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Sales Turnover: Why New Hires Leave in the 1st Year

sales turnover

Sales Turnover: Why New Hires Leave in the 1st Year

According to a Harvard research study, sales turnover is twice as high as other departments.

“High employee turnover risks impacting the profitability of their organization, the culture, and the productivity.” 

What’s the #1 reason salespeople leave?

“40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year.” HR Exchange

The lack of formal sales training is costing companies in more ways than one.

Not having the proper sales skills to sell by phone leads to frustration, poor results, and a lack of motivation.

Formal Sales Training

Formal sales training needs to be specific to each sales process step. Do not confuse this with needing “customized” sales training, which is often over-priced and under-delivers.

Your prospect’s pain points your prospects have the solutions for them may be unique, but the sales steps a consumer goes through to make a purchasing decision are the same across all industries.

It makes no sense to spend money on “custom” sales training when the team lacks the fundamentals of:

  • How to open a sales call
  • What to say to gatekeepers
  • How to leave a voicemail that gets callbacks
  • What to say in an email that lands an appointment
  • How to qualify on pain points, decision-making authority, and pricing
  • How to give a presentation that creates a closing opportunity
  • How to handle objections and close the sale

These are all common sales skills every business development (outbound), sales development (inbound), and account executive need to master to be proficient at their job.

Sales Training Mistakes 101

The biggest sales training mistake has any training session lasts more than an hour. The goal of training is to improve and be better. Short micro-learning classes are proven to be way more effective than traditional sales training (60% retention compared to 10% retention)

Besides, you don’t want your team losing production all day off the phones.

Short classes that are very specific to one step at a time in the sales process allow students to put to practice what they’ve learned, make it their own, get comfortable with it and be able to repeat it.

We recommend one hour a week max, followed by daily role-playing sessions and new techniques for one whole week before learning the next step.

Everyone wins when new hires are learning and what they are learning is helping them succeed. But when a company offers product knowledge training and says “smile and dial,” it shows they are outdated with today’s workforce.

“But sales training is expensive.”

No one wants to pay more than they have to, but you also don’t want to pay less than you should have. There are many affordable sales training solutions available, and eLearning is proven to skyrocket results while cutting the cost of training up to 80%.

But if you’re still not convinced…

The High-Cost Sales Turnover

How do you calculate the cost of sales turnover?

The two most significant factors are:

Cost of hiring: It takes 250 applications to find between 4 to 6 candidates for a single position.


Loss in productivity during vacancy: Leads grow cold while you hunt for a replacement.

Some turnover is going to be necessary – after all – you may have a “hiring issue” and not a “training issue” with a sales rep or two.

Having a formal sales training system in place for your current reps to get up to speed on best practices while enabling new hires to shorten their learning curve is proven to pay off for companies that make that investment in their employees.

IBM Saved $200M by switching to eLearning training.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the founder of SalesBuzz.com – a turnkey, on-demand skills-building program for inside sales teams. Book a demo today.