Sales staff turnover nearly 20 per cent

One in five sales staff leave their jobs each year and the
turnover rate is increasing, according to research.

The survey by Pursuit NHA International, reveals that average turnover rates for sales personnel is
nearly 20 per cent and this is on the increase in 40 per cent of the 100
companies surveyed.

The study finds the direct cost of filling vacancies
averages at more than £80,000 per company per year.

Ben Ballard, a consultant for Pursuit, said: "It takes a minimum of three months to fill a
junior vacancy and proportionately more time for more senior positions,
and this results in sales teams
constantly operating below authorised manpower levels. This adds to lost sales
and increases pressure on the remainder of the team."

He advised companies to put a greater emphasis on areas
such as training and personal and career development.

The report reveals that companies are already reacting to
the problem with 64 per cent of firms planning to increase their training and
development budgets over the next financial year.

Managers have a key responsibility in retaining key sales
staff and
advocates the use of staff surveys to
monitor employee satisfaction.

Julia Hampshire, managing director at Sodastream, said one
of the main reasons her company does not have a turnover problem within its
sales department is that it has a policy of giving its sales s
taff a say in its marketing strategy.

"We learned very early on that this is important if
you want to keep job satisfaction.
We pulled sales and marketing together
so they now regard themselves as one team

"We also provide people with the opportunity to
progress and recruit from within wherever possible," she said.

By Ben Willmott

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