How To Terminate A Sales Rep The Right Way

Effective sales managers are responsible for hiring and retaining top-performers. They also have the duty of evaluating and terminating underperforming sales reps. While the process of firing someone may seem daunting, it can be made easier through proper planning, preparation and professionalism. If all efforts at improvement fail, here’s how to terminate a sales rep the right way.

With HireDNA, you can hire the best reps from the start, identify skills gaps and KPIs, and train your team to ensure your reps are aligned with your expectations. Contact Us

Is Termination Necessary?

The first step in determining if firing a rep is necessary is to understand your key performance metrics (KPIs) and assess the level of performance across your entire team including systems, processes, management. A sales force evaluation can help you identify KPIs, uncover skill gaps, and discover opportunities for future growth—while also identifying underperformers.

From there, you will need to identify the root cause of these limitations and how to improve them. Can your bottom 10% benefit from sales training? Are they coachable? Do they lack the proper motivation? Check out our blog post on How to Motivate Your Sales Team When Sales Are Down.

If your bottom performers do not possess the right skills for the role or do not improve with the proper training and coaching, it may be time to let them go. That’s the harsh reality of the sales environment.

The Costs of a Bad Hire

While terminating a sales rep can be a difficult job, it is sometimes an essential one. Poor performing reps can impact the efficiency and morale of the entire team and set your organization back financially. As per estimates, a bad sales hire can cost up to 50-75% of an employee’s annual salary.

What’s the cost of a bad sales hire for your organization? Find out with OMG’s sales hiring mistake calculator.

What Qualifies As A Bad Hire?

There are several red flags that can help you identify when a sales rep becomes a bad investment for your company. Look for these signs:

  • Constantly ranks in the bottom 20% of the sales team
  • Consistently fails to meet quota
  • Contributes zero or low potential leads to the organization
  • Consistently receives bad reviews
  • Does not participate in training programs

If your rep is showing any of these attributes, then it might be time to evaluate your sales employee and make a final decision.

Want to avoid the cost of a bad hire? Build a strong and promising sales team with HireDNA. Learn More

3 Steps To Fire A Sales Rep

A poorly executed termination can set the wrong precedent on how your firm deals with a firing situation, and it can also lower team morale. All of this can lead to a bad sales cycle and reduced ROI. That’s why it’s important to get the termination process right. To help, follow these three steps:

1. Analyze The Source Of The Problem

Sometimes, just highlighting the negative attributes of a sales rep isn’t enough. You have to dig in deeper. While an employee may seem unproductive on paper, there could be ways to understand and mitigate the lack of productivity and save the cost of hiring a new individual.

Before you let a team member go, make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Consider these questions:

Does This Individual Have A History Of Poor Performance?

If yes, then they probably slack on the job, and laying them off would be better than incurring losses every term. But if they’ve only recently started underperforming, then there might be a reason behind it which you, as a sales manager, should look into.

Assess if the employee has any personal issues and how long it might take them to recover from them. And lastly, run a risk analysis and consider if keeping this employee could potentially lead them to replicate past successes.

Could The Performance Be Improved With More Effort From My Side?

As a sales manager, the responsibility of your team’s performance falls on you. While it is important to hire the best talent, it is equally crucial to identify and mitigate weaknesses in your team before they become a threat.

Suppose you had an employee who started missing training sessions, but you let the behavior slide because their numbers were good. When such an employee stops showing growth, their lack of productivity also reflects on your ability to manage the team. Ask yourself if prompting and active effort from your side can rectify the situation.

Need help with training and onboarding your employees to increase team efficiency and employee retention? Set up a consultation with HireDNA.  Learn More

Is The Poor Performance A Consequence Of An Organizational Change?

Has your organization has gone through any sort of corporate restructuring, like the following:

  • Change in management
  • Mergers
  • Change in salary plans
  • Acquisitions, etc.

This could be a major contributor to the downhill performance of your employees. Always take pre-emptive measures to deal with such a situation and ensure that your team is ready to accept forthcoming changes.

2. Make Your Termination Process Transparent

We cannot stress enough: do not surprise the employee. Dismissals can be hard to deal with even if your rep does anticipate it. If an employee is blindsided, it could lead to a feeling of distrust in the organization and imply that anyone can be terminated without prior cause.

To avoid this, make sure your termination process is transparent and that a poor performing employee knows what’s coming their way and why. You can do this by conducting constant appraisals and making sure that the rep is notified of their bad performance and is duly warned. This can help you in two ways:

  • It can motivate the employee to work harder to stay on-board
  • It can set a good precedence for other team members

3. Do Not Demonstrate Emotions

Terminations can be emotional. Their show of emotion can potentially trigger yours as well. But, if there’s one thing you should do before sitting down with an employee to terminate them, it’s to leave emotions at the door.

There are instances where the dismissed individual can become visibly angry or even resort to verbally expressing anger toward the sales manager. Just make sure this does not lead you to take irrational steps. It also helps to have an HR or legal representative present during the meeting to effectively deal with unexpected events.

