After two years of adapting to a new way of working and a renewed mindfulness of the importance of professional and personal happiness, sales professionals continue to be highly active participants in the Great Reshuffle. Nearly 50% say they pursued new jobs during the past six months, with many reps reporting trouble staying motivated, maintaining work/life balance, and mental health as key concerns. Gong’s new Reality of Sales Talent study released today includes these and other findings, including the role that money does – and does not – play in attracting and retaining sales talent.
Exploring the ways the global pandemic has changed selling, the study asked more than 330 sales professionals what motivates them, the challenges they face, and their preference for working in the office or remotely. The study also provides sales leaders with an actionable plan for retaining employees through motivation. Among the findings:
Show Me the…Mission!
- 45 percent of sales pros reported they actively pursued new employment during the past six months.
- Financial compensation plays a vital role in attracting high-performing sellers. But a company’s mission, outlook, and culture play bigger roles in retaining salespeople.
The Importance of Motivation & Coaching
- Staying motivated is the top challenge facing sales professionals, with Millennials more than twice as likely to report motivation as their biggest challenge compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers.
- Three non-financial factors – difficulty staying motivated (17%), mental health (13%), and work/life balance (10%) – dominated the top five challenges sales professionals encounter.
- Of the sales pros who actively pursued new employment during the past six months, only 32% say they receive adequate levels of coaching to be successful.
Remote Work & Selling Are Here to Stay
- 75 percent of sales pros say they prefer working from home. In the past six months, the majority of reps – 72 percent of all respondents and 81 percent of high-performers – say they spent less than a quarter of their time in the office.
- Despite the rise of remote selling, productivity ranked last on the list of challenges faced by sales reps.
“This is a wake-up call for revenue teams,” said Ryan Longfield, Chief Revenue Officer of Gong. “Sales leaders who think compensation is the only motivation for keeping reps engaged will continue to experience massive talent departures. They must account for the new motivational challenges presented by remote work and focus on their employees’ long-term well-being and happiness.”
The Drivers of Motivation
To help sales leaders tackle the motivation challenge, Gong has developed the Drivers of Motivation, a 5-pronged approach to attract, hire, develop and retain a world-class team of sellers. The framework is backed by data captured in the survey and provides insight into what drives sales professionals during each phase of the talent lifecycle. The full report and Drivers of Motivation can be downloaded here.
The Reality of Sales Talent survey was conducted in January 2022 with 332 business-to-business sales professionals across North America, Europe, and Asia. This is the first in a series of data-driven reports Gong will publish on strategic priorities for revenue leaders in 2022.
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