High turnover rates worry every HR executive, but sales rep turnover should be especially troublesome. If your company regularly loses salespeople who close deal after deal, it’s throwing thousands of dollars out the window. 

Estimates of the annual turnover of salespeople in the U.S. are as high as 34% (1)– twice the scale of the overall labor force. Such rates can be costly, with a DePaul University study showing that the cost per sales rep turnover can be as high as $97,690.(2)

The troubling fact is that high turnover hurts the entire sales team: someone needs to take over the customers and rebuild the relationships. And the data is not favorable to employers. A Glassdoor survey found that only 19% of salespeople have no immediate plans to leave their company, and 68% plan to look for a new job within the following year. (3)

If you’re having trouble retaining salespeople, first and foremost, you need to understand why they’re leaving. Only then will you be able to reduce turnover and retain them. 

Can you predict the turnover?

In addition, data analysis can help you predict which of your top salespeople will likely leave you and why.

A study by Georgia State University uncovered that the strongest predictor of quitting was the peer effect in some organizations. When overall voluntary turnover in the organization is high, employees lose faith in the company’s strategic direction and tend to seek other job opportunities. Moreover, thanks to their former colleagues, they know whether the grass is greener on the other side and whether it is worth jumping ship. 

So how can you lower the turnover of your salespeople? There are ways to retain your top talent, especially in tough pandemic times. But remember, every company is different. So to get relevant answers, you need to ask the right questions. 

“If you’re an HR corporate executive, you may be inclined to think globally about potential solutions,” comments Daniel Aduszkiewicz. “But the aerial view is not always the best. On the contrary, most of the time, you have to take a surgical approach.”

Solving the problem

How you will solve the problem of salespeople turnover in your company depends on the source of the problem – so take the time to investigate. 

“If you run the organization with data analytics, you know what’s bothering certain departments, and you can implement efficient frameworks. You won’t spend six months rolling out a program with no impact. This way, as an HR leader, you will gain a strategic position in the company as a problem-solver. And that’s a win-win situation for everyone – you, your employees, and the entire organization,” concludes Daniel Aduszkiewicz.


(1) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-turnover-so-high-b2b-sales-anthony-chaine/
(2) Sales Effectiveness – Sales Acceleration Survey
(3) https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/recruit-sales-professionals-68-job-hunting-year-glassdoor-survey/

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