The Coaching Effect Blog

5 Predictors of Sales Rep Turnover

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

January 10, 2011

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

Dave Kurlan of Objective Management Group is an EcSELL Institute Pillar Partner. We value Dave's focus on putting science to the art of sales and are happy to share this information with you.  Dave wrote a white paper, which is available to our members in our Resource Library  titled "Sales Longevity – The Science of Predicting Turnover".

Enjoy reading this overview.

My (Dave Kurlan's) most recent study and analysis has shed light on some of the characteristics that determine longevity, or to use a more familiar concept, turnover prevention. Turnover, whether voluntary or involuntary, occurs when one party, either the employer or employee, is unhappy with the other. More often than not, the turnover is voluntary, and the employee resigns when income, culture, degree of difficulty or management practices are not to the salesperson’s liking.

Involuntary turnover occurs less often because most sales managers are too patient, accept mediocrity, and avoid confrontation, especially a potentially uncomfortable termination. Our statistics show that:

20% of sales managers have need for approval – the need to be liked – and shy away from confrontation.

30% of sales managers accept mediocrity, and tolerate poor performance

61% of sales managers aren’t inclined to upgrade their sales force.

60% of sales managers have less than 65% of the attributes of accountability.

We live in an era where employees no longer remain with a company for most of their lives. It is not unusual for a younger employee to work for several companies before they turn 30. Today, turnover is inevitable and when you consider the unique dynamic of the odds of a salesperson succeeding, the risk of expensive turnover increases dramatically.

I have identified 5 factors that influence and can be used to predict longevity:

1. Figure it Out Factor (FIOF) -

In the case of retention, those who achieve overnight success tend to look for the next challenge more quickly than those who are slow and steady.  Showing these talented salespeople a career path with growth opportunities, more responsibility, and promotions can offset the risk of losing “A” players too quickly.

2. Sales Quotient (SQ) -

A perfect SQ is 173 and over achievers usually have SQ’s of more than 145. In the context of Sales Longevity, SQ is another reverse finding where those with SQ’s of greater than 145 were LESS likely to be retained, while those with scores of between 110 and 130 were more likely to be retained for at least 5 years!

3. Supervision -

Sales Managers who closely managed their salespeople were 91% more likely to retain them than their peers who practiced a hands off approach. While closely managing salespeople is a sales management best practice, it must add value to the salesperson. Sales Managers must be able to effectively coach, mentor, motivate, challenge and develop these salespeople to increase their 

levels of success and earnings.

4. Experience

Salespeople with experience – at least 5 years – are much

  more likely to be retained for 5 years than salespeople with less experience.

5. Compensation

Salespeople who are compensated mostly by  commission are twice more likely to be retained than salespeople who are compensated mostly by salary.

How you are doing in these areas? What do you find most challenging? 

Your ability to attract new talent and hold on to top performers is the key to sustained growth. It all starts with YOU - the sales manager. 

Sales coaching is a skill measured by your ability to move a team of people who report directly to you, to the accomplishment of a common goal.

However, extraordinary sales coaches obtain incremental performance from the team that leads to the goal not only consistently met, but consistently surpassed.

The facts are... 

  • Extraordinary sales coaches know how to drive more revenue from an already high performing team.
  • Extraordinary sales coaches know how to affect the team’s engagement.
  • Extraordinary sales coaches have less team turnover.
  • Extraordinary sales coaches never lose sight of the need to hit a number, but those on their team don’t feel micro-managed, they feel empowered to over-achieve!

The skills, traits, and habits of extraordinary sales coaches will be detailed for discussion and mastery at the EcSELL Institute Sales Coaching Summit and Pre-Summit 6 Pillar Workshop.  Dave Kurlan is one of our featured instructors. Come learn from him first hand along with other industry experts who will be addressing this crucially important yet often misunderstood skill of sales coaching. 

sales coaching summit

April 7-8, 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ

Topics: EcSELL Institute Partner, Sales Coaching Summit, sales coaching, sales rep peformance, talent identification & acquisition, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity

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