4 Things Causing Your Top Sales People to Bolt

By Amy O’Connor

Are you familiar with the old adage: people don’t quit companies, they quit people? This seems rather harsh, but often it is 100% spot on.

While I know that there will always be practices within your organization that are out of your control, there are certain aspects of why you are losing good salespeople that are totally within your sphere of influence.

Want to build a top performing sales team and actually retain the talent you’ve spent blood, sweat and tears hiring and training?

Here are four areas that are causing your sales people to hand in their notices:

1. They Feel Overworked and Under Appreciated

One of the top reasons why sales people bolt to find employment elsewhere is that they feel overworked and under appreciated.

Ever notice that our typical approach to sales is: What is enough? Just a bit more!

Companies always want more sales and as a result we push our sales people (and often our top sales people) to work harder and work longer with little or no thanks.

In a refreshing departure from this approach of working sales people into the ground, a company that I’m working with, in an effort to attract and retain top sales talent, just reduced the number of selling hours each sales person must work each week and they make sure that their reps get a full weekend off every month.  This is highly unusual for this particular industry!

The result? Elated sales people who stay happy, stay on and keep performing!

2. They Are Given Inadequate Tools To Do Their Job

Sales people often complain to me that their job is over complicated due to a lack of resources, malfunctioning technology, poor systems and/or a depletion or absence of training resources.

I assure you that sales people want to sell! And they want to sell a lot, often.

But even sales people with the best attitudes become frustrated and are often driven to the brink of calling it quits when they feel they are not given the support they need to perform at their optimum level.

Now, I understand that everything can’t be perfect all the time, and some attention must be given to the cost of the tools provided. But, whenever possible, it is crucial to make sure that all of your sales people are well equipped to perform at their best.

3. They Are Underpaid

This is a simple one. Pay your salespeople well. Period.

It is a false economy to think that you are going gain a bit more margin by lowering sales people’s’ commission rates while still retaining top sales talent. Top performers know they have a valuable skill and they expect to be paid for it or they’ll seek other employment.

4. They Do Not Feel Empowered

Salespeople thrive on being empowered – empowered to make some of their own business decisions, empowered to handle customers in the best way they see fit and empowered to voice their opinions or concerns to upper management without fear of repercussion.

A salesperson without any sense of control over how they are allowed to sell feels stifled at best and this type of stifling kills any joy or creatively that comes along with the most gifted sales people.

Let’s face it. No one likes it when their employees quit on them. At some level it always feels personal, and maybe it is personal. Maybe you have to get real with yourself and ask if you are driving your sales people into the waiting hands of the competition by committing some of these mistakes.

Facing facts and setting things right will go a long way towards creating a successful, stable sales team that performs. And really, don’t we all just want our sales people to be happy, perform up to their potential and help us win more than our fair share of the sales?

Yes we do! Now get to work and change your salespeople’s world!


If you want to take your sales team to the next level, and learn more about how to build a top selling sales team, then join me in July for the Jeff Shore Sales Leadership Summit. While hanging out in sunny San Diego, we will challenge your mindsets, elevate your strategies and equip you with hard-working, real-world best practices. Learn more about my Sales Leadership Summit here.


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About the Author: Amy O'Connor

Amy O'Connor
Amy O’Connor brings a decade’s worth of industry experience and knowledge to her impactful and enlightening seminars. Working hand-in-hand with a majority of the top ten homebuilders in North America — as well as private and regional builders — Amy offers a wealth of real-world expertise managing, coaching and motivating new home sales professionals. Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Amy on Twitter.