Understanding (And Reducing) Sales Rep Turnover


If only your sales department was a fixed, unchanging entity, where each member performed at their best and could be relied upon for a long, fruitful tenure. But the world doesn’t necessarily work like that. Instead, turnover is an often frequent concern, not only because of how disruptive it can be to a sales department, but also because the cost of recruiting and training new employees is high, and can negatively affect your department quotas. It’s in your sales department’s best interest, therefore, to try enacting measures that can ultimately reduce turnover. This article will seek to define turnover, explain why it happens, and offer tips towards reducing (and perhaps eventually eradicating) this costly problem.


What Is Sales Rep Turnover?

Simply put, your sales rep turnover is the rate at which your sales reps leave and need to be replaced. To calculate the rate of employee turnover in a given period, take the number of employee separations in a month and divide it by the active number of employees over the same period. Multiply this by 100 to give you a turnover percentage. If your turnover rate is higher than 10%, then – as a general rule of thumb – it’s too high.


Why Does It Happen?

Employee turnover, and in specific sales rep turnover, happens for a number of reasons. Salespeople sometimes cite a lack of communication, a lack of positive reinforcement or a sense of alienation from the company work culture as reasons for leaving. Those are the forces that drive them out. But there are external forces (i.e. other companies) that drive them in as well. For some sales reps, that’s the lure of better pay elsewhere, smoother management or more attractive benefits.


What Can You Do To Reduce It?

Reducing sales rep turnover starts at the moment you need to fill a vacancy. From the hiring process, all the way through developing and/or mentoring the employee, your capacity as management in the sales department directly impacts the turnover rate.



It’s simply not enough to hire an employee based on their prior performance or their relevance to the goods or services you offer. You need an employee that’s motivated, curious, and, crucially, a good fit for your particular work environment. To that end, it’s advisable you visit the Sales Talent Agency, whom you can find at https://www.salestalentagency.com/ and read through their approach, which involves drawing from a deep pool of talent, and using a complex methodology for choosing the right salesperson. You get the right person from the start and you can immediately reduce turnover.


Onboarding& Development

The onboarding process is also of key importance, since in sets the tone for your employee’s tenure, and (ideally) gives them the tools necessary to succeed. Have your new reps shadow old reps for consistency; detail clear strategies for sales; and get them familiar with your customers as quickly as possible. From there, you can monitor how their skills develop, and intervene quickly and positively if you see something awry, which is much better than letting bad habits snowball to the point where you are forced to punish the employee.


By understanding turnover rate from an employee perspective, you can effectively reduce it. Hire the right individuals, train them properly and foster a positive work environment. With luck, you’ll develop long-lasting employees who deliver consistent results.