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How to Retain Top Sales Talent in 2023

It’s difficult to find exceptional salespeople, and due to the ongoing “Great Resignation” that began in 2021, keeping them around is even harder. C-level executives are focused on finding ways to retain their top-performing sales talent – so they can curb employee turnover rates and ensure new sales professionals have experienced mentors to train and onboard them smoothly and efficiently. 

Replacing sales employees costs time and money, and can have a negative impact on company culture. Additionally, when productive and talented salespeople leave, this puts more pressure on those that have decided to stay. 

There are several ways to retain your top sales talent, regardless of business size or industry. R.E.A.P. (Recognize, Encourage, Adopt, Provide) is a retention framework that prioritizes creating a positive employee experience. Recognizing hard work, encouraging an open-door communication policy, adopting technology to enable sales teams, and providing long-term career opportunities are the foundation of this employee retention model. 

To retain top sales talent in 2023 and foster a more productive and motivated team, we encourage you to consider the R.E.A.P. retention framework, which we’ll elaborate on below.

The high cost of poor employee retention

Poor employee retention management can have a costly impact on businesses. Not only does it take time to find a replacement, but the amount of time it takes for new employees to be trained and onboarded also bears a heavy price. It takes employers roughly six to nine months to train new salespeople, and up to 15 months for them to become top performers. According to a Gallup report, “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary – and that’s a conservative estimate.” 

But it’s not just about cost. Losing your top sales talent reduces productivity, has a negative impact on employee and team morale, and can lead to higher churn rates due to lost customer connections. The most shocking statistic? Fifty-two percent of employees who leave their role voluntarily admit that their manager or organization could have prevented them from leaving. 

Why are top sales professionals leaving? 

The most common reasons sales professionals resign include: 

  • Lack of recognition from upper management. 
  • Better job offers with better compensation and/or flexibility. 
  • A lack of long-term career advancement opportunities.
  • Salespeople feeling like they’re not being heard or communicated with by sales leaders. 
  • Missing the proper tools or technology to succeed and excel in their role. 

Sales managers and C-level executives must focus on how to retain top sales talent in 2023, and with the R.E.A.P employee retention framework, they can do exactly that. 

4 strategies to retain top sales talent

The good news is companies can take action to improve sales-talent retention rates. 

1. Recognize top-performing salespeople 

Employee recognition goes a long way. Not only does it increase employee satisfaction, but it also increases productivity. A university study reported that employee recognition and satisfaction makes people around 12% more productive.

Some simple and efficient ways to show your high-performing salespeople that you appreciate and respect their hard work include: publicly recognizing those who perform above and beyond, celebrating personal and career-oriented achievements, offering bonuses or gift cards, and using positive reinforcement. 

2. Encourage a culture of open communication

It’s crucial that your sales professionals feel that their voices are heard. Promote an open-door communication policy with upper management so sales reps can communicate with them when needed.

A Gallup study found that employees who work in an environment where communication is open, timely and accurate are more engaged and demonstrate a greater intent to stay with the organization. Additionally, 26% of employees believe that receiving a manager’s feedback enables them to do their job better and more efficiently.

3. Adopt first-class technology to enable your sales teams

One of the main reasons many top sales professionals are leaving their jobs is because they aren’t provided with the right tools and technology to be successful and excel in their position. Without the right technology to streamline the B2B sales process, salespeople will find themselves getting frustrated due to inefficient business methods.

Forrester notes that companies must “Embrace technology that enables hybrid and remote employees to maximize their ability to be productive, and automates mundane tasks, routine data entry, and administrative friction points.”

4. Provide them with long-term career opportunities

Sales professionals who feel as though there is no room for career development are more likely to leave and find a job opportunity that can offer upward mobility. HBR remarks, “Organizations will need to prioritize reskilling and upskilling to attract and retain the talent they need to make their businesses grow.”

By providing salespeople with professional development opportunities and long-term career possibilities, it demonstrates to them that you’re invested in their personal and professional growth. In return, they will be more invested in their current role.  

It’s time to re-evaluate your technology 

With “The Great Resignation” still going strong, sales organizations are taking a closer look at the technology they’re using to determine whether they are needed or not. Technology should be used to streamline the B2B seller experience so your sales talent can close large deals quickly, with minimal oversight, and with as few manual tasks as possible.

A key reason top sales talent are considering other jobs is because the tools and technology they’re using are more of a stumbling block than an advantage in their day-to-day work. Determine which tools are being adopted by your sales reps, and abandon those that are disliked or not being used.

Related podcast: How Revenue Leaders Can Ride the Wave of the Great Resignation 

DealHub solves retention issues by streamlining the B2B seller experience

Every sales organization uses a CRM, but by complementing it with CPQ software, you can provide your team with the highest level of automation and efficiency, and a streamlined B2B sales experience

What can a best-in-class solution like DealHub CPQ do for your sales team?

  • CPQ: DealHub CPQ enables sales teams to generate fast and accurate quotes, even for complex deals, without any coding or third-party implementation. A sales playbook guarantees salespeople are selling as quickly and strategically as possibly.
  • Contract Management: DealHub enables sales teams to generate standardized contracts and documents within minutes. This ensures contracts are always accurate and compliant, further streamlining the sales process. 
  • Subscription Management: Amplify recurring revenue and untapped revenue sources with DealHub’s automated subscription management. This way you can automate and streamline renewals, recurring payments, upselling and quoting. 
  • DealRoom: With a digital DealRoom, sales professionals and stakeholders can collaborate in a single location. The DealRoom can be completely branded, personalized and customized for each customer. This enables salespeople to close deals faster and even monitor buyer engagement and intent in real time.

For example, Asure reduced sales professional training by 85%, which greatly accelerated the amount of time it took to ramp up new hires and Sendoso decreased quote and contract errors by 95%, notably streamlining their salespeople’s manual processes.

While there are many reasons for sales professionals to job hop, one thing is clear: the need for employers to attract and retain the right employees is more critical to business success than ever before.



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