Why Your Salespeople Are Quitting (and How to Retain Them)

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Whether you believe in “The Great Resignation” or not, one thing is for sure, there has been a record number of people quitting their jobs in the past year. 

It seems like every month this year we received more emails bouncing back and letting us know that “John is no longer with the company.” The more of these responses we got, the more we wondered what was the true cause of this unprecedented mass exodus (and if there is anything we can do to make it stop).  

To get to the root of the issue, we surveyed thousands of sales professionals to find the true cause of attrition amongst sales teams and to learn what reps and managers want most from their employers. We received responses from every level of the corporate ladder, from individual contributors up to CEOs. Some of the responses were obvious, some were rather surprising.

Spoiler Alert: Higher compensation is NOT the golden ticket to fixing the retention problem.

In our data, we learned that 63% of reps and managers started a new job within the last year. Yikes, that’s a lot of job changes! Most leaders cited the #1 reason their employees leave was due to lack of competitive compensation. However, both reps and managers listed a lack of training and development as their #1 reason for departing. Looks like we, as leaders, need to make some adjustments to improve sales team retention. 

The next surprising stat we found was about coaching. The manager responses state that over 86% of managers were regularly coaching their reps. While the rep responses showed the majority of reps desire MORE coaching than what they’re currently receiving. To us, this communicates that while there may be coaching happening, what’s really missing is quality coaching. Coaching is one of our favorite topics (and the one we have seen provide the greatest impact). Recently, we hunkered down and gave some insight on how to master call coaching and how both reps and managers can prepare for an upcoming call coaching session.

While there were certainly areas where reps and leaders didn’t align, there was one area where all salespeople saw eye-to-eye. At each rung of the corporate ladder, the survey responses told us that reps and managers both want and need more ongoing sales training and leaders agreed that their reps and managers need more training. Sounds like this might be an easy area of opportunity for retention!

Want more insight? Make sure you grab your free copy of our survey results below!

Want to know how to retain your salespeople?

Download our Sales Team Retention Infographic to learn why reps and managers are quitting and how leaders can better retain them.

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