Stop Losing Top B2B Sales Reps Through Poor Management

Olin Hyde
April 10, 2019

How often do you lose your best B2B sales reps?

An infographic from Ideal, which builds hiring software, says the average turnover rate for sales teams is 28 percent. That’s not surprising. Sales teams often have high turnover rates.

Constantly losing sales reps, though, is frustrating and costly. It’s also time consuming. Ideal’s infographic says it costs about 115,000 to replace a rep, and could take as long as 7 to 8 months.

The challenge in hiring sales reps, though, is that just 13% of businesspeople come from a sales or marketing background. So chances are your new sales rep has a non-sales background. These people don’t understand sales very well.

So one of your top priorities as a sales manager or business owner is motivating and retaining your top salespeople. But that’s easier said than done. Below are some tips on how to do that.


If you want to increase the value of your B2B deals, make sure that you’re managing your team effectively. Implement the tips below and you stand a better chance of keeping sales reps.

  • Set goals with consequences

A key step in managing a sales team is setting sales goals. You need to establish performance indicators to make sure people are pulling their weight.

But sometimes you can lose salespeople because you’ve lost their respect. They may be in the room, but they’re no longer taking you seriously.

Good managers set clear expectations right from the start. And these expectations have consequences if they’re not met. If there are no consequences for expectations, you won’t get the most from your sales team.

So be firm but fair.

  • Take a serious approach to sales management

It’s easy to neglect the sales department if you don’t take an active role in it. This is the most critical part of your company. Sales people are the ones telling you what your target audience wants and how the audience is reacting to your company’s messages.

Taking a laissez-faire approach to managing sales is the wrong philosophy. You don’t want to be too distant and you don’t want to indulge in micromanagement. Find a healthy balance between these two points. Be a constant presence not a suffocating one.

Sometimes you may not have time to stop your sales team from underperforming. This could be the prompting you need to hire an experienced sales manager while you manage the rest of your business.

  • Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities

Studies have shown that multitasking hinders efficiency. Despite this finding, many companies make their sales teams perform multiple duties simultaneously. But sales people often have a hard time switching between roles.

So make sure that every salesperson has a specialized role. That way they’re always aware of their responsibilities. It may take some time to fit all the pieces together, but once you manage it, your company’s performance will improve.

  • Adopt a no tolerance approach to excuses

A lot of managers are so determined to avoid conflict they will accept excuses for failure. To become a better salesperson, you must be willing to push yourself. Stupid excuses, like complaining about the quality of the leads, aren’t going to cut it.

Sales reps must understand that a good salesperson isn’t just a glorified order taker. He or she plays an active role in encouraging people to make purchases they never considered.

For example, according to many figures, you have to follow up at least five times before you can make a sale. If someone fails to do that, you need to have a serious discussion about the person’s performance.

Once you adopt a no tolerance approach to excuses, you’ll find that they become a thing of the past. That’s not to say some reasons for not making sales aren’t valid, but if they crop up time and time again, you know something’s wrong.

Last Word—Good Managing Helps You Retain Your Team

Authority generates respect. As a manager you want to strike a balance between being firm without being a tyrant. That helps retain sales reps.

Of course, you won’t always keep everyone on the team. Another company may offer one of your sales reps more employee perks or a better salary, and he or she leaves. There’s little you can do about that.

But your goal shouldn’t be to keep everyone. It should be to keep the best ones. Sales reps that can’t handle your high expectations will leave, and you’ll be better off for it.

Retain the best of your team and ignore the rest. That’s how you create a successful company.

How will you change the way you manage your B2B sales team today?

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 10, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 24, 2020
Lainey Mebust
November 22, 2019