The Seller Turnover Landscape
Sales departments often have significant turnover. It’s the nature of the job, and it costs organizations considerably in many areas. There are hard and opportunity costs. Plus, when sellers leave, clients lose their connection and may also churn.
So, how prevalent is turnover in sales teams? Research revealed that there was a 58% higher turnover in 2021 over 2020. Other data states that the average salesperson turnover is 35%, much higher than the average of other industries, at 13%.
Salespeople still have many opportunities as the economy continues to add new jobs and unemployment stays low. LinkedIn recently published data on in-demand careers, and sales roles made the list.
So, what are the reasons for turnover? In looking at the “why,” research points to several things.
Bad Management and Toxic Cultures
A bad manager is a key reason people leave their jobs. They want someone to direct and lead and to do so respectfully and empathetically. They also expect transparency, acknowledgment and appreciation.
Beyond the sales relationships, the company’s culture directly impacts turnover. If it’s toxic, high performers will leave. If it’s inclusive and healthy, they’ll stay. People no longer have to stay in jobs that don’t align with their values, which is becoming a critical reason for turnover. This is especially true for millennials. According to research, when they feel a company has a high-trust culture, they’re 22 times more likely to stay.
Compensation Isn’t Competitive
People sometimes leave purely for monetary reasons. They may feel their base pay or commissions aren’t keeping up with inflation and the cost of living. If this happens, you likely won’t have too much recourse, but you can have conversations about what rates and salaries will look like if they stay.
Ineffective Onboarding or Lack of Training
When sellers join your team, they may have extensive experience in the local TV market or little. Either way, they need a proper onboarding and training program to get them up to speed and selling faster. Organizations that invest in these programs can retain staff because they provide support from day one.
This training would include topics on the market, processes, technology, strategies, positions and more. Make sure this is part of your development plan for sellers.
Technology and Processes Don’t Enable Sellers
Sellers don’t have the right tools to do the job. They need technology that streamlines selling and doesn’t require them to use multiple systems. They also crave processes that are repeatable and structured. A study found that 20% of salespeople believe they don’t have the resources to keep sales on track. The lack of an effective sales platform means they spend too much time on admin work, going back and forth between systems and getting rate information. This type of environment results in sellers spending only 28% of their week on revenue-generating activities.
The problem of outdated technology becomes a bigger problem for younger generations, who are digital natives.
Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. They are tech-savvy and incorporate technology into every aspect of their lives because they know it makes them more efficient. They have expectations around technology and work, and they will quickly become disengaged when it doesn’t meet these. Gen Zers have similar attitudes and have spent their entire lives with technology at their fingers.
Inefficiencies and swivel-chair exercises are not of interest to them, and they’ll leave workplaces that only have this to offer. Data from the Society for Human Resource Management on meaningful work included these findings about mundane work:
- 44% said they feel like they’re wasting time.
- 44% said it made them feel unmotivated.
- 34% said it increased stress and frustration.
Those feelings will only build, and those sellers could walk out the door because the systems they must use don’t solve modern problems. If you can immediately impact and revolutionize this process, all your sales staff will find relief from monotony.
What’s the answer to upgrading your sales stack?
Modern Technology Empowers Sellers and Prevents Turnover
The central pain point in your tech stack and processes revolves around sales activities. In many local TV organizations, your sellers are struggling with these things:
- Using several systems, including a CRM tool and PowerPoint, to draft a proposal
- Accessing traffic systems for avails information
- Checking rate cards or pinging rate experts or managers for pricing, with a lot of back-and-forth discussion
- Waiting for sales manager and traffic department reviews and approvals
- Re-entering data in multiple places
- Dealing with makegoods and credits
- Inability to use technology for things like multimarket proposals and pay for performance
- No insight into real-time performance of campaigns
It’s a long list, and each area is a thorn in the seller’s side. Spending so much time trying to make a process “work” with the tools they have is frustrating. Implementing modern technology that streamlines the sales process and aligns with their actual workflows immediately improves their day-to-day.
A TV sales platform should include:
- Dynamic pricing tools to maximize rates based on avails and other data
- An integration with traffic systems, so information is accessible
- Converged, multimarket and pay-for-performance sales
- Quick conversion of proposals to orders
- The ability to duplicate orders with templates
- Management and performance insights and pipeline visibility
When sellers have these capabilities, they’ll have technology that enables them rather than hinders them. Now is the time to elevate your tech stack and its benefits to seller retention, increased revenue, better access to data and much more.