Terminating Sales Reps: Best for your company?


Many small business owners employ a physical sales team for many reasons. Especially those who have a high-touch personal offer, a high-value transaction, or those who truly believe that the personal approach trumps today’s modern digital sale. After all one of the keys to success is learning how to sell.

Sales leadership positions come with an array of roles and responsibilities. Keeping the vision front and center may be the biggest hat worn by the leader, however, possibly not the most important.

Quote about being a small business leader from Jack Welch.

That is because leaders must set the vision and lead by example in order to maintain a thriving culture in a team-oriented organization. But how that vision is implanted into a sales team is more important.

Team unification and employee success are areas that have the biggest return in the end. Accepting a leadership position is about teaching, not telling; about leading, not ordering. Leaders should lead, not dictate or demand. Leaders should mentor and empower.

Do you terminate salespeople for a lack of sales?

One hat that sales leaders wear, that may not always fit well, is terminating an employee. Some in this role believe that metrics, KPI’s and the lack of conversions while using a trained sales process, is a dismissible offense. Some sales leaders believe that salespeople fire themselves when they do not hit a quota in a given period.

Sitting down with a member of your sales team, discussing weaknesses or lack of sales performance can be gut-wrenching.

No doubt it can be easier to simply terminate them from the position and move on, never really confronting the issues at hand. Termination of a salesperson who failed to meet sales expectations based upon a written agreement may be a right. It also may not be what is to blame.

What if this wasn’t best for your company?

Or for them as an employee? After all, if issues are not addressed, they only resurface. You could end up spending more time dealing with a future employee with the same struggles if you, as a leader, don’t get to the root issue.

The root issue

What about the characteristics of the sales leader who is consistently terminating employees?

One characteristic of a great leader is decisiveness, the ability to make commitments without hesitation. This aspect encompasses courage, passion, and vision.

However, to any coin, there are two sides. Decisiveness at its best goes hand in hand with humility. A humble character brings out unity and collaboration within the team.

Before firing consider a new direction. Invest in the rep's success.

Before you consider terminating the struggling sales team member, stop and think about these questions. Leadership is far from easy, not only are you investing in your product, you’re investing in your team. Carving out time to explore these areas may prove to be well worth your effort.


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Filed Under: Leadership