Hire the Right Sales Talent

Finding quality talent is the first step to hiring the right people for the job and minimizing the risk of bad hires. And if you’re terminating a sales rep, you’ll want to replace them as soon as possible with an individual who is ready to perform. By working with the sales recruitment experts at HireDNA, you can do just that.

With a range of science-backed tools, we can identify the right talent for your sales team and assess each candidate thoroughly to ensure that they’re the best fit for your organization.

Why Choose Us?

We offer:

  • 92% success rate
  • Hiring mistakes eliminated up to 96%
  • Data pool containing information of 1.8m pre-assessed candidates

Are you ready to hire the right candidate for the job?

Contact Us

How To Recruit Successful Inside Sales Reps

There is an increased demand for inside sales reps, and competition for hiring the best reps is more fierce than ever. If you need to build out your sales team quickly, you need to know how to find and attract the best talent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go headhunting for industry vets with years of experience. Instead, you should adjust your recruiting strategy to seek out candidates with the greatest potential for success, regardless of their experience levels. Learning how to identify the right candidates can help you to get an edge over the competition for top talent. Here are some key tips on how to recruit successful inside sales reps.

Take the right approach to sales recruiting and training by working with the experts at HireDNA. Contact Us

What Makes A Good Inside Sales Rep?

To succeed in their field, sales representative needs to be intuitive, engaging, competent, confident, resourceful, persuasive, and competitive. Let’s look at some ways you can find and recruit strong candidates for your inside sales team:

Seek Competent Reps

First, you need to ascertain the competency of the individual. Since sales is a field where one is bound to face a lot of rejection, it is important to determine how the individual handles rejection and if they are able to quickly bounce back. Beyond science-backed candidate assessments, a good way to measure this and other competencies is to use situational interview questions.

Another great way to assess a candidate’s selling skills is to ask them to make a sales pitch of your product or to conduct a mock call. This can showcase the candidate’s persuasive skills and how effectively they handle unexpected pressure.

At HireDNA, we have an 80% success rate for sales reps’ hiring and placement. Learn More.

Experience vs Potential

While someone who comes in with a glowing resume may look like an attractive candidate, remember that their track record matters. The world of sales is cutthroat. It requires experienced people who know how to navigate unpleasant situations and handle the pressure while consistently producing results.

That said, experience isn’t necessarily the defining characteristic of a great candidate. You shouldn’t necessarily hire a candidate simply because they have worked in the field for years. Instead, you should work to determine if the candidate has strong sales DNA. Whether or not they have the experience, if they have the right strengths and characteristics, they can be trained to succeed in your organization.

At HireDNA, we use the Objective Management Group (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment to screen candidates. This is one of the world’s most accurate and predictive assessments. It has a 3rd party validated success rate of 92% of recommended and hired candidates performing at or above expectations.

Hire Candidates with Strong Desire and Commitment

How badly a salesperson wants to succeed in sales can be the deciding factor in their performance. Be sure to find candidates with a strong desire to perform at a high-level and the commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve sales success.

Almost half of prospects are only called once, while 93% of conversions happen by the 6th call: the last thing you need is a salesperson that quits when things get tough. This means that a good salesperson doesn’t only have to be persuasive—they also need to be patient and persistent. It is important to evaluate whether your sales candidate possesses these qualities or not.

If you hire someone who does not demonstrate perseverance in the face of rejection, you might have a demotivated employee on your hands very soon. This individual needs to understand that a few rejections do not equate to failure, and they should be able to learn from past mistakes.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your sales staff by working with HireDNA. We offer comprehensive sales team assessments to find performance gaps and identify opportunities for growth. Learn more.

Make Sure They Are Coachable

Candidates that are coachable will take responsibility for their actions, successful or otherwise. They will agree that there’s room for improvement and will be open to constructive criticism. Candidates that are not coachable may have a hard time implementing new systems and processes and acclimating to your sales environment. This can negatively impact performance and have an adverse impact on your sales culture as well. To determine if a candidate may be coachable ask questions related to their past failures and how they were able to move forward and improve. You can also ask the candidate about their current sales weaknesses and what they are doing to improve.  

Gauge Their Listening and Questioning Skills

A good sales representative is someone who can sell consultatively, incorporating active listening and questioning skills to uncover the prospect’s pains and challenges to provide a custom solution to their specific needs. To gauge if your candidate has the right skills, pay attention to factors like the following:

  • Are they able to maintain eye contact during the interview?
  • Are they easily distracted by background activity?
  • Do they keep interrupting you?
  • Have they followed instructions throughout the application and interview process?
  • Do they ask great follow up questions to get more information?

Find Reps Who Are A Good Culture Fit

There are two types of sales reps you can find: those who work great with a team and those who do their best work alone.

