Dealing with Sales Turnover: What To Do When You Lose a Key Employee

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


Roofing and construction companies are unique when it comes to hiring and retaining full-time and seasonal skilled labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “hiring in April, May and June proceeds at double the pace of December”, which comes to no surprise for business owners who look to increase their sales and crew staff during high performance seasons within this competitive space.

What also comes as no surprise is the high amount of employee turnover within the industry.

“While the construction’s 20 percent rate of turnover in the 2014’s fourth quarter was just under the national average, it was still high for the industry. Moreover, for workers 25 or under, turnover was a whopping 38%,” [Construction Dive]

Despite impressive industry acceleration, turnover of skilled sales team members is a pressing issue for roofing and exterior contracting businesses who rely on knowledge of products and procedures, in addition to professionalism, to increase sales and profits.

The result can oftentimes be the need to hire and train new sales employees quickly, before these high production months, which can be frustrating when your company lacks the proper tools and technology to get new team members up and running quickly.

With the high turnover in sales positions, how can roofing companies avoid major disruption to their business when sales or other key personnel leave?

Implement Technology in the Off-Season:

2017 was a year of unprecedented weather – hurricane damage from Irma and Harvey totalled in the billions, and exterior contractors were inundated with insurance claims, and heavily extended workloads. Roofing companies without established CRMs or project management softwares may have been overwhelmed with paperwork, organization, scheduling and material orders during this time – and realized their current systems were not up to the task.

Implementing a new system during high production season can result in a failure to truly adopt the technology, while establishing new procedures during lower production times gives sales and office staff the time to focus on learning and adapting to a new system with the chance of making fewer mistakes.

Avoid Training Mistakes:

Having an established system like this already in place for new employees means an easier transition, quick on-site training and faster field application of your company’s procedures. When you can properly train new employees on a system, they will pick it up and implement it much faster in the field, rather than showing them several programs and procedures through multiple channels.

Keep Your Proprietary Information:

CRMs also ensure that previous employees cannot walk away with leads, critical files or other sensitive pieces of documentation. When it’s all stored in your job files on a single platform, it stays there.

Make It Easier for New People to Transition into Their Role:

When a sales member or other critical staff member leaves an organization, it can be chaos trying to go through their project files, notes, customers, etc – assuming they left any documentation at all.

Consistent Documentation:

Business management software can eliminate this altogether. By establishing that all documentation be maintained in one single application or system, jobs files are recorded and processed the same way every time, which means business owners won’t miss outstanding statuses of that person’s activities. They can simply transition or reassign those to another sales team member or hand them off to a new salesman to close out, without causing disruption to the homeowner.

Likewise, having an established set of templates in your system will guarantee that new employees are using your files correctly, filling out the information that you need, and filing paperwork correctly, which will avoid back and forth with office staff.

Accounting Integrations:

Having a firm grasp on your finances for every job, material order and process is a critical role that your office staff maintains. Combining your accounting system with your job management software is another way to avoid a messy transition when someone from your office leaves. CRMs that integrate with Quickbooks are a great way to keep track of your day to day expenses, so you won’t lose a step in the transition process.

Communicate with Your Employees

The easiest way to avoid the disruption of employee turnover comes from communication. If your employees have upfront and established goals, expectations and procedures in place, they will be less likely to leave you with a mountain of paperwork and disorganization than if they were to simply walk away at the end of the season.

Keeping an open line of communication between crews, sales, general managers, office staff and business owners means if there is a problem, it is properly noted and dealt with, instead of creating friction between departments.

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