According to a DePaul University study, the average turnover cost per Account Executive (AE) is $97,690 when you add up recruiting costs, training costs, and lost sales. So, if you lose five AEs in one year - you’re close to losing nearly a half a million dollars.
Couple that with the fact that in a Glassdoor survey, only 19% of AE’s have no immediate plans leave their companies, but 68% of AE’s plan to look for a job within the next year.
Why do sales reps leave? And what can your sales organization do to stop your top sellers from leaving?
Your Sales Unicorn Does Not Exist
There’s a lot of pressure on AE’s to perform. Adding to that pressure are the many different directions and distractions they endure, and the many different hats they’re asked to wear — from lead generation expert, to closer, to account manager.
With such a focus on performance and mundane non-sales tasks, it’s easy to see why AE's would leave. One way to combat these challenges is to focus on AE development.
If you’re recruiting and hiring top talent, you’re going to look for people with strong internal and external motivators. They will rank high in Achiever and Competition. High achieving and competitive people crave opportunities and challenges. They want to climb up the ladder.
Change Your Sale Structure — Create a Ladder
The problem most organizations face is there isn’t a ladder to climb.
What if sales leaders could develop a ladder and, at the same time take some of those more mundane tasks off their AE’s plates.
That ladder might include an entry level position or Jr. AE that performs order entries, creates proposals, and works through make goods — all while learning the ropes of the AE role.
- The next rung works on lead generation for AE’s. They help identify the most qualified prospects then connect and hand off.
- The next rung is the true AE role, those positions handle discovery meetings, advising the client on the best solution, and closing the business.
- And finally, an account manager role, someone that is responsible for renewing and growing the business.
If you can’t change your sales structure to create a ladder, then start with a Growth Guide and build from there. Invest the time to learn about your AE’s short and long-term goals. Ask them where they see themselves in a year, five years, ten years, and help them build a plan to get there.
While you must be focused on performance, you can also look beyond that with the people that work for you. This will be a valuable investment and quite possibly could save you thousands if not millions of dollars as a sales leader.