Why put in the effort to please your sales team when you can alienate and push them to work for other companies? Why work to maintain a healthy sales force when you can sabotage them at every turn, here are 12 battle-tested tips on how to get rid of your best sales people from your team within a quarter.


1. ceiling at sales commissions.

High-performing sales organisations consistently attract and retain the best sales talent, rewarding them with well-tailored incentive schemes that are better than the market average.

Commissions are the easiest and quickest way to cripple the sales force. Running a cap on commissions removes the incentive for salespeople to close sales when the cap is reached and motivates them to carry the deal over to the next billing period known as 'sandbagging'.

When it is, for example, a quarter, an organisation can suffer measurable losses due to uninvoiced customers.

Frequent changes in the sales team's compensation plan

Changing the rules of the game is the quickest way to frustrate players. Informing the Sales Department that their ripening potential sales opportunities will lead to a lower payout than expected demoralises the team.

If a correction is necessary, proper advance notice should be given to the team along with the preparation of a specific rationale behind the decision.

3. payment of commission only for the sale of certain products/services.

If a salesperson makes a sale that generates a desired profit for the company, pay them for it. Paying commissions only on sales of some products and not others, despite both sales generating profit for the company, demotivates the best employees.

Rewarding a representative for every sale that benefits the company aligns them with the company's goal.

4 Punish the sales team for poor after-sales service.

Punishing the team for after-sales service distracts from making the sale.

The best companies focus their reps on delivering sales results, constantly rewarding excellent performance. Salespeople have different approaches to the after-sales relationship with customers.

As long as sales reps make the sale and maintain a healthy relationship after so-called "delivery", no matter how committed they are, they should achieve the desired result. Perhaps the solution here is to specialise salespeople - hunters and farmers?

5. failure to provide innovative products and services.

The best salespeople need to sell great solutions. They are not content to sell "we have that too" offers. Top performing sales organisations must deliver products that solve significant customer problems.

Otherwise they risk losing salespeople to competitors who develop really good and innovative products.

6. keeping weak salespeople on the sales team.

If hiring good salespeople seems expensive, talk to any sales leader who has ever built a team of mediocre salespeople.

Unprofitable salespeople drain financial resources, strain managerial resources and damage brand reputation in the marketplace.

Filling a vacancy quickly can be tempting, but it shows other better sales people that you don't need to put in the effort, which in turn results in an overall reduction in the performance of the whole team. Is it worth it?

7. a sales manager who never leaves the office

Managers cannot manage sales from Sauron's tower. Successful managers are fully engaged with customers to discover their needs and are connected to their team. Representatives should meet with customers along with their managers. For Inside Sales managers, the rule is the same.

They should be calling in video calls or phone calls with Customers. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving feedback from a manager who is out of touch with the reality of a sales team meeting with customers without the support of that manager. The best sales leaders take the time to develop relationships with customers and employees because they build trust. They are not interested in receiving information from the field directly from the customer.

8. avoiding training and coaching.

Coaching not only impacts company revenue, it is also a retention tool that is directly linked to job satisfaction. Studies show that salespeople who have regular training and coaching are 2 x more likely to recommend their workplace to others. In other words, they are 'promoters', using the standard NPS (Net Promoter Score) measure of satisfaction.

9. taking on and taking away the best clients by the supervisor or allocating them to their favourites in the team.

Let your representatives be responsible for their own work. Chuck Blakeman, business consultant and author ofMaking Money Is Killing your Business, writes: "Ownership is the most powerful motivator in business, and the ability to make decisions is the foundation of ownership."

Reps who retain ownership of a potential customer from the nurture stage have an incentive to close them. Managers should let sales close to those salespeople who have generated their leads and lead the customer to the sales closing process.

10. focusing on working time instead of results.

Results are important. The best salespeople thrive in an environment where their performance is measured against measurable business objectives.

It can seem frustratingly irrelevant when a sales leader places too much importance on the hours a rep works, the work and time spent 'sitting around' or drinking coffee while that salesperson delivers results. Of course when we have a sales process built - our sales team should follow it.

Micromanaging your team demotivates your sales team to perform. To retain top sales talent, set clear expectations of success and focus your KPIs on those results.

11. payment of commissions with long delays.

Providing sales reps with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to reinforce the right sales behaviours and keep them loyal and productive.

It can be demotivating for a top BDM to deliver great sales and not receive commissions. Providing reps with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to reinforce the right sales behaviors and keep them loyal.According to Mark Roberge, who built the sales team at HubSpot, bonuses/commissions must be paid immediately.

12. forcing salespeople to attend too many internal meetings.

Time spent in meetings is time when representatives could be selling. Before inviting your sales team to a meeting, seriously consider whether it is absolutely necessary. If it's not necessary, don't make them sit in. If you absolutely must include them, make sure you have a clear and specific agenda.

Move through it quickly and systematically. The best thing you can do for your reps if they absolutely have to be in a meeting is to provide the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time. Instead, start each meeting with an agenda. It is important to stick to the agenda once it has been set.


 These mistakes could cost you the loss of your best performing salespeople. If you find yourself doing something on the list above, stop immediately. Use these 12 proven tips if you can.

None of this is worth risking giving up the salespeople you have recruited so hard.


Fast Forward Solutions specialises in recruitment and consultancy services in sales and digital marketing primarily for clients in the new technology sector. Our rigorous and proven methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, complemented by consultancy services.

We provide guaranteed results and fast access to the best talent available in the market, so that any organisation working with us will be able to increase sales, reduce operating costs and improve human resource efficiency, company valuation and investor confidence. Please read our privacy policy. Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, president and founder of FFS