Salesperson turnover rates remain one of the most challenging issues facing sales managers today.
In fact, studies have found that the turnover rate in sales stands at a whopping 34%, when you look at both voluntary and involuntary leave.
As you likely know, maintaining a solid sales team is quite a challenge when you have people coming and going at this rate.
So how do you combat these high turnover numbers, and keep your salespeople successful and in your company?
You give your salespeople what they want.
Though that may sound simple, it is anything but. The art of giving your salespeople what they want and need, within reason, is not easy to master.
However, a deeper look into the minds of your salespeople will allow you to better understand what they want and need, without compromising your professional relationship.
So, let us dig in.
5 Things Sales Managers Should Give Their Reps
1. Balancing Attention and Independence
No one likes a sales manager who micromanages. No one likes a sales manager who is completely absent, either.
Finding that sweet spot where you’re giving your salespeople just enough attention is crucial to the success and happiness of your salespeople.
So how do you find that balance?
You do so by spending time evaluating your reps to help determine what their strengths are, as well as the areas in which they could use some help.
It is not only important to evaluate your sales reps for your own information, but also for their information. Like you, they too are seeking improvement, so be sure you share what you found with them – in a constructive way.
Set up a meeting to discuss areas in which they could improve, and even schedule a few times you can hop on a sales call with them to see how they do in a real-life situation.
Serving as a mentor to your salespeople and coaching them to success is something that they all want, but some may be afraid to ask for it.
Just be sure to give your reps some time after your recommendations to implement what your sales coaching teaches them – do not be a helicopter boss, watching and awaiting their next mistake.
It is very important to never tell your salespeople that they are doing a stellar job when they are not; misleading them does not help anyone in this situation.
If you have uncovered areas of improvement for your reps, have an honest conversation and share that with them.
If you have set sales goals for your team, and they are not reaching them, schedule a meeting to let them know they are not living up to the company’s standards. However, be sure to do so in a constructive manner to actually help them improve.
There is a way to share the truth with your salespeople that leaves them feeling motivated and ready to improve their areas of weakness – and that way is planning your conversation ahead of time. Mix the good input with the constructive input, and always end your meeting on a high note.
3. Room for Mistakes
Many of the best lessons in life are often learned from making mistakes.
And the same holds true for lessons in sales.
As a sales manager, you should have the realistic knowledge that mistakes by your salespeople are inevitable.
You can hope that the mistakes remain small ones, but regardless of their size, some are going to eventually happen. And when they do, you should allow your sales reps the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.
Rather than hover over their shoulder and monitor every move to ensure nothing goes awry, let your salespeople loose and allow them to scramble through their first sales calls on their own. After the call, ask them if there is anything that they learned from their experience and what they would do differently in the future.
Often, allowing your salespeople to point out and correct their own mistakes leads to better growth in their sales process.
4. Morale Boost
Unless your sales team is comprised of robots, there are going to be ups and down in your reps’ sales, regardless of how stellar they are.
And when sales are not performing as well as they could be, rather than falling victim to the frustration and disappointment that you are likely feeling, turn instead to encouragement.
As a sales VP, you do not want to lead your team by instilling fear. While having them respect your position of authority is important, so is knowing how to say the right thing when your sales team is struggling.
So, when you feel the urge to unleash anger due the loss of a major sale, instead turn to words of encouragement such as “You’ve got this!” to help get your team back on their feet.
Once your team is not feeling burdened by the guilt of their mistakes, then they will be more open to taking constructive criticism and moving forward.
Though it is not necessary to buy lunch for your team every time a sales rep closes a deal, it is important to acknowledge their achievements in some way.
Acknowledgement is one of the keys to continued success – the more your salespeople feel their hard work is being noticed, the more motivation they’ll have to continue on that path of success.
Keep your salespeople inspired and happy by recognizing their efforts. It can be as simple as an email – just something to show you are paying attention, and care about their work.
By putting in the effort to ensure that your salespeople are getting what they want (within reason), you will be helping your salespeople achieve all-star status, and, in turn, help your company exceed its goals.
Giving your sales team what they need and want within reason is key to boosting morale, performance, and retention.
By balancing attention with independence, being honest yet constructive, allowing room for mistakes, providing encouragement, and recognizing achievements, sales managers can create an environment where reps feel motivated, supported, and valued.
This not only empowers the individual but lifts up the entire team.
The result is higher productivity, better outcomes, and salespeople who feel invested in growing with the company long-term.
With reduced turnover costs and optimized talent, these small investments pay dividends to the bottom line while establishing a positive and professional company culture. Though challenging at times, prioritizing your people ultimately drives success.
Focus on understanding your team, communicating with clarity, and leading with compassion. The rest will follow. Your salespeople are your greatest asset – support them, and they will support you.