Good salespeople are hard to find. They’re even tougher to retain. The average rep turnover rate is about 35%, placing it higher than any other industry. And according to The Harvard Business Review, sales turnover rates are 27% higher than the overall labor force.
Oh, let’s not forget about the Great Resignation. Over four million Americans have voluntarily quit their jobs to set sail for greener pastures.
With the average SDR calling it quits after 18 months, leadership is scampering to find better ways to reignite their sales team’s loyalty. Replacing top talent costs time and money. Businesses spend over $15 billion each year training new reps. It also hinders company culture and productivity. SDRs who decide to stay must pick up the pieces of the ones who left.
Adding to the mess is the pickiness of today’s employers. Businesses are looking for skills that stretch beyond traditional academic achievements. They want the total package and are hungry for employees who take charge, embody an entrepreneurial spirit, and mesh well with company culture.
So, how can you scale back your recruitment efforts and increase employee retention? Bigger bonuses and more recognition, for starters.
Here are five incentives that will cultivate loyalty among your sales team. And yes, these tips will even work for Madison, that disenchanted Gen Zer who’s always on TikTok.
1. Recognize and Reward
Do not underestimate the power of a good employee appreciation program. From an early age, we want to feel like we belong and seek recognition from our parents, peers, and teachers. This innate desire is so powerful that we may even mistake neutral reactions for negative ones.
Recognizing successful sales teams makes them feel valued. It also encourages them to take ownership of their accomplishments. Better yet, employee recognition programs increase employee engagement, performance, and productivity by 14%. And companies with these programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than those without.
Whether you offer bonuses, sales incentives, or gold stars, you should celebrate your sales reps’ victories in order to increase sales motivation.
2. Cultivate a Positive Employee Experience
A career in sales is no walk in the park. This high-pressure role can quickly lead to burnout. And if the work environment sucks, more SDRs are bound to leave. Not promoting a positive culture is one of the biggest mistakes sales leaders can make.
About 88% of employees believe that a strong corporate culture is essential to employee success. It’s the glue that binds your business and talented reps. It also improves morale, powers productivity, and increases retention rates. Glassdoor found that 77% of employees consider a company’s culture before applying. Additionally, the Associated Press reported that nearly half would leave their current job for one that pays less but has a better culture. That’s wild!
So, how can you cultivate a positive sales culture? Start with these tips:
- Promote communication and collaboration
- Create an inclusive work environment where every employee feels valued and respected
- Continuously reward hard-working reps
- Encourage lightheartedness
- Establish a strict no-assholes policy
3. Time for Health and Wellness
Sales is a competitive field by nature, and the day-to-day can get very stressful. At the end of the day, it’s not always easy to budget money and time for a gym membership, spa days, or fitness classes. You can help encourage employees to prioritize their mental and physical health by reimbursing some of these expenses and allowing for downtime to focus on wellbeing.
It’s not uncommon nowadays to see companies offer reimbursement for gym memberships. It may not be weekly massages or an on-call therapist, but encouraging daily exercise is a simple way to prioritize mental health. Exercise reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood while combating low self-esteem and social withdrawal, which is especially important when working from home.
4. Offer New Challenges
While downtime is essential, don’t let your staff grow stagnant. Bored employees lack sales motivation and may start looking for new opportunities. Light a fire under their butts and help reps unlock their highest potential with new challenges.
Pushing employees out of their comfort zone allows them to work autonomously, learn new strategies, think outside the box, and become true GOATs.
5. Invest in Their Futures
Businesses should be opening the door to exciting new opportunities for sales reps. Mentorships and career advancements are great ways to keep your crew motivated and engaged. Newbies want to learn valuable skills, while corporate climbers crave career advancement.
In fact, 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career advancement. Finding a secure job is a blessing, but advancing on the org chart is even better. If there is no place to grow or move up, what’s the point?
You can show your sales team that you are invested in them by offering courses and skill-building classes or workshops. If your team knows they have a position at the company long-term and can continue to grow and make more money, they have no reason to quit.
Incentives to Keep ‘em Happy
Attracting and obtaining top-shelf talent isn’t enough anymore. You also have to learn how to keep employees happy. Keeping talented sales reps around for the long haul saves you money, enhances company culture, and boosts staff satisfaction.
By recognizing your reps’ accomplishments, creating a positive sales culture, and providing them with opportunities for growth, your sales team will stick by your side through thick and thin.