Over the last several months, more Americans have quit their jobs than at any other time in history. In November 2021, 4.5 million workers voluntarily left their jobs,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sales positions were among the most affected professions. Shifting consumer buying behaviors, compensation disputes, and obstinate employer expectations were among the top reasons salespeople cited for seeking new employment or a different career path. We also see that attrition typically happens during the first six months of work.
The question for sales leadership is: “What can you do to mitigate this attrition rate and grow during this great resignation?” This blog will discuss six tips to help you evolve your approach to retain and better prepare your sales teams to grow revenue during the great resignation.
1. Provide an Outstanding Onboarding and Proactive Training Experience
In today’s market, the potential employee is interviewing the potential employer just as much as the employer is interviewing the employee. This means putting your best foot forward to set the right impression of your business. It also means getting your onboarding process right the first time—especially if you’re hiring and onboarding in a virtual environment. Provide a proactive, hands-on onboarding experience that demonstrates how much you value the new hire’s trust and excitement for joining your organization.
Ensure the employee has the following before orientation day:
- Received a welcome packet with a company handbook, a seamless path to receive all required login information, and branded chotchke (like a hat, mug, pens, pad of paper, etc.)
- Received all the required technology needed to perform their job, like a laptop, monitor, headset + microphone.
- There are no issues logging into their systems and video conferencing software.
During training, ensure that you highlight key elements of your business, like the culture, how your company makes money, critical methodologies, and the KPIs that your organization is driving. In addition to your traditional training program, streamline your new hire’s time to be fully autonomous and perform successful sales calls. Implement a mentorship program, call coaching exercises, de-escalation training, best practices on virtual selling, and post-client call evaluations. This ensures that they consistently drive value on every call, perform the perfect talk/listening ratio, and close seamlessly.
The goal of training should be to:
- Set your rep up for success with all the tools and techniques specific to your organization
- Demonstrate a clear path to achieving their goals
2. Create Flexible, Tailored Compensation Plans for the First Six Months
The goal of your new rep’s first six months should be to adopt the behaviors that you want to drive long-term success. Even if the sales are not necessarily coming to fruition, it’s the approach to how your sales rep is navigating the calls that matter most. Have a variable commission or bonus structure in place and the base pay.
For example, guarantee a bonus at a particular level, like a 90% bonus at 90% performance or 110% at 110% performance for the first six months. You may also cut the probationary period short for high-performing employees. Again, this should be predicated on new hires performing at the standards of the existing team.
3. Offer Hybrid or Fully Remote Sales Positions if Possible
Remote work can be done with the right equipment, tools, and support. This saves businesses money and results in greater employee satisfaction. A study on the benefits of working from home found that remote employees were more productive and led healthier lifestyles.
However, you shouldn’t require remote work for your sales staff. Of course, during the ongoing pandemic, safety is paramount, and your office may still be closed. If your offices eventually open to your employees, offer them the opportunity to work in a hybrid environment, so they have the freedom to work either remotely or in the office, as long as they get the job done. While managing remote/hybrid teams comes with challenges, the retention and recruiting benefits are enormous in the long run.
4. Use Your Technology to Focus on Continuous Training
With the rise of virtual, many organizations have adopted internal communication technology, like Microsoft Teams, Mitel, or Cisco WebEx, making it easy to record sales calls and proactively observe how your sales reps perform on calls. This provides ample opportunity to pinpoint and provide proactive training to continuously sharpen your team’s skills.
The use of internal communication software also enables your teams to get answers to their questions. Because the answers are immortalized in the chat, it creates an FAQ that your team can use to improve their processes and approaches.
5. Offer More Flexibility to Attract High Performing Talent
Traditionally, the sales profession is a full-time position in an office setting. Since the onset of the pandemic, many talented salespeople may not be able to work in an office full time, due to physical restrictions or the need to care for their loved ones or a child. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 50% of respondents said that flexibility of hours or location has become more important to them, post-COVID, when looking for a new job opportunity.
But, this does not mean that performance must suffer as a result. In fact, in a recent study by Gartner, for employees who work a standard 40-hour workweek in the office, only 36% of employees were high performers. When organizations shift from this environment to one of flexibility where employees have choice over where, when, and how much they work, 55% of employees were high performing. This level of flexibility will not only improve productivity and revenue performance but will also promote a better work-life balance for your employees.
Another great tactic to attract new faces to your sales organization is to offer sign-on and referral bonuses to recruit new hires and targeted retention incentives for employees who stay past the probationary period and achieve specific performance criteria.
6. Partner with a Third-Party Team of Expert Sales Professionals
There are many benefits to outsourcing your sales teams, such as lower overhead costs, more actionable insights, and a significant reduction in time-to-revenue. If you’re still struggling to find qualified team members and need to quickly scale your capabilities to handle your sales pipeline, you can outsource these efforts. To learn more about how to grow sales today, book a call with a ServiceSource expert.