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Why Sales Incentive Programs and Retention Strategies Matter More Than Ever

  • author

    BHN Rewards

  • posted

    Apr 25, 2023

  • topic

    Employee Rewards, Sales

Why Sales Incentive Programs and Retention Strategies Matter More Than Ever

Like many of the products and services they sell, sales reps are finding themselves a hot commodity. These days, sales reps can practically write their own tickets.

For the companies that rely on them, however, it’s a different story. The name of the game now is retention, retention, retention.

With sales reps wanting flexible work arrangements, career development opportunities, and an inclusive workplace, businesses are taking a closer look at how sales incentive programs can fill in the gaps and keep reps from jumping ship.

How did retaining sales reps become so pressing, and what can you do to make your company more attractive? The following stats can help you understand the bigger picture and take steps to solidify your retention strategies.

The Sales Employment Landscape

Turnover among sales professionals is up 39%.

Yes, you read that right. LinkedIn’s Economic Graph shows that globally, job transitions across all roles were up 28%, and that figure jumped to 39% for sales professionals. That difference proves it isn’t just your imagination — sales reps are changing jobs at a rapid clip. To understand why, look no further than the next stat.

Salesperson is the second most in-demand job in the world.

Coming in just behind the ever-popular software engineer, salesperson was ranked the second most in-demand job in a report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions. Tech employees have long been heavily recruited for jobs at top companies, and now, sales reps are getting a taste of being courted the same way. When hiring companies offer bigger bonuses or better sales incentive programs, you can bet your sales reps will want to head for those greener pastures.

READ MORE: Using Incentives to Boost Sales? Don’t Forget These 3 Non-Sales Teams

Losing a salesperson costs $115,000.

Whenever you bring on a new rep, you’ll spend time and money on recruitment efforts, training and onboarding, plus the cost of not having someone on staff performing the sales that contribute to your bottom line. When sales are down, so is revenue.

A DePaul University study in the U.S. estimated that losing a sales rep costs $115,000. Today, especially as a possible recession looms, consistent sales can make or break your business. Well-thought-out sales incentive programs — ones that reward critical sales behaviors — can help you keep your best salespeople just when you need them most.

Eighty-nine percent of sales reps report feeling burned out from work.

The stats on burnout are grim, including for salespeople, according to a survey of sellers by Gartner. Even if you haven’t seen much turnover, you’re at risk of your sales team burning out. And because burnout affects productivity, it translates into fewer sales.

Here’s where sales incentive programs can help you bring out the best in your sales team. In addition to rewarding sales reps for tasks like sales demos or closing a deal, make sure you include incentives for using up vacation time or taking a day to focus on personal wellness. This approach shows you care about more than your reps’ ability to make sales.

Too Many Tools

Nearly two-thirds (66%) of sales reps say they’re drowning in tools. On average, sales teams use 10 tools to close deals.

The more time spent learning and maintaining different tools, the less time your sales reps spend on what they do best: building relationships that lead to sales. According to Salesforce’s State of Sales survey, the top 5 tools are: sales reporting/analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), account and contact management, mobile sales apps for employees, and sales forecasting.

While these tools and others may play a role in the sales process, they can be time-consuming to learn and overwhelming to use on a daily basis, contributing to reps’ frustration and burnout.

Ninety-four percent of sales organizations plan to consolidate their tech stack within the next 12 months.

The solution to tool overload is consolidation, which, according to Salesforce’s survey, is likely coming. Your goal should be to optimize and streamline the tools you already have to empower reps without adding extra steps. Find tools that integrate seamlessly to add functionality into the main software your teams know and use every day. For instance, integrating your rewards tool directly into your CRM means reps can incentivize demo attendance with just a few clicks. Anything you can do to simplify their day-to-day tasks is sure to be appreciated and good for retention and productivity.

Sales incentive programs aren’t the only retention strategy you should be focusing on. Check out these other retention-boosting ideas for rewarding remote employees!

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BHN Rewards

BHN Rewards puts the power of digital rewards to work for marketers, researchers, and HR managers. Don't forget to check out all the great content in our Resources section!

BHN Rewards puts the power of digital rewards to work for marketers, researchers, and HR managers. Don't forget to check out all the great content in our Resources section!