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Minimizing Your Inside Sales Rep Turnover Rates


I have been exposed to sales teams that have high turnover rates and ones that keep their inside sales reps on the team for 3+ years. Sometimes inside reps leave a company to take the next step in their career in outside sales, or they leave to take another inside sales role because they want to sell in a different industry. Other times, inside sales reps leave companies to work as an inside rep at another company that sells a similar product or service within 6-12 months of their start date. If the latter seems to be occurring more often than not for your organization, it might be time to take a closer look at ways to minimize your turnover rate.

I think it really comes down to taking a look at the type of people you hire, then the environment you create for them once hired, and the way you communicate with them through your management style.

Make sure you are hiring the right person for the job that is motivated, but that will also fit in with the existing culture - ask them what kind of culture they are looking for during the interviewing process. Also give them a high level overview of the goals they will need to reach, and get their honest reaction about how they feel about reaching those goals and what they would do if they were struggling to reach these goals in a real life situation.

Create an environment that makes work fun. Cold calling is not the easiest job - and if you don’t create a fun work environment, I can guarantee that your inside sales reps will leave. I suggest a more relaxed environment - this doesn’t mean you can wear your sweatpants to work, but let your reps wear jeans if they want to. If music playing in the background will motivate them to make more dials, then let them listen. Reward your reps with an afternoon break to get a coffee, or to go outside and throw the football around. Laugh with your reps daily - make them excited to come to work every day.

Communicate with your reps, and take a look at your management style. Help lead your reps to be better at what they do - don’t nag them in doing so. I’ve seen sales managers that do this and you guessed it - their turnover rates are extremely high. Work as a team to help them reach their goals and make sure to comment on the areas that they are doing well in. Sit with them on the phone and always give them positive feedback. If they are weak in a certain area, don’t be negative - simply suggest “Let’s try XYZ and see if we get the prospect talking more. How about I check in on Friday and we can talk about the trends you have been seeing as result of this change.” Sometimes it’s all about the tone - reps want to feel comfortable and not have their heart drop every time you ask to sit with them - make it a fun experience versus a dreaded experience. 

These are my top three ways to decrease turnover rates. You will notice I didn’t mention compensation once. Money isn’t everything, so even if you are paying your reps well, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a high turnover rate. Make sure that you are hiring the right person that is the right fit and that you are creating an environment where your reps are excited to be.


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