8 years ago
April 13, 2016

Learn How to Lose Your Whole Sales Force With These 5 Tips

With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to sending your entire sales force running for the doors.

Rhys Metler

If you’re a skilled, thoughtful manager, or have been throwing quite a lot of money at your sales force to compensate, it can be a difficult task to be rid of them. It can be frustrating, knowing that everyone else suffers from a high turnover rate in his or her sales force but not being able to achieve that same situation in your own organization. Fortunately, it’s rather easy-you just have to do what comes naturally to the short-sighted and intemperate. With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to sending your entire sales force running for the doors and starting over with a new crop of underachieving, undertrained amateurs in their place.

Set unrealistic goals.

Every sales force needs goals to work towards. Setting yours at some unrealistically lofty, unreachable height can do wonders for ridding you of your sales force. Nothing encourages high turnover quite as efficiently as the constant stress of unending failure to complete the goals set by unreasonable management. If your team can put in a little effort and meet goals consistently, that’s the absolute worst place to be-it’ll build their confidence and improve the bottom line. You’ll never be rid of a sales force with that under their belts!

Ignore data.

Ignoring the facts in front of your eyes can quickly rid you of your sales force. If you like data too much to ignore all of it, then ignore half of it-either the soft data, things that you’d pick up from reports and direct observation of your employees, or the hard data, the numbers your metrics software spits out after crunching the numbers for you. If you ignore one or the other, that should be sufficient and creating an obfuscated, inefficient workplace. Perfect for driving your sales team away.

Make public examples.

Berating failures in public may lead to short-term gains in efficiency, but despite that in the long term, you’ll see morale tank and turnover skyrocket. Even if you’re bullying someone the rest of the team doesn’t really like, the hostility of the work environment will work its magic on everyone over time. You’ll likely see infighting, distrust of management, and a host of other turnover-increasing changes in your company culture. 

Threaten jobs.

Another simple way to get rid of your sales force. Using the threat of unemployment can get your best and brightest moving quickly on to greener pastures. Anyone with the skills to find a better job will do so as soon as possible, if you keep threatening to fire them over mistakes or ‘low’ productivity. They’ll be eager to find somewhere stable to work, where they won’t have to fear the whims of disgruntled management. Bonus points if your threats are public or predicated on unrealistic expectations. If you’re eager to lose your sales force, aim for the hat trick.

Offer shoddy compensation.

This may seem obvious, but you can get rid of your sales force without being a cheapskate. Good pay isn’t enough to keep turnover down. Cash bonuses won’t affect productivity OR turnover much at all, so don’t worry. Just be certain to keep compensation impersonal, base rewards on inscrutable systems and uncontrollable factors, and never publicly recognize or award success. Yes, a ‘Good job’ here and a ‘Excellent service award’ there can have a disastrous impact on turnover, increasing sales force satisfaction and keeping skilled workers around long after they should have fled to better paying competitors. Vacation time, personalized awards, and good benefits are all big red flags. 

Hopefully these five tips can rid you of your sales force quickly. Even if you don’t get rid of every single member of your team, you’ll definitely manage to drive off all your top performers. With your best and brightest gone, you’ll likely see bankruptcy sooner rather than later–and that’ll rid you of your sales force faster than anything!

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.