Sales Rep Turnover: 6 Facts to Know

5 min read

With the end of the quarter in sight, you’re likely getting things in order for your next quarter. Like any good planner, you’re anticipating some changes that may arise and one of those might be the loss of a sales rep or two. While sales rep turnover has a bad rap it’s important to know that for any healthy organization turnover is necessary and at times, beneficial.

Facts about sales rep turnover you should be aware of:

  • There is a perfect number when it comes to turnover. According to Gallup, the turnover goal for the top 75% of your sales force should be as close to zero as possible. For the remaining 25% of your team, you need to monitor engagement and drive to understand who should be let go and who should be coached to success.
  • Sales is the 10th highest job for turnover. This may not come as a surprise but Sales is ranked at the 10th highest turnover job across all industries and sectors. As the economy continues to strengthen, good sales people become increasingly more important to your team. According to Steve Pogorzelski, president of Monster North America, "We're also beginning to see higher turnover rates in some traditionally highly-skilled, white-collar jobs, especially sales." One factor that you can control is compensation, with a Sales Compensation Data Benchmarking Tool, you will get a first-hand look at what other companies set quotas at, what percentage of reps are making their quotas, and average pay mix at various companies.
  • The immediate manager is the #1 reason why people leave a company. To predict sales rep turnover, look to the manager. Managers who don’t set clear expectations or set their sales reps up for success are most notably the managers with the most reps leaving. As a company executive, understand that your sales managers need as much guidance as your sales reps so that they can prepare the team on the ground.
  • Pay is ranked as one of the five most important factors to turnover. As you can imagine, pay is an important factor in staying at or leaving a company. For the most part, pay is something you can control. By implementing a sales performance management product like Xactly Incent™, your reps will feel confident they are being paid accurately and in a timely fashion. They can even estimate future commission checks tied to deals in their pipeline.
  • Turnover is costly. With the average ramp up time for SaaS reps now listed at 5.3 months, the cost of sales rep turnover can amount to big bucks. This is not including the time it takes to recruit, interview, and hire new reps, so with one quota bearing rep leaving it could take 7+ months to get back the production level you were experiencing before.