Resign from a Sales Position Without Burning Bridges

We’ve all had visions of quitting our jobs in a blaze of glory, but hopefully, your rational side will prevail when it is time for you to submit your resignation to your sales manager. Regardless of your personal feelings, it is important to always resign with dignity and grace. No matter how happy you may be to have a new opportunity waiting for you, there are some steps you can take to be sure that you don’t burn any bridges when you resign.

Write a Resignation Letter (But Keep it Brief)

When you resign from a job, you should always hand in a proper letter that you’ve typed and printed at home. It should include the name of the person to whom you are tendering your resignation, your statement of resignation, and your last day of work. Always sign the letter in blue or black ink. You can feel free to add positive statements about your experience, your employer, or your boss, but they are not necessary. While positive statements are optional, do not ever be tempted to include negative statements. Your letter will go into your permanent employee file and HR staff will see it when they pull that file for future reference checks.

Resign In Person

Before you give your sales manager your letter of resignation, ask to speak with her privately. Tell her face to face that you are leaving, and then follow up by handing her the letter. Be gracious and polite, and express appreciation for all that you’ve learned and accomplished on the job. If she asks why you are leaving, all you need to say is that you’ve accepted a new opportunity.  You don’t need to feel obligated to tell her where you are going or what you are doing, but if you decline to comment, keep it upbeat and friendly.

Give Proper Notice

In sales, resignations can typically go one of two ways: either the resigning rep is asked to stay on throughout their period of notice and help make client transitions, or they are escorted out the door quickly. Some employers worry that salespeople will take contacts or company secrets with them when they leave. Even if you’ve seen other reps leave the same day they quit, be sure to provide your sales manager with proper notice. You never know for sure how they will react to your resignation.

Things You Should Never Do When Resigning

No matter what your true feelings about resigning may be, never act impulsively. Avoid the following scenarios at all costs:

  • Do not post your new job on your social media profiles before you’ve handed in your notice.
  • Do not send a mass company email to announce your resignation.
  • Do not be tempted to use your exit interview as a venting session. Be gracious, and if you choose to give criticism, be sure it is constructive.
  • Do not remove any files from your office.
  • Do not delete any computer files.
  • Do not lie about where you are going. You do not have to share your new job with your employer, but don’t make something up.

Remember that impulsive action will always lead to regret, but you’ll never be sorry that you took the high road.

As a full-service recruiter for enterprise software sales professionals, Strategic Search Solutions works with sales pros who are looking  for new opportunities to grow their careers with some of the most innovative and well-established companies in the industry. For more information on how we can help you connect with your next software sales job, contact the team at Strategic Search Solutions today.


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