Sales Force Turnover And Retention: A Research Agenda

J. Boles, G. Dudley, V. Onyemah, D. ROUZIES, B. Weeks

Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management

Winter 2012, vol. 32, n°1, pp.131-140

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Identifying, acquiring, and retaining top sales talent remains a priority in many sales organizations because salesperson turnover remains such an intractable management problem. This paper seeks to encourage and enrich continued research on sales turnover by introducing recent methodological and theoretical advances in psychological, economic, and organizational theory. First, we suggest an examination of sales turnover guided by social network theory. Second, we propose the simultaneous consideration of the interplay between variables within a comprehensive, integrated multilevel framework. Third, in keeping with the shift in research designs initiated in management, our model includes the concept of 'shocks''jarring events that could drive turnover decisions. Finally, we propose to examine sales turnover within an international context. The conceptual framework we present outlines how sales organizations might effectively address sales force turnover and, as a consequence, improve productivity. We conclude by suggesting some specific research questions intended to provide direction for researchers interested in identifying and investigating underresearched linkages.