Last updated: How to increase sales rep retention: 4 ways to keep your best sellers

How to increase sales rep retention: 4 ways to keep your best sellers


Listen to article

Download audio as MP3

Driving business growth and success hinges on your sellers more than ever before. Modern B2B buyers are savvy and prone to dismiss advertising messages, making your sellers all the more important. They’re the face of your brand, so losing them is tremendously costly. Simply put: sales rep retention must be a priority for your business, full stop.

However, retaining the best sellers continues to be a challenge for many organizations. The numbers for sales rep turnover are bleak, ranging from almost 18% overall to 39% for inside sales reps. The average cost to replace a sales rep can amount to double their salary.

When a sales rep leaves, it can take months to get a new seller up to speed, not to mention the cost of recruitment and training.

Losing your top talent is especially devastating since they are responsible for the bulk of your revenue. A CSO Insights study found that the top 20% of a sales team is responsible for 54% of total revenues.

So how can an organization stem the tide? Following are four sales rep retention trends to keep your best sellers from heading for the door.

Sales rep retention: How to keep your best sellers

1. Create an even playing field

Keeping sales reps motivated and happy so they won’t leave starts by giving them an equal opportunity to succeed. A “sales arena” that doesn’t provide each seller with a fair opportunity to reach their goals fuels attrition and reduces revenue.

For example, if one sales rep is given a lucrative territory that makes it easy for them to reach quota while another sale rep is assigned a challenging territory with less potential, sales performance will quickly decline and attrition rise.

Top-performing organizations go beyond traditional methods to create territories, like zip codes. They leverage a connected, AI-driven platform to base territory creation on:

  1. Contextual data, including geospatial data and opportunity visualization
  2. Historical performance
  3. Number of accounts
  4. Sales resource availability

Implementing these tactics ensures equitable territories with realistic quotas that keep sellers motivated.

2. Fair and transparent pay

If your sellers don’t feel like they’re paid fairly, they’ll start to look elsewhere.

A compensation system based on spreadsheets and other manual processes opens the door to errors that are time-consuming to resolve and undermine morale. Sales reps waste precious selling time arguing about how much they’re owed and doing their own payment calculations.

Automated sales tools reduce the risk of errors and provide an objective process that engenders sellers’ trust. Moreover, an automated system also makes it easy for a sales rep to resolve a payment dispute by enabling them to raise a query about their commission via a sales dashboard.

When commissions data is transparent and sellers can clearly see how their payouts are calculated and how they’re performing against their goals, they’ll be happier and more apt to stay put.

3. Training and professional development

Organizations boost sales rep retention by having a strong onboarding program for new hires and a system for supporting their professional growth.

Too often, onboarding is limited to a bootcamp in a classroom setting that bombards sales reps with product materials that they’ll quickly forget.

A better onboarding approach is to provide ongoing training in a digital model. New sales reps don’t have to wait for a formal sales training meeting to get started, and sellers can easily access refresher courses as needed.

Sales reps also thrive when provided strong coaching to help them develop as salespeople.

With visibility into the sales pipeline, managers have the time to provide enlightened coaching to help sales reps improve rather than just haranguing them about the status of deals.

4. Communication and recognition

Of course, in order to succeed, salespeople need a clear understanding of their goals. If a sales compensation plan is too complex, or if the organization makes changes and fails to explain them to the sales team, sellers can’t be effective and morale will plummet.

Communication is key when rolling out an incentive compensation plan, or any time changes are made to sellers’ territories or compensation. Sales reps must see exactly how the plan or plan changes will improve business and their opportunity for success.

Recognizing sellers’ success is another good way to ensure sales reps remain motivated. Consider a regular awards program for top performers, or calling out good work during team meetings.

Clear communication, fair territories and quotas, transparent compensation, and professional support create a healthy, effective sales culture. Sellers will focus on driving results rather than brushing up their resumes.

More options. More conditions. More stakeholders. More circling-back.
Modern selling is anything but simple.
Intelligent sales enablement starts HERE.

Share this article


Search by Topic beginning with