Top 5 Motivation Tips for Your Sales Team

Sales is perhaps the hardest part of running a business yet it is what enterprise success is most dependent on. Sales teams have to learn to surmount multiple disappointments and still demonstrate enthusiasm when engaging with the next potential customer. Unfortunately, such enthusiasm is not available in perpetuity.

Entrepreneurs, business leaders and sales managers must make every effort to keep their sales teams highly motivated at all times. Here are a number of ways to do just that.

  • Transparency

Your salespersons will likely be the first contact a prospective customer will have with your organization. Such customers will take whatever the salesperson says as the company’s position. It’s imperative that you develop a transparent relationship with your sales staff so that they know they will not be contradicted when they do close a transaction.

Transparency in this context not only means providing access to all the information they need to articulate the product to a customer but also giving room for them to share their challenges and concerns. You may think you have created the perfect product following rigorous market research but the sales team is at the cutting edge of real product feedback from the market and can thus provide crucial insights.

  • Regular Meetings

No one person has a monopoly of ideas. Different members of your sales team will have different strengths, diverse experiences and varied knowledge. That’s why regular meetings with the sales department are so vital. Team members can exchange ideas on what works including discussions on lead time vs cycle time.

Knowledge shared by a peer and affirmed by the manager is often much more readily accepted than what is simply shoved down the throats of the sales team by senior management. Meetings are also a great way to identify market trends, competitor activity, profitable niches and celebrate wins.

  • Reward and Recognition

Reward and recognition can be powerful incentives for your sales team. The reward doesn’t even have to be in monetary form. Small gestures can have a huge impact. Think about buying the entire team pizza every Friday, organizing a fun trip out of town at the end of the year or recognizing anniversaries and birthdays.

Celebrate not just achievement of sales targets but also positive attitude, commendable team spirit and a willingness to go beyond one’s assigned responsibilities. Recognition makes team members feel significant and a part of something bigger than themselves.

  • Realistic Goals

Selling isn’t easy. It is therefore counterproductive to impose unrealistic goals on your sales team. One of the signs that your objectives are unrealistic is if nearly every member of the team is unable to meet their set targets. Before you firm up sales goals, evaluate your business plan to map out the market opportunity, the strength of the competition and the sales growth history of established market players.

In addition, as opposed to short-term daily and weekly targets, place greater emphasis on medium and longer-term targets that can be discussed with each individual during quarterly, half-yearly and yearly reviews. Haranguing a superstar salesperson for failing to meet their weekly or monthly target one time does little for morale. It destroys their enthusiasm and increases the risk of losing such an invaluable team member to a competitor.

  • Lead from the Front

Sales is a subject that has been discussed for as long as mankind has been involved in entrepreneurship. There’s volumes upon volumes of books, articles and videos that detail the best sales strategies. Despite such a vast trove of knowledge, many sales teams still fail. That’s because selling is primarily an action.

If you want your team to deliver results, a live demonstration of what you expect of the team will be far more effective than a nice pep talk. They’ll be more motivated to face the challenge head on when they see you do so and overcome.

A demotivated sales team is expensive because of the amount of time and energy you need to constantly get it back on track. Motivation is about identifying the little things that drive your sales people to go the extra mile.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.