How to Hire and Keep Fantastic Sales People

The sales field has a bit of a reputation for high turnover, and with good reason. Over ¼ of all salespeople change jobs every year, twice the turnover rate of the rest of the workforce. In a booming economy, talented salespeople can go wherever they’d like, which is great for their careers and wallets, but not so great for employers.

It costs almost $100,000 to replace a high-level sales rep, with searches taking anywhere from three to six months. Not only is sales turnover expensive – it’s also bad for business. When salespeople leave, customers are vulnerable to making a switch with their main point of contact gone.

“Sales Representatives are not good at selling everything!  Some are designed perfectly for the product sale that is one and done, then they move on and repeat.  Others are stellar at selling to a new relationship, and then keeping that relationship ongoing.  Properly vetting a sales candidate and putting them in the right position for success is critical.  Consider using the Predictive Index, Meyers Briggs or DISC profiles to help support your vetting process or call us, the experts!” says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

It is impossible to stop all turnover forever, but you can reduce it with the right approach. The most common reasons salespeople leave their jobs are money, management conflicts, stagnant careers and frustration with the company and/or its products. If you’re ready to stop your revolving door of salespeople, focus on the following strategies.

Hire Right, Right From the Start

The most effective way to boost retention among top performing salespeople is to hire talented professionals with staying power.  This often means overhauling your hiring process to include cultural alignment, personality assessments and behavioral interviewing strategies to get a better feel for how a candidate may fit in with your organization. Consider your best and longest-lasting salespeople. What traits do they share? Those will be some of the keys to look for in the hiring process.

Onboard Effectively

The first few days on the job make a lasting impression on new employees. An organized, formal onboarding program is critical to long-term success. Ineffective onboarding is the biggest reason why companies lose 17% of their new hires within the first three months and why 20% of staff turnover occurs within 45 days of employment.

Cultivate A Sales-Supportive Culture

Most people don’t quit jobs – they quit managers. A good sales culture starts with an effective sales manager who leads by example, coaches when necessary but gets out of the way and lets talented salespeople spread their wings.

It is also important to reward and compensate salespeople appropriately. Capping commissions and bonuses is a surefire way to drive off top talent. Make sure your compensation structure is clear, consistent and in writing, and never change it in the middle of the year.  Moving the goalposts is frustrating to salespeople and they won’t stick around for long if the rules keep changing.

If you are looking to improve hiring and retention on your sales team, the expert sales recruiters CSS are here to help. Whether you need to attract top sales talent, or you are looking for advice on how to manage them for success, contact CSS ProSearch today.

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Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & FinanceCall Center & OfficeHuman ResourcesITSalesforce, and Sales & Marketing.