When I’m asked how to motivate salespeople, I admit it’s easier to explain how not to do it.

I’m not saying this because I’m a negative person, but I’ve found it much easier to de-motivate a sales team than it is to motivate them.

Key to motivating a sales team is to ensure you are motivated yourself.  It’s impossible to motivate anyone in any manner other than fear unless you’re motivated.

Four steps you can do to motivate quickly include:

Praise publically, criticize privately.

It sounds easy but is harder than people realize to carry out.  Praising of salespeople must be public and must be genuine.  Don’t praise people for things that are not praise worthy. Doing so will diminish your credit quickly.

If you have to criticize somebody, do it privately.  A mistake too many sales managers make is they will share with another salesperson about problems another salesperson is having.  Nothing will de-motivate a team faster than knowing or even thinking their boss is talking about them in their absence.

Second thing you can do now is be visibly supportive of your team and their problems.

This does not mean your job is to sympathize with them or do their work for them.  What it means is you’re going to be supportive of them from your position of being their boss.  One key way to do this is by providing a strategic perspective when they’re dealing with an issue.

Only on a rare occasion should you step in and actually do their work.  It might buy you support for the moment, but in the long-term and even in the short-term, you will undermine your position.

Each day make sure your team is starting off on a positive note.

This may mean you need to share with them a success from the day before or help them visualize the success they’re going to have today.  Regardless of how you do it, it’s a must.  I view it as no different than taking a shower and getting dressed.  I don’t think we would want a salesperson who is not dressed to be calling on customers. The same goes for starting off the day being motivated.

Continually help improve the skills of your salespeople.

Nothing will destroy a salesperson’s motivation faster than knowing they’re not prepared to sell what they’re being asked to sell.  Continuous training means both formal training at various times of the year, as well as continuous follow-through of training concepts.

Motivating a sales team isn’t hard if you take it from a disciplined approach of being cognizant everyday.

Your actions must be reflective of making a positive impact on both yourself and your team.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

Share This