How Sales Technology Impacts Recruiting and Retention

Adopting new sales technology is a big deal.

Whether you’re looking to switch from non-VoIP to VoIP phone systems, get the latest sales engagement software, purchase or enrich a lead database, invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or otherwise, you’re making a major commitment.

The business case for adopting these systems often overlooks a very important component – the positive impact on sales team recruiting, onboarding, and retention.

How Sales Technology Impacts Recruiting

The War for Sales Talent is heating up – and shows no signs of slowing down.

According to LinkedIn’s U.S. Emerging Jobs Report, sales as the 2nd most in-demand skill in the marketplace. CareerBuilder likewise lists sales as one of the “Hot Areas for Hiring.”

To lure A players away from your competitors, you need to understand what drives salespeople to leave their current job and what entices them to join a new company.

Start with the points of frustration for reps – namely, being inundated with non-sales tasks that hinder their ability to hit quota. For example:

Elite sales reps want to spend their time selling, not focusing on contact data, content, and CRM updates.

Therefore, winning the War for Talent requires giving your sales team everything it needs to succeed.

The companies that gain an edge in the hiring game will be those who leverage new sales enablement technology that lets reps do their job more efficiently.

How to Work Recruiting into a Sales Technology Business Case

Hiring an elite team of sales reps and then failing to equip them with the tools they need to succeed is an exercise in futility.

Your sales team will not stick around if they lack the resources they need to operate effectively.

High-quality hiring candidates will be turned off during the hiring process when they learn about that your sales team is behind the curve versus the industry average when it comes to sales enablement technology.

To that end, it’s pivotal to understand how to include sales hiring and retention when you’re building a business case for adopting new technology.

Step 1. Source Internal Feedback on Your Sales Stack

You should have a finger on the pulse of your sales team’s attitude towards your existing sales stack.

Are there critical points of frustration? Unnecessary bottlenecks in workflow or process? Do they hate your CRM or see it as a valuable system of record?

Use a survey tool to understand their frustrations. If there is voluntarily sales turnover, i.e., people jumping from your organization to another, conduct exit interviews and seek open, honest feedback on what internal frustrations led to their decision.

Aggregate survey results into usable data points for your business case to buy future sales technology.

Step 2. Factor in Cost of Turnover

Building a business case for adopting sales technology should factor in the cost-benefit for recruiting, onboarding, and retention.

Start with this statistic: It costs approximately $115,000 on average to replace a sales rep.

This cost factors in lost productivity from someone leaving, time spent sourcing and hiring a replacement, time spent ramping the new rep up to full productivity.

If you know your existing cost of replacing a rep in your internal sales team, feel free to use it instead of this number.

If you do not know your internal cost, then use $115,000 and calculate the reduction in turnover that a new sales enablement tool would afford you. You can source these directly from vendors or find stats on specific tools via G2Crowd and other analyst sites.

Ultimately, if you adopt a tool that reduces headcount by 3 people each year, you’re saving $345,000 in sales turnover cost. That’s huge.

Factor in costs associated with customer service (American companies lose a staggering $100 million dollars per year thanks to bad customer service) and you’ll see the business case for adopting beneficial new sales technology extends to sales engineers, account managers, and customer service reps.

So remember when you’re building a business case for new sales technology, include the beneficial cost savings to sales team retention, hiring, and onboarding.

Step 3. Do an Industry Comparison

Dirty secret – if you’re a larger company, you can use Siftery (who G2Crowd recently acquired) to see the sales stacks inside your competitors.

What tools are they using? If they are kicking your butt in revenue, stealing your accounts, and beating you in deals, then compare what you’re currently using with what they are.

If all of your competitors are using a sales engagement tool or sales intelligence tool, and they are beating you consistently, then you should work a competitive side-by-side into your business case, too.

While you should not adopt tools just for the sake of matching your competitors, a competitive side-by-side to adopt tools you’re already considering can add value to your business case.

Win the War for Sales Talent

Just as the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than the cost of retaining, renewing or expanding existing customers, the cost of making new sales hires is exponentially higher than the cost of keeping and maximizing your existing team.

Don’t let sales technology be the inhibitor to you winning the War for Talent. Use the above steps to work recruiting, hiring, and retention into your business case for adopting new tools and give your sales team the firepower it needs to stay happy, stay with your company, and stay ahead of quota.

Jeremy Boudinet

Jeremy Boudinet is the Marketing Manager at Nextiva, which is a leading provider of cloud-based business communication solutions.