Relocation, career transition, discharge, deployment, redundancy elimination, asked to resign, canned, axed.

In Roadhouse, Patrick Swayze said, “I’m walkin.’” After announcing over 100 terminations, the CEO of Fab called it “the opportunity to start your new job search immediately.” Hubspot calls it “graduating.”

For now, let’s just call it “moving on.”

Turnover, especially in sales, is a fact of life. Average tenure for Inside Sales Reps is 2.5 years. Average tenure for Sales Development Reps (SDRs) is 1.4 years.

When an individual departs from a sales organization, it leaves a hole. Whether the person in question left by choice or involuntarily, the end result is the same: the work they were doing has to go somewhere. With sales, “holes” become readily apparent internally and externally rather quickly.

As reported by The Bridge Group, churn for SaaS sales in 2015 was 34%. 1-10 companies will have a turnover rate greater than 55%. In addition to these figures, you’re also looking at an average ramp time of 5.5 months. Painful.

When somebody walks out the door you cut off their access and change passwords. But what else needs to happen?

Here are five things you need to do to make sure their current pipeline does not just run down the drain.

  1. Re-distribute active ops
  2. Put new reps on existing calendar invites
  3. Take them off the round robin
  4. Re-distribute all leads (even if they are in active outbound sequences)
  5. Monitor their inbox for additional communication


It’s like putting a puzzle together. Who were they talking to, what were they talking about, What data is missing, and most importantly is this worth my reps time to take over?

Over the course of a year or two a sales rep or SDR will build up thousands of contacts in their work email. Some will be in Salesforce, but as we all know too well, not all contacts make their way into a CRM. The more tools in your sales stack, the more likely this is.

The great unifier in this equation is the unsung workhorse of every sales org: the inbox.

Here are a few ways you can preserve sales pipeline of departed reps by having a plan for handling the thousands of contacts left behind.

[Tweet “Average #SDR tenure is 1.4 years. So, how do you preserve sales pipeline when a rep leaves?”]


Download and Scrub

The first step is gathering all of the data. Log into their email account and download all contacts. This won’t give you that much information but it will give you first name, last name, and email.

Here’s how to do it in Gmail:

  • Go to your Contacts page
  • Click on “Other Contacts”
  • Select “All Contacts”
  • Export via a Google CSV


csv from gmail


Once you’ve downloaded all contacts you’ll want to dedupe them directly against your Salesforce. At Leadgenius, we use RingLead for this. It an affordable solution for almost any size team.

Once you have completed deduping your contacts against your CRM you’ll be left with one-to-one matches, account matches, company matches (new leads at companies), and net new leads.

The gold is in company matches and net new leads.


Enrichment & Targeting

Here’s a hypothetical:

3 outbound SDRs leave at the same time. Each reps had around 2000 contacts in their pipeline from the past 3 months’ prospecting. After removing duplicates and decayed contacts you are left with 3000 net new contacts.

You convert 5% of your contacts to leads. 20% of leads to opportunities, and 20% of opportunities to close/wons. You average TCV is $30k.

If you do nothing to salvage the pipeline of the 3 departed reps, then you just let $180,000 float away. Do the math with your own funnel metrics and deal size.

Here are a few tactics for targeting these new (and un-vetted) prospects:

  • Email Marketing: This is the lowest hanging fruit and the easiest way to vet your new leads. Add them to a general nurture campaign and let your marketing automation software take care of the rest. If they inbound again or increase their lead score then they are yours for the taking.
  • Twitter: With tools like Clearbit you can enrich all of your new prospects for Twitter handles as well as track down company handles as well. Here are a few ways to leverage this information:
    • Follow them
    • DM them
    • Follow their companies
    • Run Twitter ads against them. For this you actually only need an email tied to the account, not their handle.
  • Facebook: Upload email addresses into Facebook’s “Custom Audience” option.
    • Since most of these contacts are b2b you might get some misses but your enrichment could help solve for that.
  • LinkedIn: I did a test. I added people’s inboxes to my LinkedIn as if I was going to add new connections. Between all of them I had about 2k+ hits that I could add as connections. If you have an SDR willing to clutter their profile, this can be a cost-efficient way to garner impressions quickly.

linkedin add contacts from gmail

When someone leaves your org it represents a unique opportunity to cover ground that was lost and re-start conversations with hundreds or thousands of leads.

Separations happen on both sides. Every situation is unique and regardless of circumstance you want to get as much value as you can out of the pipeline that you’ve created. Don’t let potential pipeline go down the drain.

With industry-wide high turnover, combined longer ramp times, no sales org can afford to let a single contact go to waste after a rep moves on.