization’s profitability.

This is why it’s important to understand the reasons for employee turnover, and how to hire sales reps to ensure that the right fit feels comfortable to stay on your team.

There are three basic reasons for having high employee turnover:

Reason #1: It’s Intentional

Some organizations actually pride themselves on having a high turnover rate. The reason? Because they’ve done the math and determined that a high rate of manageable turnover is more profitable than retaining subpar salespeople.

In the intentional employee turnover model, expectations are deliberately set high. The thought behind this is that, since it’s impossible to see the future, a hiring manager can never predict with 100% accuracy which employees will consistently meet or surpass their goals. So you hire 3 people, expecting that only 1 or 2 will actually meet expectations.

Now, if you do manage to hire 3 top-level performers, that’s a huge win. But they build failure into the model as a rule as a means of weeding out underperformers that would otherwise be costing the organization money.

Reason #2: There’s A Failure In Leadership

If you’re watching employee after employee leave the same positions over and over again, you may have to consider an unfortunate possibility: it may not be them. You may be looking at a failure in leadership.

If sales reps aren’t getting the support they need from leadership, it would only make sense that those salespeople would go somewhere else to get it.

If you’re experiencing a high employee turnover rate, (and it’s unintentional,) take a good long look at your leadership team and ask the following questions:

  • Has there been a recent change in leadership?
  • Is leadership overpromising and under-delivering to their employees?
  • Has there been a drastic change in compensation plans?

It’s important that sales reps feel bolstered by their management teams. If they feel that leadership is against them, or that leaders aren’t living up to the company culture’s shared values, it torpedoes their desire to stay committed to the company.

Reason #3: There Are Recruiting Issues

If you’re seeing unintentionally high sales employee turnover, and there are no drastic issues with your leadership team, it’s time to take a look at your recruiting process.

If you’re consistently seeing your salespeople walk out the door, really consider whether they were the best fit for the position in the first place. There’s a chance that you don’t know what questions to ask… or that you’re using the wrong search criteria when filling the position.

If you’re not looking for the right characteristics of top performing salespeople, you’ll be putting the wrong folks in the position. When the wrong fit gets placed in your organization, not only will they not perform the way you hope- chances are they won’t be happy either.

This is why it’s important to have the right benchmarks in place for your sales position before you start your search for candidates. Have a position benchmark created by a professional recruiter if you can.

Determine the characteristics of the sales role that are non-negotiable. What characteristics do your reps need to have to be successful? Make sure you have a measurable criteria to weigh candidates against to determine that they exhibit these… after all, everybody looks good in an interview, but not everybody can be successful in your specific sales role.

If you put the time and effort into finding the best fits for your position from the start, you may find that those employees tend to perform better… and stick around a little longer.

Do you need help recruiting top performing sales reps that will grow with your organization? EAM Staffing wants to hear from you. We build top-level sales teams for any industry, and we specialize in a process that determines a great employment fit from day 1.

Contact us to learn how we can partner with your recruiting efforts!