The War Room

The Great Resignation

End of this year companies are anticipating a mass exodus of employees, already labelled "The Great Resignation". You can bet your commission cheque that a large number of these people will likely be in sales.

So I got posed this question today from leadership to try and get ahead of this. What can we do to entice our reps to stay? Why do reps stay at a company?

We all know why reps leave, but what entices a good rep to stay other than the obvious (pay increase)?

Savages - looking forward to your feedback.

๐Ÿ’†โ€โ™‚ Mindset
๐Ÿ™ Corporate Experiences
๐Ÿ’ช Motivation
Senior AE
Well pay increase is obvious, ask the sales team if they feel like their gripes are being heard or if they feel like theyโ€™re just shouting into the abyss, ask your sales team aside from Money what else would entice them to stay and maybe have this convo with them upfront.โ€hey guys Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ve all heard about the expected resignation wave coming due to companies reopening and weโ€™d like to get ahead of this and show our commitment to youโ€
WR Officer
King of the Coors Knights
As someone putting in 2 weeks tomorrow morning, I can give you my direct feedback on what would have made me stay:

1) Upward mobility. Be transparent about what the next step is for the reps (pay raise, title, new territory, etc.). Be transparent about what is needed to do to get there, and provide actionable steps (tenure, performance, etc). If I meet the steps laid out, follow through. Nobody likes empty promises.

2) Pay at market rate or better. After doing some exploratory interviews a few months ago, I realized my role at my company was underpaid by about $20K compared to the market. This was a huge morale killer. (I successfully negotiated both a title and $40K pay raise with the company I will be starting at in 2 weeks.)

3) Be transparent. As much as you are allowed to share about stuff coming down the pipe (territory changes, GTM strategy changes) - share it. Nobody likes being left in the dark.

4) Provide personal growth and learning opportunities. Many companies have really slacked off on finding and providing ways for their current employees to grow, and are focusing all efforts on finding new talent. Nobody likes to feel like the old worn out toy in the garage that now gets neglected.

5) Flexibility. Some people really enjoy the WFH life, and have gotten used to it. Allow them to continue to WFH.ย 


In my opinion, forcing reps to come back into the office and underpaying will be the biggest two reasons reps leave, followed by the lack of transparent upwards mobility.
Account Executive
On top of pay, flexibility is huge. Want to work from home? Great! Want to come into the office? Great!
Head of Sales
Iโ€™ve managed 100s of reps, ran countless teams, been the through tons of comp plans and changes, one thing always rang trueโ€ฆ the culture of the team theyโ€™re on. A top performing rep will stay around for quite a while if they feel appreciated and feel like theyโ€™re part of a family of fellow psychos (cause Letโ€™s be realโ€ฆ you like sales? Youโ€™re bit insane lol) No comp plan or set of benefits or โ€œflexible work environmentโ€ will keep them aroundโ€ฆ
Account Executive
I mirror that sentiment, being on a team I like (dare I say becoming friends outside work even) is huge for me on whether I stick around at a company. Hiring people who will work well together has to be part of the strategy.ย 
Head of Sales
It builds an internal community that make people feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Gives us all a sense of belonging. Which is huge in sales. Itโ€™s extremely hard for s sales person to be the lone wolf and be good
SDR Manager
If people feel heard and valued, they are most likely to stay, pay increase is also a sweet deal.

Also, flexibility. Our CEO gave us a poll of what people want to do post-COVID, office, hybrid or WFH. And the survey was 100% WFH.

Then he didn't renew the lease, so now we don't have an office, and we're permanent work from home.

So I'd say listen to what people are saying, and be transparent about why their ideas would or wouldn't make sense.ย 

In my personal case, feeling like my input actually weighed into a decision is kinda cool.ย 
Celebrated Contributor
WR Enthusiast
The culture of the company and how strong the bond of the team is. I recently got offered the same job for a 20% increase and declined it for 3 reasons.

1. My friends and coworkers that make a great team, we support each other and have each otherโ€™s back in a way Iโ€™ve never seen before.

2. I still have much to learn and grow within the company, I just got a promotion and Iโ€™m aiming for management later this year!

3. the raise was not as significant for me to leave no questions asked.ย 
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Address all of the things they've been complaining about for months/years. I haven't left because of territory or manager but because I just can't handle the bullshit anymore. So make their lives easier. Hire more sales ops people and grease the wheels so that deals don't get stuck there. Beef up marketing leads. Listen to what your people want! ย 
career growth opportunities
training opportunities
WFH and good culture
Sales Associate
Pay/benefits are the best but a lot of times out of control. Giving reps freedom and flexibility is huge. It's already been said, but ask your current reps what's working and what could be improved. A lot of people will be nervous to offer improvements in the office so maybe take some people out for a coffee and ask them outside of the office environment
Account Executive
Pay, benefits and flexibility top 3 I'd say. To narrow in on the flexibility piece, if you are forcing your employees back to an office, its safe to say you are going to lose some. After that it comes down to feeling supported and heard. Are you celebrating your sales people? Giving them a path to grow? Giving them a voice within the org? Is there transparency within the organization? Are there targets and milestones for them to achieve and be motivated to work towards?

I've seen so many companies be content right now and in turn I see their employees looking for jobs. Stand out amongst the crowd and offer something extra to the employees, something that reminds them that they are valued and an integral part of the org. At the end of the day we are all human so show them you value them.
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The Great Resignation