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15 Statistics that prove that Sales Turnover is Exploding. And Some Useful Tips for you to Reduce this Turnover at your Organization

9 minutes read

When players keep changing constantly, it’s impossible to win as a team. But this is exactly what a lot of organizations are going through right now. I’m sure many of you reading this are feeling it yourself.

This phenomenon is an acute symptom of the Great Reshuffle– a time of unprecedented turnover that’s particularly affecting sales teams. This is putting sales leaders across the globe in a bind where they are forced to spend most of their time hiring and onboarding new reps as opposed to focusing on strategizing and executing sales strategies.

So, how can you avoid this fate? In this post, we’ll share the statistics that outline the problem related to sales turnover and also help you with some useful tips to overcome this problem.


1. 58% of companies experienced higher voluntary sales turnover in 2020.

A study of more than 2,000 sales and revenue leaders found that more salespeople left their job over the past couple of years. Unlike many other industries, where employees chose to stay in their current roles, sales reps began to look for new roles throughout the pandemic.


2. Turnover among sales professionals is up by 39% in the last three months.

According to the insights drawn from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. Globally, job transitions have globally gone up by 28% over the last three months across all roles. While this is a big number on its own, it’s even larger for sales professionals, at 39%.


3. Voluntary sales departures are highest in the technology/ software industry at 67%.

While the trend of sales reps leaving organizations is common across all the industries, a few industries have particularly experienced a higher turnover. The technology/ software industry is one such industry that has recorded a 67% of sales turnover during the pandemic.

Why? The reason for this high turnover is because sales in the technology industry is mostly carried out virtually. So remote working and virtual meetings made it possible for sellers to seek new job opportunities at any time and from anywhere.


4. The 10 biggest tech companies have an average sales tenure of 1.8 years.

According to HubSpot, the average sales rep tenure is 18-20 months. This is troubling. Because typically sales reps hit their peak performance between two and three years in their role. That means most of the reps are leaving before they reach their maximum potential.

We could partly put the blame of this on the competitive recruitment but there is also a generational factor. Younger employees, specifically Millennials and Gen Z, are more likely to job hop. Millennials entered the workforce during the recession. And many Gen Zers saw their parents lose jobs during the recession, which made them value job loyalty less than older generations.


5. A salesperson is the second-most professional in-demand right now in the world

While there are a lot of reasons why the turnover of employees is high right now, one main reason explains why the turnover of even higher amongst salespeople. It is because there’s a massive demand for their skills.

According to a report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions, a salesperson is the second-most in-demand job in the world today, behind only software engineers. This means that if your sales reps want to leave, they likely won’t have much trouble finding another job.


6. Losing a salesperson costs $115,000.

Want to know what’s the cost of losing a rep? According to a study by DePaul University, it costs around $115,000 in the United States for an organization when they loose a rep. This cost includes the cost of,

  • Acquiring a new sales rep
  • Training that rep
  • And also the opportunity cost of not having a person in-seat during that time


7.Employee burnout rose by 9% recently

According to Glint’s September Employee Well-Being Report, burnout rose nearly 9% between April and July 2021. What does this mean?

It means, even if you retain your sales team, you risk them burning out which will greatly affect their productivity. So it isn’t just about avoiding turnover. It’s also about engaging your sellers, so you bring out the best in them.


8. It takes an average of 6.2 months to fill an open sales position.

Research from DePaul University shows that it takes over half a year to fill a sales role. And this doesn’t include the time it takes for a new salesperson to fully ramp. Even with the other reps filling in to cover that position, your productivity and revenue still take a hit.


9. A “bad” sales hire can cost upwards of $2 million.

According to HR Daily Advisor, while hiring new reps, an average company spends approximately $100,000 which includes,

  • $15,000 of hiring costs
  • $20,000 in training
  • And $75,000 for a typical first-year salary and incentives

Even after spending all this money, it takes time for a new hire to fully ramp. Or in the worst-case scenario, you have to replace that rep again. Now add the average quota for a sales rep to your hiring costs, and you could be missing out on about $2.1 million.


10. 44 percent of salespeople plan to leave their job within two years.

Deloitte data shows sales job loyalty is decreasing with the growing number of open positions. Nearly half of the sellers are planning to leave their current role within two years. A quarter of salespeople plan to quit their jobs within one year.


11. There are more than 2 million open sales positions in the U.S.

A quick search for sales jobs in ZipRecruiter pulls up over 2 million opportunities in the U.S. This isn’t expected to slow down any time sooner. As economies continue reopening and reestablishing normal operations, businesses are expected to increase their sales force numbers.


12. Only 1-in-5 employees really see a future at their organization.

According to Glint’s September Employee Well-Being Report, only 1-in-5 employees today believe they can meet their career goals where they work and that their manager and organization support them in pursuing those goals.


13. Flexible work is the fastest-growing priority among professionals globally.

What changed the most, from what professionals cared about in the pre-COVID times, to what they care about now? According to a report from LinkedIn Talent Solutions, it’s the flexible working environment. The employees who feel that their organization is providing them the work flexibility, they are

  • Three times more happier in their jobs
  • And are more likely to continue in their role


14. Work-life balance matters even more than money.

This is a sign that times truly are changing. Glint found that today, professionals care more about work-life balance than how much they are being paid.

Compensation still matters but it comes second on their list. So, yes, you should keep paying your sales reps well.

But, * Are your reps expected to respond to emails immediately, no matter the time of day? * When they go on vacation, are you still requiring them to take calls from customers? * Do they have freedom in the week to do things like pick up their kids from school or go to their favorite workout class?

Before, sales reps might have put up with always being on, if they were being paid enough. But today, that’s simply not the case. No matter how much you pay your sales team, they will leave unless they feel like they can achieve balance in their lives.


Tips to reduce sales reps’ turnover in your organization

You can’t entirely eliminate sales turnover, but you can take the below steps to improve retention, including:

  • Benchmark Incentives: Comparing your sales incentive to industry data will help you ensure that you develop compensation strategies that are competitive and allow you to attract and retain top performers.

  • Give Reps Time to Sell: Your reps can easily get disengaged when they spend more time on administrative activities and less time selling. Reps who spend more time selling are happier, more engaged, and perform better. Technology can help reduce the time reps spend on administrative tasks and increase the time they spend selling.

  • Develop Clear Career Tracks: Spend one-on-one time with reps to understand their career goals and create a clear path for them to advance in their career. This will make your team strong and keep them engaged.

  • Prioritize Wellness and Work-Life Balance: The focus on wellness is here to stay. So, allow your salespeople to have,

    • Flexible working hours
    • Give them reasonable time offs
    • Connect with them personally from time-to-time and understand what would it take for them to thrive in their work etc

    This helps in preventing employee burnout, keeps their engagement high, and increases your sales retention.

  • Review and update your compensation policy: Companies’ compensation policies have been one of the top reasons for the sales reps to leave their current jobs. With the increase in recruiting competition, reps have been able to seek out higher pay and faster promotions through job-hopping rather than staying at one company for long the term. So it’s crucial for you to take a look at your sales compensation policy and understand if your reps are happy with the way you are paying them. In case they seem dissatisfied, consider increasing the size of their pay or frequency of payment or any other creative approach that might work for your organization.

  • Frequently provide learning opportunities: Giving your reps the opportunities to improve their skills and grow as professionals, from time to time, can also help in retaining them. So, train them, coach them and provide them with the resources that they can use to learn by themselves. This way when you show interest in helping them to grow in their career, it fosters their loyalty to your business.


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Published on Mon Jan 10 2022

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