Stay Fundamentally Sound + Work Hard + Constantly Improve = Revenue Goes Up

Why Salesperson Turnover Should Rarely Happen

In theory – and it should be a reality for every firm – salesperson turn over should rarely happen. A sales person has a ramp up time to develop a new client base. There is also a learning curve associated with every new job. When he/she changes jobs, significant commission is lost. Thus, it is almost never in a sales person's best interest to leave. Furthermore, changing jobs increases the risk that something could go wrong with his/her career.

Even mild levels of sales person turn over can hurt a firm. Each sales person develops valuable business relationships that are damaged when that sales person leaves the firm. New sales people moving into existing territories have to reestablish all of the relationships. This turnover does encourage clients to take their business elsewhere. Stability in the sales force leads to stability in the client base.

Rampant turnover discredits a firm to its prospects. From management’s point of view, there is nothing worse than prospects asking a new sales person, “Will you last as long as the last three people that called on me?”

Finding, hiring and training quality sales people are extremely hard and time consuming activities. Most managers and firms try to short cut the process. Rather than do it right the first time, they end up doing it multiple times. In severe cases, firms go out of business due to lack of production from the sales force.

Blame Shifting

Blame Shifting also prevents sales people and firms from minimizing sales person turnover. Sales people say things such as, “That firm just was not able to meet the quality standards of my clients.” [That sales person fails to grasp that it was their job was to find appropriate clients for their firm. Their job was not to find clients appropriate for another firm.] Firms on the other hand say things such as, “We are glad that sales person left. We are far better off without that person.” [That firm fails to realize that they made the decision to hire that person in the first place. The core problem was in the firm’s hiring process not the performance of the sales person.]

The Solution

The Solution starts with a firm making an executive decision not to tolerate sales person turn- over. Then, they can partner with organizations such as Increasing Revenue, Inc. that specialize in helping firms avoid the pitfalls that cause sales person turnover. The rest of this paper will give an overview of some of the issues involved. The first step is a decision on the manager’s part.

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What is the value of improved application of sales fundamentals?

Many years ago we coached a sales person in advanced telephone skills. A few weeks after this coaching, he sought us out and told us that he made one call on a Thursday. That Friday the prospect purchased more than his annual quota.

Nothing fancy, no glitz, no fads, just proper application of the fundamentals of sales.

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Increasing Revenue, Inc.
1616 Anderson Rd
McLean, VA, 22102