Sales News

🎙 Is This Thing On? 🎙

A whopping 45% of sales professionals report that they’ve actively pursued a new opportunity in the past six months 😳

April 16, 2022

🎙 Is This Thing On? 🎙

Data shows too many reps are missing quota. It's been that way for too long, and as we'll explore below, missing goal directly impacts a salesperson's paycheck. When rep earnings are diminished, answering calls from recruiters becomes too easy. But critics are pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

Search for this topic on LinkedIn, and we see too much borderline vitriol directed at heads of sales. Rarely does the chief sales officer produce the number and the trickle-down quotas for reps. In most scenarios, the CEO, CFO, and the board of directors dictate the ultimate numbers.

The same holds for establishing year-over-year growth rates. Yes, our sales leaders have influence, but ultimately, the number arrives in the proverbial envelope from the Board, the CEO, and Finance. SaaS sales leaders especially have been handed lofty growth expectations not seen in a long time.

The tradeoff for these historic growth expectations is much higher voluntary turnover. Gong recently released its Reality of Sales Talent Report 2022 and estimates a jaw-dropping 45% of sales pros have pursued a new job opportunity in the last six months. Said another way, nearly half the teammates we interact with today may have recently looked for greener pastures elsewhere.

If anyone needs this message, perhaps it's our leaders outside of sales who can help us reverse this trend. Can our Board, CEO, and finance teams hear us?

Money is the #1 reason reps look for new opportunities

The Weekly Pitch reported that base pay trumps on-target earnings (OTE) less than a month ago. Gone are the days of the majority of our reps – no matter how confident they appear to be – believing that 100% of the OTE is attainable. But those who do are more likely to stick around.

The study from Gong reports that an increase in total compensation is the number one reason reps look for a new job. If we are sales managers, sit down with our reps to help them understand the exact path to hit quota. Call it their success formula.

Some sample metrics to include in the formula could be:

  • How much pipeline coverage is needed (3-5x goal is common)?
  • How many qualified opportunities are needed?
  • What win rate is required?
  • What average deal size is required?

After building this success formula, ask reps, "do you think your target is achievable?" If they respond positively, then there's less concern we will lose them.  

For top reps, it's a lack of mobility

Defined in the study as reps achieving greater than 120% of target, almost a third of our high performers indicated looking for new opportunities when there was no clearly defined path to move up from their current role.

With too few reps hitting quota, let's reward those who are with more responsibility, a promotion, better pay, better territories, or all of the above.

More coaching = less turnover

The study also asked respondents if they received adequate levels of coaching. If reps disagree, they're more likely to look for a new opportunity. We published The Best Sales Coaches Do These 10 Things two weeks ago. Check it out for more tips to boost coaching efforts.

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