Complacency is always your enemy, no matter how amazing your sales team is. So how do you keep them motivated? There’s no simple answer, but these nine steps can help you get started!
March 16, 2022
Complacency is always your enemy. No matter how amazing your sales team is, you never escape this. As such, it’s important you continue to ask the question: how to motivate my sales team?
As a sales manager/leader, this is your job.
If you fall short here, it’s a matter of time until your team crumbles.
It leads to good salespeople leaving. Underperformance. Failed targets and deadlines. Complacency has the power to ruin everything—we’ve seen this firsthand at The Sales Connection because it’s often what we’re tasked with fixing.
Let’s show you how we overcome this…
1. How Can Salespeople Be Motivated
2. What Do You Say To Motivate Your Sales Team
3. What is The Best Way To Motivate Your Team
3.1: Set Clear Goals
3.2: Build & Nurture Trust
3.3: Make Culture a Priority
3.4: Celebrate Key Moments
3.5: Get On “Their” Level
3.6: Set Them Up For Success
3.7: Incentivize, Incentivize, Incentivize
3.9: Think Outside The Box
4. How To Motivate My Sales Team—The Conclusions
Here at The Sales Connection, we’ve helped many clients motivate their sales team and turn underperformance into success. Each situation differs. Yet there are certain patterns that come up.
As well as certain solutions that fix these…
That’s our aim with this article: to help you motivate your team when the time comes; or better yet, keep them motivated so this issue never arises.
The first aspect to consider is HOW…
How exactly do you motivate a salesperson? What do they need? What do they look for?
There’s no simple answer to that. As you’ll soon see, you motivate and inspire different individuals in different ways. But one thing to get clear before we move on is to say how money isn’t everything.
Yes, financial incentives DO help motivate your sales team.
But money alone doesn’t fix all your problems.
There are other incentives to consider, as we’ll discuss shortly.
Another question we imagine is on your mind is what you should say as a sales manager.
After all, your job is to lead. You need to inspire them. You need to make your team feel something.
Don’t worry, we have some practical tips to share with you next.
And although what you say matters, it’s how you act that’s more so.
In our experience, it isn’t about inspiring speeches like the ones you see in movies. Action speaks louder than words. Sure, you have to effectively communicate with those you lead. Yet you also have to walk the walk and be there for them. So don’t get caught up in words, speeches, and memorable talks.
What we share here are actionable steps that make a real difference!
After working with countless sales teams, this is the best way to motivate those inside them:
Communication is everything. In the same way your team can grow complacent, so can you.
After a while, you assume everyone can read your mind. You presume they know what you know. You set a goal or a series of expectations and think that’s enough. It isn’t.
You have to set clear goals. You have to communicate these with your team.
You need to set them up for success and SHOW them what this looks like.
Never lose sight of this!
If you find yourself asking: how to motivate my sales team… start here!
You need your team’s respect. You need them to trust in your abilities. You’re the person who creates the page and gets everyone to work off of it. Do they trust your plan is a good one? Do they trust you are the person to make it happen?
If the answer’s no, you’re in trouble.
You have to step back and work on changing this.
Work with each individual on your team. Get to know them. Allow them to get to know you.
Make trust a priority. Do everything in your power to keep it this way.
One way to ensure you build trust is to craft a powerful culture that challenges your team, makes them feel safe, and allows them to grow—as high-performing salespeople and as human beings.
We talk about how to create a world-class culture in this separate article: How To Build a Sales Culture.
Too often, we get caught up in what goes wrong. You focus on the targets you don’t hit. You train people based on where they fall short. Don’t get me wrong, this is important.
We all need to learn from our mistakes. Your sales team isn’t immune from this.
But don’t let this get in the way of success. If you hit a target, celebrate. If you win, celebrate. It’s hard to motivate your team if all you do is focus on the negatives. Celebrate as often as you can and nurture a winning culture.
This one can be tough to balance because your job as a sales manager isn’t to be their friend.
However, that doesn’t stop you from getting on their level.
The best leaders are those that don’t always need to lead from the front. Sometimes, they can take the backseat or stand with their team side-by-side. If all you do is talk down, you’ll struggle to build trust. If anything, all you create is resentment and fear. For a while, this can work. But over time, it doesn’t.
In short, they need you to set them up for success!
If they feel like they can succeed, you’ll keep them motivated to do so. Whereas if they feel like they’ll fall short no matter what they do, they’ll grow complacent. Whatever the situation, always ask yourself: am I setting my team up to succeed or fail?
If you want to motivate your sales team—as a group and individually—reward them!
Incentives and sales go hand-in-hand.
Pay your team. Give them access to competitive commissions. But don’t stop at money!
As we say, money plays an important role but not the only one.
One of the best incentives you can give your team is to simply show them you care.
Take the time to get to know them (and their family/situation)
Reward them based on what they need and what personally motivates them.
Maybe this involves money. Maybe not.
The more you care and get to know your team, the easier it is to give them the rewards they need.
Often, this involves thinking outside the box. Once more, money isn’t everything. It’s important, sure. But not everyone on your team simply wants more money. Maybe they’re passionate about a cause or charity. Maybe they have a hobby. Maybe they collect something.
Maybe they have a dream; maybe you’re the person to make it a reality…
In the same way every sales team differs, each individual on your team does.
Get to know them. Until you do, you’ll struggle to motivate them over the long term.
With these actionable tips, you’ll keep complacency at bay. Yet this isn’t the only way to assure your sales team thrives. For other methods to keep a winning team, read and study the following:
How to motivate my sales team… a question we hear a lot here at The Sales Connection.
After reading this, now you know.
It isn't easy. Yet it also isn’t hard.
Much of it comes down to taking the time to know who your team is. We have experience doing this having worked with teams in every industry and space you can imagine.
If you’d like to become our next, huge success story… Apply To Partner with US — we work with you to create a tailored strategy you and your team need. Now is the time to act, so be sure to get in touch!
Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.
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