5 years ago
October 8, 2019

9 Common Reasons to Fire a Salesperson

Need to fire a salesperson? While it can be uncomfortable and awkward, firing salespeople is part of your job as a sales manager. People will come and go on your…

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Need to fire a salesperson? While it can be uncomfortable and awkward, firing salespeople is part of your job as a sales manager. People will come and go on your sales team. Some leave on their own merits, get promoted, and then there are others whom you need to remove from your sales team.

Firing a salesperson can become a necessary move to improve your sales team. If a particular individual is having a negative impact on your sales team, whether failing to meet sales numbers, having a negative influence on others, or for other reasons, it can hurt the entire team. As they say, one rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel.

9 Reasons to Fire a Salesperson

There are many signs it may be time to let a salesperson go. According to Toronto sales recruiters, here are some of the most common reasons companies fire a salesperson:

1. They Continually Fail to Meet Sales Goals

One of the top responsibilities of a salesperson is to meet their sales quota. There are many factors that can affect sales reps’ abilities to meet quota. Reps will miss quota from time to time, and it may take a new rep some time to ramp up and achieve optimal performance. But if a sales rep continually fails to meet their sales quota, month after month, it’s a sign you should remove them from the team. Sales is competitive, and you cannot afford to have reps continually underperforming.

2. They Create Internal Conflict

Nobody likes conflict and drama on the sales team. As a salesperson, you are expected to be professional and get along with the rest of the team. At the very least, you are expected to NOT create internal conflict. A sales team in conflict is a team that is prone to being distracted and underperforming. If a person is continually the source of conflict, seriously consider removing them from the organization.

3. They Don’t Follow the Script

Sales scripts and strategies are created for a specific reason – they work. Salespeople are expected to follow sales scripts and instructions when interacting with customers. But, if reps consistently choose to work outside the rules, and use tactics that could be detrimental to your company, you should consider removing them from the team.

4. They Go Into Business for Themselves

Sales is largely a team effort. Occasionally, sales reps will go into business for themselves, sometimes at the expense of others. If they display the signs of focusing on making money above all else, stealing other team members’ leads, and closing deals in a way that can hurt the company, they should be removed from your sales team.

Toronto sales recruiters advocate for teamwork throughout the sales team

5. Insubordination

Salespeople need to respect and follow the direction of team leaders and management. If they purposely deceive or go against the direction of their supervisors, it can create a real issue on your sales team if you let them get away with it. Other reps will take notice. If you let one salesperson get away with insubordinate actions, others may attempt it as well. Firing a salesperson for insubordinate actions will make it clear that this type of behaviour is not tolerated and there are consequences.

6. No Drive or Motivation to Improve

Salespeople can go through slumps like anyone else. Sales has high and low seasons; it has peaks and valleys. Having a dip in performance can happen, but it’s how the salesperson reacts that will have the biggest impact. If you have a salesperson on your team who has lost their motivation and has no drive, it needs to be addressed. You cannot afford to have reps on your team who are content doing the bare minimum. A rep who has no desire to improve can hurt your sales team.

7. Customer Issues

How salespeople interact with your customers is vital. If a sales rep is causing issues with customers, it’s a major cause for concern. Reps who cost your company large, important accounts or are causing your company to lose customers must be addressed immediately. Remove a salesperson from your team if they are causing issues with your customers.

8. They Break Company Policy

You set rules for a reason. There are certain things you inform your sales reps not to do while on the job. If a salesperson blatantly breaks the company rules, it needs to be addressed. Depending on the severity, you may need to fire them.

9. They Are Not the Right Fit for the Job

Sometimes a salesperson is just not the right person for the job. Perhaps they don’t have the right skill set (or they let on they were more qualified for the job than they actually were). Other times, they are just not the right fit for your team and company culture. If a salesperson is not the right fit and is a marginal performer, they can force sales managers to exhaust more resources, put more pressure on the sales team, and hurt morale.

Take Action Now

Firing a salesperson is a difficult decision. It’s not something you can take lightly. But if they need to be fired, you must take action now. You cannot allow an underperforming or disruptive salesperson to continue to negatively affect your sales team. It can hurt company performance, affect other reps, and have an overall negative impact on your sales team. Take quick and swift action if a salesperson needs to be fired.

More Tips From Toronto Sales Headhunters to Manage Your Sales Team

Effectively managing your sales team can put them in the best position to succeed. Here are some additional insightful blogs by our expert Toronto sales recruiters. Get more great tips and advice below:

Healthy Conflict Is a Part of Sales. 4 Ways to Handle a Sales Rep Who Is ‘Too Nice’

6 Tips to Respectfully Fire a Sales Rep

4 Ways to Properly Evaluate Your Sales Team and Make Them Even Better

Do Good Salespeople Have to Be Outgoing and Have a Big Personality?

Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate on Your Sales Team?

5 Simple Reasons Your Sales Team Is Underperforming

True or False?! Recruiters Expose the 5 Top Myths About Sales Teams


SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.