What do you make of this statistic?

The average tenure of a sales representative across Europe and USA is currently 15 months.


There are other stats that also show the average staff turnover can be anything around 25-50% per annum, or more in some cases.  Some call centres experience turnover rates of over 70% per annum.

These statistics are alarming because the costs associated with poor engagement and high staff turnover are monumental and can manifest in many ways including decline in sales, poor customer service, loss of reputation leading to more loss of customers and employees, and impaired recruitment. If not addressed, organisations can find themselves in a death spiral. And in today’s hyper connected world this can happen at lightning speed in any organisation.

These stats should serve as a wake-up call for all organisations and leaders around the world.

The brutal facts are that it’s time to stop this patchy, inconsistent approach to leading and managing sales teams.

Instead, it’s time:

  • To create and implement a better approach to leading and managing sales teams
  • To acknowledge that it takes time and consistent effort to have highly functioning sales teams
  • To work towards a long term plan of effective strategic execution while implementing 90 day tactical plans that allow for focused adjustment along the way

The good news is there is a reasonable alternative.

Implementing a Selling Better Operating System

Smart CEOs and sales leaders understand that leading and managing a sales team and its operation is about managing a complex variable system that requires constant attention and considered action. We know that sales teams and operations do not follow a predictable straight line.

Throwing our sales people in the deep end and expecting them to sell better with no clear strategy, no value proposition or articulated sales process, limited training, no ongoing support, no leadership, no coaching, or a ‘customer phobic’ value chain is madness. These are some of the reasons why sales teams experience such high turnover.

This is why we encourage companies to take a systems thinking approach to selling better. We’ve been studying, researching, codifying, modelling, promoting and educating people on a better, ethical, human-centred approach to selling since 1995 and implementing a systems approach to selling better has many benefits including creating high performing sales teams who want to stay and sell better.

Here is one such case study with feedback from both the HR Manager and Sales Director:

HR Manager, 50+ B2B medical supplies sales team

The Sales Essentials program has had a remarkable impact on our business: amongst many things we have seen a steady lift is sales volume and sales quality and our Regional Managers have been trained and evolved to become very competent, effective and respected coaches and leaders which has lead the way. But what has been most impressive is that our sales staff turnover has reduced from 30-40% to less than 5%. This has made a big difference to our business.

Sales Director of same company, 50+ B2B medical supplies sales team

We have radically improved our sales business results, returning profitable sales for the last 15 months and establishing deeper business partnerships with a vast array of our clients.  Incredibly, we have not fielded one resignation from within the sales team since all associates graduated. As an organisation, we are ever conscious of the need to ensure that every investment we make delivers a tangible return. Our enrolment in Sales Essentials has proven to be one of the most rewarding professional development programs that we have ever introduced to our team and we look forward to continuing down that same path for the foreseeable future.

So how did this business achieve these great results and changes in their team and culture?

How did they improve their sales team retention rates and dramatically improve sales?

They implemented a selling better operating system that created a selling better culture of great sales and service performance.

Selling Better is about creating a Selling Better Operating System that works in a co-ordinated manner within your business goals and systems across four core pillars:

Creating a Selling Better Culture delivers more and better sustainable sales results. A Selling Better Culture creates focused sales strategies which are delivered in a prepared purposeful sales and customer centric environments. These environments have visible, tangible sales frameworks and meaningful training and coaching that give sales and customer service teams orientation and direction. Teams with clear focus and purpose are more engaged and create more satisfied customers.

By re-educating your business about the central importance of selling and delivering a consistently excellent customer experience (CX) you begin to endorse selling as a team sport where selling and serving customers becomes everybody’s business and, in turn, you reduce or eliminate issues like high sales team turnover and then win on so many more levels.

So what can you do?

Where can you start?

How can you and your business sell better?

We can start where you want to start: Sales Strategy, Sales Process, Sales people or Selling Better Culture and CX.  Talk to us, we are your selling better advisory team.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.
Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au 


Related topics:

Sales Systems Thinking, the key to effective sales strategy and operations
Courageous Sales Leadership and a compelling Sales Mission
Without a Strategic Sales Force, you are doomed to fail

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