The rep you hire should be able to merge with your company culture and work well with a team—especially if you have a longer sales cycle. On the other end of the spectrum, if your company culture promotes a competitive environment between reps and offers incentives accordingly, a lone wolf might just be the person you’re looking for.

Build A Successful Sales Team

A multi-tiered, efficient hiring process can result in an effective inside sales team that can do wonders for your business. As a leading sales recruiting firm, HireDNA can help you find the right candidates for your company through science-based sales recruiting and training methods. With our services, you can find and hire the right candidate, maximize sales employee performance, and improve retention of top talent.

Get Results Backed By Statistics:

  • Increase new hire ramp up 50% faster than industry standards
  • 80% of our sales searches result in placement success
  • Retain 79% of your sales members with our training program
  • 92% of our suggested sales talent achieve success in the industry within a year
  • Avoid 96% of hiring and recruitment mistakes

Do you want to hire promising sales talent?


How To Hire An Effective Sales Manager

With the cost of a bad sales manager reaching $3.5 million, it is imperative that businesses find the right candidate who can design effective management strategies and motivate the team to reach their targets. But how does one hire an effective sales manager? In this post, we outline the traits you should look out for during the hiring process and how best to verify the required qualifications in a candidate.

Want to hire the ideal manager for your sales team? Set up a consultation with the sales recruiting experts at HireDNA today. Contact Us

What Are The Qualities Of An Effective Sales Manager?

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the most important qualities to look for in a sales manager:

Expertise & Experience

Managing a team is no easy feat. A typical sales department is usually composed of individuals with different communication styles and professional skills. So, it’s important to hire a sales manager who has experience dealing with different kinds of people. A truly effective sales manager must display adequate management skills and have prior experience in the field to qualify.

Knowledge Of Recruitment & Professional Skill Development

To be truly good at this job, a sales manager must display the right skill set and recruitment knowledge to be able to build and subsequently manage the team.

Ideally, the manager must also be invested in the team’s long-term development. For this, the candidate needs to be aware of positive reinforcementrelationship building exercises, and skill development training.

Good Decision Making Capability

Management requires foresight, and good decision making skills. To say that the success of the entire sales team, and thus the business, depends on the manager’s ability to lead decisively would not be an understatement.

A good sales manager will need to make decisions regarding who to hire, promote, and train further. Other decisions include setting up or optimizing the sales process, and drawing up milestones for the entire team.

Foresight & Optimism

A good candidate for the job is forward looking and hopeful. They must have the skills to plan for the future and be able to anticipate problems and possible failures. A short-sighted sales manager would only be concerned with numbers and current achievements, ignoring crucial aspects like risk management, damage control, business growth, etc.

Coachability & Flexibility

Regardless of how someone looks on paper, if they are not willing or able to learn, they will not make a good manager. In other words, businesses should look for candidates who can demonstrate the ability to learn, grow, and adapt to a changing work environment.

With advancements in technology, it is more important than ever that a manager be adaptable, flexible, and open to learning. A manager with outdated, traditional views will simply not be able to adjust to the demands of the job, such as being able to process changing consumer behavior and market trends. In turn, this will affect the sales and overall growth of a business.

HireDNA partners experience up to 25% top line revenue growth with the right sales manager. Learn More.

How To Verify Qualifications

While a resume may give you a good idea of the candidate, there are some more effective ways that hiring managers can verify a candidate’s qualifications and gauge their credibility.

Sales Candidate Assessments

A predictive assessment is a highly effective way to screen candidates, allowing you to predict success before hiring with proven data and science.

At HireDNA, we use the Objective Management Group (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment to screen candidates, which has a 3rd party validated success rate of 92% of recommended and hired candidates performing at or above expectations!

Contact us to create customized candidate profiles based on your hiring criteria and unique sales environment, assessing 21 core selling competencies.


During the interview, it is imperative that you ask tough questions. For example, ask the candidate the overall percentage of growth that they managed to achieve in their previous job as a manager.

Social Media Profiles

The very nature of the job depends on a sales manager’s ability to ‘market’ themselves and their organization to customers. Networking skills are absolutely essential. For this, sales managers should have a solid presence online. As a hiring manager, you can easily look up candidates on platforms like LinkedIn and even Facebook.

Reviews & References

Finally, double check the references provided on resumes, including endorsements, referrals, and reviews. This helps in identifying if the candidate has the necessary skills to form long lasting relationships with clients, co-workers, and their superiors, and if they are indeed team players.

Build A Successful Sales Team

Sales representatives and managers are the backbone of any successful organization. It is important that you hire the best possible candidates for your company. HireDNA offers extensive sales hiring, assessment and training services. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we can help you build a team that consistently delivers quality results.

Combined with scientific assessment tools and data-driven insights, we have built an advanced predictive hiring process that guarantees results.

Why Choose Us?

  • 80% placement success
  • 50% faster hiring
  • Eliminate 96% of hiring mistakes
  • 33% increase in sales productivity

Are you ready to hire top sales talent?