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What Actually Drives Sales Turnover? Cangrade’s New Research Exposes These Details

Retaining employees has been an issue in many organizations for a long time. Retention ensures financial savings, stable teams, strong customer relations, skill development, positive culture and reputation, and overall organizational success. So understanding what causes turnover is essential.  

Employee attrition is difficult for every department, but it’s especially costly in one function: sales. Estimates of annual turnover among U.S. salespeople run as high as 27% — twice the rate in the overall labor force, shared Harvard Business Review.

So, what exactly drives sales employees to quit specifically? To help HR leaders improve retention and engagement within their sales teams, we conducted a longitudinal study of 2,685 employees from 2018-2022 that reveals what really drives sales turnover to help better combat resignations. 

The report exposed that organizations are the larger culprit behind poor job engagement and resignations, running counter to the common belief that “people quit managers not companies.” Here are just a few of our research findings. Salespeople who quit:

  • Are 56% more likely to believe organizational decision-making is biased
  • Are only 9.5% less likely to believe their manager is fair
  • Are 25.3% less happy at work, reinforcing a common belief
  • Are 40% more likely to believe they lack the resources to do their job
  • Are 7.8% less likely to believe their manager cares about their happiness and well-being

Dr. Kat Chia shares, “Resignations boil down to resource availability and the belief that your organization is operating in good faith. This might be surprising, as we often cite managerial experiences as a huge factor in quitting. A fair manager is near the top of the hierarchy of workplace needs and organizations have been using this as a bar for a long time, but we’re evolving.”

“Employee standards are changing. Today’s workforce needs to feel represented by their organizations, both in their belief systems and resource allocation. Employers need to introspect and actively address these calls for working environment changes to retain their employees,” Dr. Chia continues.

Understanding why employees choose to leave your organization empowers you to make informed decisions that promote a healthier, more productive, and more engaging work environment. Leading to better retention, improved employee satisfaction, and a stronger overall organizational culture.

To learn more about how you can reduce sales turnover and improve retention, download the full report today.

For help hiring sales candidates who will succeed and stay, check out Cangrade’s solutions – including pre-hire assessments, skills tests, and reference checking. Get started today.