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How to Motivate Your Sales Team [22 Ways]

How to Motivate Your Sales Team [22 Ways]
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Last updated: September 20, 2022
Reading time: 13 minutes

Motivation is instrumental in encouraging your sales and marketing force to hit its targets, serve its clients, and close more deals. However, stress, lack of appreciation, and stringent deadlines can cause them to lose appreciation. 

This comprehensive guide post will help you understand how and why motivation plays a critical role in determining your salesperson’s productivity and performance. We’ll also discuss:

· Why you need a motivated sales team to ensure success

· What are the benefits of ensuring a happy and motivated workforce

· The top secrets to creating a motivated sales team 

· And a bonus section showcasing examples of motivational emails 

Let’s get started!

Why Do You Need to Motivate Your Sales Team

Here’s the thing: a motivated and encouraged workforce is more productive than an unmotivated, apathetic one. 

Here are a few reasons you should motivate your sales team:

· Boosts Intensity – A motivated workforce strives harder to meet its goals 

· Increases Focus – Your sales team will focus more on their daily tasks, thus improving productivity and the ability to close deals successfully 

· Enhances Persistence – Motivating your sales reps causes a noticeable increase in persistence, enabling them to tackle every new activity with the same energy and enthusiasm 

The Benefits of a Motivated Sales Team

Now, here are the top benefits of motivating your sales team:

Boosts Sales 

Here’s something we all know: organizations earn revenue through sales. But did you know you can easily boost sales simply by engaging and motivating your employees?

By appreciating your employees, sending them positive feedback, offering incentives, giving rewards, and celebrating small walls, companies can motivate sales teams to continue performing well.

As a result, your sales workforce will meet its goals, perform better, and contribute to the overall growth of your organization.

Keeps their Spirits Up

Considering the nature of the job, it’s easy for the sales team to become demotivated and disengaged.

From rude people on cold calls to target pressure, it’s not hard to imagine how a sales rep might start feeling disinterested.

As a result, sales motivation is necessary to keep your sales department’s morale high and spirits positive.

Improves Workplace Productivity 

Insightful research by Gallup reveals that 70% of employees feel disengaged at work. Unfortunately, the impacts of an unmotivated and apathetic workforce are detrimental. 

It creates a hostile atmosphere, thus impacting every worker’s productivity and leading to increased absenteeism and a lack of focus on tasks. Consequently, other employees can become stressed as they’re forced to pick up the slack of other workers.

On the other hand, encouraging your sales team and keeping them engaged can improve productivity. Raising the morale of your employees, offering positive feedback, and giving rewards when it’s due encourage your sales team to keep working hard.

Makes them Braver 

The fact is that meeting new customers and pitching to every single one of them can be scary. In fact, after some time, the fear of rejection can paralyze sales reps, reducing their performance and causing them to resist the sales process itself.

So, a little appreciation and motivation can go a long way in helping your sales department overcome its fears, be braver, and close deals successfully.

Encourages them to Develop their Skill Set 

Sales motivation encourages salespeople to grow their skill set and learn new things to perform better. 

These skills might include soft or hard skills, including computer skills, product knowledge, marketing strategies, grooming, etc. 

If you ensure an engaged and motivated sales team, they’ll automatically want to improve their skills.

A good idea for business owners and sales managers is to gift a subscription to a course a top-performing employee wants to try.

Boosts Employee Retainment Rates 

Demotivated employees leave companies to get a fresh start and a new environment. 

Typically, two things cause employees to feel unmotivated and want to leave an organization: job satisfaction and the company environment.

Businesses can improve job satisfaction by fostering a happy, healthy, and engaged work environment. As a result, employees will stay loyal to the company and are less likely to leave.

The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide

Strategies to Motivate Your Sales Team

By now, you know why motivation is critical for sustained sales success, so it’s time to jump into how you can keep them engaged.

Unfortunately, motivation is more complicated than sticking ‘You’re a Hero‘ posters in your meeting rooms. You need to consider the many external factors as every salesperson requires a different motivation tactic. 

Luckily, there are several incredible and proven strategies you can follow to keep your sales team motivated and engaged. Here are the top ways to drive workplace motivation

Build Trust with the People on Your Team

Trust lays the groundwork for motivation. If your sales team doesn’t trust you, thinks that you don’t listen to their concerns, and doesn’t believe in your efforts for their progress, it’ll be near impossible to drive motivation and make them feel inspired. 

If your salespeople feel unmotivated and down, re-inspiring them will require an open and honest dialogue about their challenges, concerns, and goals.

As a manager, your goal is to foster and maintain trust by engaging the sales team consistently. In addition, the best way to build trust is to be transparent. You may discuss trust in your first meeting to nurture a happy and connected workplace. Moreover, before every project and campaign, ask yourself:

· What responsibility should I delegate to a particular salesperson and why?

· How can I involve my sales team in the decision-making process?

· What tasks should I give to my sales reps to help them grow?

· Not only will this boost your employee’s confidence, but it will make them feel valued and listened to.

