Understanding the root of turnover

Not everyone is meant to be a salesperson – for some, this may not be a pleasant fact to hear, but at the end of the day, it's true. Just as not everyone can be the President, it takes a special set of skills and personality traits to be a successful salesperson.

For sales managers, high turnover rates are something that you have to learn how to manage and deal with. Because not everyone is destined to be an all-star sales rep, sales departments tend to have a higher churn rate than other sections of a company. Becoming efficient at managing the ebb and flow of new recruits and departing agents is a critical part of the sales leader job description.

Businesses need to determine the root of turnover before they can better understand it. "Employee turnover can be disruptive, expensive and affect team morale," PMP Connect explains. "Employees leave for many reasons, and it is generally not because they want more money or better benefits. There are a range of other reasons that will result in the employee making that decision to stay or leave."

There are some sources of turnover that are acceptable – for example, if employees aren't hitting their quotas or don't feel comfortable with the role of salesperson. Others can't be fixed by sales managers, such as the location of the job or an agent's personal situation.

However, there is a third category of turnover that businesses should be aware of, and that's competitive departures. For example, you never want to hear that your top salesperson has left because you didn't offer a competitive sales compensation plan or that pay wasn't fair in relation to the productivity achieved.

Once sales management has discovered why employees are quitting, they can work toward better managing the turnover rate. As mentioned, it's impossible to avoid departures within a company's sales team. However, learning how to manage the departure of sales agents (whether they are high or low performers) and the influx of new recruits can ensure there is little impact on productivity. If you can't maintain performance with a revolving door of talent, you need to consider a new approach to management.