11 Steps to Reduce High Turnover Among New Sales Hires

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High turnover rates among new sales hires is a never-ending challenge for organizations.

Affecting their productivity and overall growth.

It’s an issue that demands attention and proactive measures.

So in this blog, I’ll try to cover how you can increase the retention of the new sales hires.

Impact of High Turnover in Sales Department

A high employee turnover rate can have a negative impact on many aspects of your company, from daily productivity to overall revenue.

1. Productivity

When new sales hires continuously leave, it disrupts the workflow and productivity of the sales team.

Constant recruitment and onboarding efforts divert valuable time and resources away from actual selling.

2. Morale

High turnover rates can lead to lower morale among your existing sales team.

The constant influx of new faces, followed by departures, can create an unstable and demotivating work environment.

3. Business Growth

A high turnover rate can hinder your business’s growth potential.

It takes time for new hires to become fully productive and establish strong client relationships.

Frequent turnover will disrupt this process and affect your bottom line.

4. Revenue Forecast

Every sales rep carries a certain revenue target (either quarterly or yearly).

When the sales rep decides to leave the organization, the revenue forecast gets directly impacted, 

Because finding a replacement, training her and making her fully productive takes a minimum of 6-9 months

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Steps to Reduce the Turnover Among New Sales Hires

So what are the steps an organization can take to reduce any new sales hire leaving? Lets find out

1. Clear Job Descriptions and Role Expectations

To reduce turnover rates among new sales hires, it’s crucial to provide a clear roadmap right from the phase of recruiting sales talents.

Crafting Comprehensive Job Descriptions

Start by crafting job descriptions that leave no room for ambiguity.

These JDs should offer a detailed look into the role, outlining the experience, responsibilities, expectations, and key performance indicators (KPIs) in a comprehensive manner.

Create a Well Formatted JD

Proper formatting of the JD also is an important aspect that I’ve seen many recruiters miss

A well formatted JD should be easy to read and it must be in the bulletin list.

It should also have the content bifurcated in proper headings like

  • Job Title
  • Company Overview
  • Key Responsibilities
  • Requirements
  • Qualifications
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Application Process
  • Contact Information

A well-formatted JD will make sure no information is missed by the candidate while going through it

Setting Up the Right Expectations for the Role

During the interview process, be transparent about the challenges and expectations associated with the sales role.

Share realistic sales ramp-up timelines and what new hires can expect in terms of training, mentorship, and support.

In my experience I’ve seen when candidates have a clear understanding of what the role entails right from the beginning,

they are more likely to make an informed decision about whether it aligns with their career goals and expectations.

This transparency helps filter out those who might not be a good fit, and reduces the chances of them leaving the position in the future.

2. Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviews are an effective way to reduce turnover among new sales hires.

These interviews focus on a candidate’s past experiences and their ability to handle challenges. 

Questions like

  • How have you handled rejections in sales?
  • Describe a situation where you dealt with a challenging client. How did you address their concerns?
  • Share a few objections you faced from a client and how you successfully addressed them?
  • Share a situation where you struggled to meet sales targets and how you handled it.

will help you gauge the candidate’s readiness for the role.

Behavioral questions help predict how candidates might handle future challenges.

Look for indicators of a positive attitude, ability to learn from failures, and commitment to self-improvement.

3. Cultural Fit

Making sure a new hire is a good fit for your company culture is just as important as making sure they have the right skills for the job.

Your company’s values and culture must resonate with the candidate to prevent future conflicts and turnover.

Aligning Values

During interviews, introduce candidates to your organization’s values and culture. Discussing these aspects openly ensures candidates align with your company’s ethos.

Harmonious Collaboration

A good cultural fit promotes harmonious collaboration within your sales team. It ensures the team members share same goals, work ethics, and sense of belonging.

Reducing Turnover

Hiring individuals who blend seamlessly with your company culture reduces the likelihood of them leaving due to discomfort or misalignment with organizational values.

Enhanced Morale

When sales professionals connect with the company’s culture, they’re more likely to feel motivated and satisfied in their roles.

Builds Cohesive Teams

Cultural fit contributes to the formation of cohesive, productive teams, ultimately boosting sales performance.

4. Continuous Communication

Transparent and consistent communication with candidates is a cornerstone in the quest to reduce turnover rates among new sales hires.

Addressing Questions and Concerns

Encourage candidates to voice any queries or doubts they may have. Responding promptly and candidly not only fosters trust but also assures candidates that their concerns are valued.

Setting Clear Role Expectations

By setting role expectations during the interview and job description stages, you can attract candidates who are better aligned with the demands of the position and the organization’s culture.

Avoiding Mismatched Expectations

Through open dialogue, you create a scenario where candidates have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

This significantly diminishes the chances of expectations clashing and, consequently, contributes to a higher retention rate among new sales hires.

5. Effective Onboarding

A well-structured onboarding process can be the key to reducing turnover rates among new sales hires.

The Importance of Effective Onboarding

One of the leading causes of high turnover rates I’ve seen is an insufficient onboarding process.

The first few days of a new hire are extremely important to set her up for success and build a positive perspective towards your organization

New sales hires must be equipped with a thorough understanding of your products, services, sales processes, and your company culture.

This foundational knowledge is crucial for their success and longevity within your organization.

Interactive and Ongoing

Your onboarding process should be more than a cursory introduction.

It needs to be a dynamic, interactive, and ongoing experience.

The goal is to provide new hires with the right tools and insights they need to be successful in their roles.

Guidance and Support

To facilitate a smooth transition, assign  mentors or coaches to your new sales hires.