Make People Feel Valued

Research reveals that salespeople need to feel that their boss and company value their work to stay motivated. Feeling valued makes your sales reps think happier, ultimately boosting their productivity.

Go beyond simply praising your sales team and explain why the task they finished matters to drive motivation through the roof. Here are straightforward yet effective ways of making your sales team feel valued:

· Inviting them in the decision-making process

· Offering flexible work arrangements

· Compensating fairly

· Providing growth and advancement opportunities

· Offering rewards that are not money

Talk to Your Direct Reports on Supervision 

Here’s something every sales manager needs to remember:

· Every employee has a different personality

· Your goal is to be an effective manager of salespeople’s work styles and personality

· You need to modify your behavior to meet their needs

So, ask your direct reports, ‘How do you want to be managed?

Like how different prospects require unique selling styles and effective salespeople adapt to their needs, effective sales managers must tweak their communication and strategies to fit into the report’s world.

Here are several questions you can ask direct reports to understand their work style and personality:

· What pace of interaction do you prefer? Do you enjoy meeting once a week or multiple times?

· How do you want to receive feedback?

· Do you prefer receiving feedback and praise in public or private?

· If I hear something amiss, do you prefer hearing it through email or during our one-on-one?

· If I do something that gets your nerves, will you let me know and how?

Understand The Personal and Professional Goals

You can’t motivate your sales team without understanding what drives them. Learning more about what your direct reports want to accomplish in their professional and personal lives will offer insights into what engages them the most.

After understanding their goals, consider asking the following questions:

· Do you feel motivated right now?

· What can you do to make yourself feel motivated?

· What inspires you long-term?

· How to identify that the morale of your team is down?

· How can you build morale and boost motivation?

If your sales team can’t answer immediately, offer them 48 hours to figure it out. Giving them a chance to self-reflect will ensure you receive more thoughtful answers.

Give Work Deeper Meaning

In-depth research by HBS reveals that people who find meaning in their work feel more motivated and committed to their job.

Company mission, vision, and value don’t have power until your sales team understands its role in giving life to business goals. As sales reps, they might believe their goal is to convert leads and make money. But true motivation comes from understanding the social purpose and key advantages of your product/service and its impacts on buyers.

Focus on collecting customer success stories- how your product or service made a difference in their life- and share them with everything in the organization.

Set Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

As a sales manager, it’s your responsibility to develop long-term and short-term goals for your sales team. Creating these plans provide you and your team to identify where you stand, allowing them to improve sales performance and productivity.

When setting targets for your sales team, we recommend breaking annual or monthly goals into achievable weekly and daily goals. Go a step further from setting revenue goals and create valuable ones, such as how many emails they achieve.

It’s essential to remember that not every salesperson feels motivated by the same thing. While quota achievements and qualitative improvements may inspire some, others might need team-wide sales contests to feel motivated. Therefore, consider each type of goal and the salesperson’s personality before setting goals. Here’s how it works:

· Daily Goals – A super short-term goal to restore your salespeople’s motivation. Remember to use a sales performance incentive fund that is fun and easy to achieve

· Weekly Goals – A tangible goal that takes slightly longer to achieve but has a clear business impact. Start by implementing metrics and follow up by helping salespeople improve their skill set to achieve the goal. Use a valuable SPIF, such as offering a day off or taking them out for dinner

· Monthly Goals – A significant milestone that employees celebrate with a high-valued reward, such as a physical gift, unique experience, or cash

Make Sure They’re Covering the Basics

Your salesperson’s motivation and production start suffering when they stop caring for themselves. Not eating a healthy diet can impact your workforce’s productivity by a whopping 66%. In addition, employees who exercise occasionally are 50% more likely to experience reduced productivity.

In addition, lack of adequate sleep can influence your job performance, productivity, and satisfaction, while causing an increase in absenteeism and counterproductive work behavior. Stressing the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle can impact your salespeople’s motivation levels. 

The best way is to ask your employees how they’re feeling, offer access to a gym, and provide healthy food and snacks. To be out-of-the-box, consider adding a nap room.

Keep Track of Your Clients

Closing deals is critical to the bottom line. But closing deals with customers your salespeople like can impact their morale- bottom line results will follow.

You can achieve this by ensuring you work with clients who will pay your price. Remind your sales team to follow their intuition and avoid making potential clients fit into your company’s culture and what you stand for.

Build the Team

Fostering team spirit is necessary to boost motivation levels and inspire salespeople to perform at their best.

Team-building activities like trying a scavenger hunt or solving a puzzle can boost morale and employee retention. It can also help sales reps get to know each other better.

Remember, your goal is to get everyone to interact, have a good time, and build skills.

Offer Incentive Choices

Since every salesperson is different, they would enjoy motivation in different ways. Some may like one incentive, while others may want something different. One perk may motivate an employee, while another motivational act may encourage others.

One thing that works for the employees and the boards is to allow employees to choose their incentives. According to an Aberdeen study, companies with different incentives experienced 33% more sales hit quota, and their team quota attainment raised to 23%.

