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Don’t Overlook Retail Sales Managers for Your Open Corporate Sales and Customer Service Roles: 3 Business Leaders Who Started in Retail Explain Why

Turnover rates for corporate sales and customer service roles were much higher than average even before The Great Resignation started last April. (A recent study reported a 34% turnover rate for sales jobs and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that CSRs under the age of 34 only stay in a role an average of a year. By comparison, the average annual turnover rate across all industries, according to LinkedIn, is 10.9%.)

As the move to remote work made it easier for corporate sales and CS reps to work from anywhere, the job market has become more competitive, and companies are being challenged to rethink their approaches to sourcing and assessing great sales and CS talent.

One talent pool in particular that often gets overlooked for these roles is retail sales managers looking to transition into a role and industry that offers more work-life balance. And considering that The Great Resignation hit the retail industry especially hard, there are more talented retail sales managers either on the market or itching to leave than ever before.

But unfortunately, hiring teams in a corporate environment often discount the experience of retail sales workers out of hand. They assume someone who’s spent their career on a sales floor instead behind a computer doesn’t have the temperament, skill set, or drive needed to succeed—and focus on candidates who already have BDR, SDR, or CSR on their resume instead.

As successful professionals who’ve made the leap from retail into the corporate world will tell you, however, these assumptions underestimate the existing competencies—and high potential–of many retail sales managers.

In this article, three such professionals share their insights about the challenges involved in moving out of retail and into the corporate world–and the ways that hiring teams can more fairly evaluate the potential of this big and varied talent pool.

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