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Sales-Force Turnover: Excuses, Excuses

A chart displaying companies in terms of annual revenues and the percentage of salesforce turnover in 1993.
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A company's size, growth rate, and industry can affect the migration patterns of its salespeople. So can management's attitude. Companies experiencing high turnover were defeatist: "Competitors targeted our sales force" . . . "slow year" . . . "stagnant sales force." But companies with low turnover were assertive: "Excellent products and after-sales support" . . . "partially employee-owned" . . . "above-average training."

Annual company revenues 1993 turnover
Less than $5 million 21.4%
$5 millionÑ$25 million 15.4%
$25 millionÑ$100 million 11.2%
$100 millionÑ$250 million 19.4%
More than $250 million 16.5%
Overall 15.8%

Note: The causes of turnover, in descending order of frequency, were resignation, retirement, restructuring, and termination.

Source: "Dartnell's Sales Force Compensation Survey," based on more than 550 companies in 38 industries, the Dartnell Corp., Chicago, October 1994.

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