These experienced leaders can be invaluable assets, assisting newcomers in adjusting to their positions, answering questions, and providing guidance during those critical first few months.


A robust onboarding program doesn’t just inform; it nurtures, integrates, and sets the stage for long-term success.

As a sales recruitment agency, we always work with our clients to craft an effective onboarding for every new sales hires

And this has resulted in very low turnover rates of our sales recruits.

6. Conducting Training and Skill Development Programs

Effective sales training and skill development is pivotal in retaining your sales talents.

Investing in the growth of your employees not only enhances their abilities but it also demonstrates your commitment to their development.

Making them more likely to stay with your organization.

Every sales role is unique, and so should be the training that accompanies it.

Tailor your training programs to the specific requirements of the role. Equip your new hires with the precise skills and knowledge they need to excel in their positions.

If you don’t have internal capabilities to conduct effective training programs, you can consider working with a professional sales training company

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely yields optimal results in sales in my experience.

7. Ongoing Coaching and Support

Sustainable success for new sales hires isn’t just about initial training; it’s also about continuous coaching and support.

Mentorship and Coaching

Every new hire wants to feel that there is someone to support her in the initial days.

Assign experienced mentors or coaches to guide new hires through the challenges of their roles.

These mentors can offer insights, share experiences, and provide valuable feedback.

Having someone to turn to for advice can make a significant difference in a new hire’s confidence and performance.

One-on-one meetings

Over the years of recruiting and mentoring sales reps, one thing I’ve seen makes a huge impact is frequent one-on-one meetings with new hires.

These regular interactions foster open communication and cultivate a growth-oriented mindset within your sales team.

By staying connected, you can quickly identify and address any issues that may arise, ultimately reducing turnover rates.

8. Clear Goal and KPIs Setting

Setting clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) is fundamental in guiding new sales hires toward success.

Here’s how to effectively establish these benchmarks:

Defining Goals

Begin by clearly defining the objectives and targets expected from the new hire.

These goals should align with your organization’s broader sales strategy and targets.

By doing so, you provide a roadmap for success, ensuring that both managers and sales representatives share the same expectations.

This alignment reduces the chances of misunderstandings and fosters a cooperative atmosphere.

Setting Key Performance Indicators

Sales KPIs are crucial for assessing performance and progress.

Establish well-defined KPIs that provide measurable insights into each salesperson’s achievements.

These metrics should encompass various aspects of their role, from sales revenue to client acquisition rates and customer satisfaction.

Sales Ramp-up Time

Consider the sales ramp-up time, which is the amount of time it takes for a new sales hire to become fully productive and consistently meet their sales goals.

According to a report by Xactly, it takes an average of 3.2 months for any new salesperson to reach their full productivity

  Understanding this concept is pivotal, as it helps set realistic performance expectations and goals.

9. Regular Feedback and Recognition

Creating a culture of regular feedback and recognition is a powerful tool for retaining new sales hires

Constructive Feedback

Provide consistent and constructive feedback to your new hires.

Regular evaluations of their performance helps them understand their strengths, weakness and areas for improvements.

Feedback sessions should be two-way dialogues.

Discuss specific instances, set achievable targets for improvement, and offer guidance on how to reach them. This approach empowers your sales professionals to grow continuously.

Recognizing Achievements

Acknowledging and celebrating achievements can significantly boost morale and job satisfaction.

Recognize outstanding performance, both individually and as a team, through formal and informal methods.

This could include public praise during meetings, awards, or incentives for hitting specific milestones.

When new sales hires feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to remain committed to their roles and your organization.

10. Providing Career Growth Opportunities

In my years of experience of building and leading sales teams, I feel this one is one of the most important point any new hire expects from the organization.

When an organization is known for providing opportunities for career advancement, it not only helps in employee retention

But also attracts top talents

Here’s how to provide career growth opportunities that encourage long-term commitment:

Clear Career Paths

Begin by outlining transparent career trajectories within your organization. Define the roles and responsibilities associated with each career stage.

This provides new sales hires with a visual roadmap for their professional journey within your company.

Encouraging Long-Term Commitment

Emphasize the benefits of long-term commitment to your new sales hires.

Highlight how staying with the company can lead to increased responsibilities, higher earning potential, promotions etc.

Encourage them to view their roles as long-term investments and assure them that their dedication will be rewarded.

Creating Individual Development Plans

According to a Glint Employee Well-Being Report, only 1 out of 5 employees believe that they can meet their career goals from where they work today

That’s why leaders should work closely with each new sales hire to create a personalized career development plan.

This plan should outline their career goals, the specific steps needed to achieve them, and the resources and support they will receive from the company.

Tailoring development plans to individual aspirations shows that you value their growth and are committed to helping them succeed.

11. Promoting Work-Life Balance

Stress and burnout is always part and parcel of sales.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential well-being of sales professionals.

So how can you promote work-life balance?

Flexible Work Arrangements

Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to accommodate personal needs and reduce commute times.

Wellness Programs

Offer wellness programs that promote physical and mental health, such as gym memberships, counseling services, or stress management workshops.

Encouraging Long-Term Commitment

Implementing employee experience apps can provide valuable insights into the mental state of sales professionals.

This data can help HR and management identify potential issues early on and provide necessary support and resources to maintain a healthy work-life balance.


About the Author

Picture of C Rajasekaran
C Rajasekaran
CR is the Co-Founder of Sales & Profit and an experienced B2B Sales & talent Consultant. With selling as his core skill, he has built and executed several sales strategies and sales talent strategies for organizations. He has 30 years of experience in sales leadership roles in companies like IBM, Cable & Wireless, Verizon & Telstra.
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