This is the final part of our six-part series on using mobile technology and social learning to increase sales productivity.
We’ve seen that increasing sales productivity is a fight against sales turnover. There are three tactics for winning this fight. We’ve already discussed the first two: speed ramp up to get reps productive faster and make your established reps more engaged and effective.
The third tool is to reduce turnover by keeping the reps that are core to your success.
Turnover can be a good thing; eliminating deadwood and bringing fresh ideas into the organization. But turnover can also be a problem – especially when you see your top sales people heading for the door.
But beyond keeping your top performers, turnover can be a huge time and money drain on the organization. Turnover in typical sales organizations occurs at an alarming – and accelerating – pace. According the CSO Insights, the combination of voluntary (10.3%) and involuntary (12.1%) sales professional turnover reached 22..4% in 2015. And that turnover rate is 31% higher than reported in previous years.
And if that weren’t enough of a challenge, a Miller Heiman Group study reports that two-thirds of firms surveyed plan to increase the size of their sales force.
What does this mean in raw numbers? If you are starting the year with a sales force of 100 people and plan to increase your sales force by 5%, you’ll lose 23 people to turnover plus need to hire five new positions for a total of 28 new hires needed to be recruited, hired, onboarded and trained – all while still making your numbers, coaching and managing the rest of the team, keeping customers happy and preventing competitors from encroaching on open territories.
One solution is to hire for success. CSO Insights reports that 60% of sales organizations need to do a better job of hiring sales people that will be successful. You can increase your odds by hiring the specific skill set for the position, including the rest of the team in the hiring process, and clearly outlining what the new hire can expect when they come on board.
It’s also important that new hires understand the path to success. We’ve seen how mobile, social learning platforms can help your new hires get up-to-speed faster while also making your experienced reps more effective. And success breeds staying power; successful reps who are making quota tend to remain with the organization.
But success means more than just making the numbers. People – especially Millennials – stay with organizations where they are valued and where they can develop both personally and professionally. Sales representatives who see a constant investment in their professional progress are more likely to remain with your organization – helping you get off the turnover treadmill and master the sales productivity challenge.
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