Offering different incentives within the company’s budget and setting goals that sales teams can achieve to attain the incentives they want is a unique way of motivating employees while reaching your objectives.

Celebrate Small Wins

Harvard Business School’s study revealed that morale in sales teams shoots up every time the organization recognizes its accomplishments. Appreciating employees for small wins is a great way to highlight teams’ efforts and to appreciate their hard work. It motivates employees and tends to put all their efforts into meeting set goals.

Encourage Everyone to Track Wins

Sales teams often focus on rejections and setbacks because they happen more than small wins. Allowing sales teams to focus on successes by asking them to track daily wins will encourage them to perform exceptionally in attaining the company’s goals.

Compiling at least one win for every salesperson would encourage the team to outperform to meet the company’s goals and objectives. Furthermore, managers can include wins in categories that suit their business, such as professional development, heading up in the competition, understanding the industry, or more.

Give Great Rewards

Another easy way of motivating employees at work is by offering great rewards, as it is a critical way to keep them motivated to work. It helps with aligning objectives and expectations. More importantly, it demonstrates to the employees that you care about their work and professional development, which encourages them to take risks and try innovative methods, which motivates the team member more.

It is easy to forget to send motivational messages to your employees. However, many overlook the impact of a few encouraging words and rewards offered to employees. These promising efforts go a long way to motivating your team.  

Educate

Most salespersons enjoy learning more about their industry, products, services, customers, and other subjects that help them excel in their workplace. Encouraging them to learn more about the company and its processes will motivate them to advance in their careers.

Moreover, allow employees to attend offsite and onsite educational events to gear up their game. Refer to relevant webinars or podcasts and offer them books to help them outshine at work.

Connect Them to Their Future Career     

Motivate salespersons who have a keen interest in career trajectory by linking today’s activities with tomorrow’s career paths. Let them map their career goals to help them move up within the company or to a new industry. Encourage your employees to take on daily activities that will develop the skills they need for long-term career goals.

Foster Critical Relationships

When encouraging sales teams, one thing that managers often overlook is the innocuous things that result in demotivating them. Some are silos, backstabbing, contention, and finger-pointing between critical areas, including Customer Support and Development and Marketing.

Sales leaders who foster good relationships between sales teams and other departments experience higher morale than those who allow contentious relationships. It is crucial to bring the departments together to promote effective communication and better collaboration to attain goals and celebrate wins.

Communicate       

You can motivate employees by having effective communication in the workplace. Relying only on emails can make the process of communication difficult. Therefore, it is better to communicate with the team in-person to evaluate performance management.

Furthermore, it is essential to set aside some time to talk to your employees or join them during tea breaks instead of confining them to your desk. Once you start mingling with your team members, you will realize how you have motivated them as a manager. Experts also agree that communication is critical for motivation to go to work every day. 

Employees also wish that their company succeeded. They have excellent ideas from money saving to talent acquisition. The management is responsible for making efforts to ask and listen to their beliefs. 

Be a Committed, Strategic Coach

In sales, sales managers are often salespeople’s coaches and might only coach when they experience losses or point out mistakes. It often demotivates salespersons since their coach did not teach them on time.

Motivating salespersons by committing to coaching, developing and improving, time spent teaching different tactics, and schedule will help salespersons overcome minor mistakes and attain better results. It consequently boosts confidence and motivates them to outperform to reach set targets.

Manage With Flexibility    

When managing employees at work, it is crucial to understand that not one strategy would work for all. Therefore, it is critical to fashion your managing ways and impose methods that do not hurt the morale of the sales teams.

Motivating sales teams may require unique methods and more effort. Therefore, managers and coaches must explore ways to encourage them to achieve set goals while boosting their morals and appreciating their efforts.

Let Them Be Heroes

Since sales teams are responsible for bringing more revenue to the company, it is crucial that the organization recognizes the teams’ efforts and appreciates their hard work. Managers and other authoritative people of the company should support and reward the sales teams in different ways, such as encouraging them to take risks, saying words of appreciation, and supporting salespersons who act boldly in certain situations. All these help salespeople take risks for the company to achieve set goals.

Enable and Ennoble 

Training and adding meaning to office work help salespeople to succeed. Since motivation comes from helping sales teams to grow in their capacity, competence, and confidence and making them feel valued, it is crucial to ask if the expectations are reasonable and if you have enough resources to meet them.

Managers should praise their sales teams for their accomplishments and boost confidence and competence. Later, explain why it is crucial for you, customers, executives, and the company’s future and provide them reasons to feel important.

Stay Positive 

Salespeople often experience negativity such as anger, rejection, and confusion. They often face difficulties in overcoming the negativity and keeping themselves motivated. Therefore, sales managers must motivate their team and acknowledge their defeats and worries without echoing them.

They must talk to the employees to recognize their frustration, use positive words to calm them, and suggest ways to keep them motivated.

Practical Examples of a Motivational Email to Sales Team 

Two motivational emails will encourage sales teams in two different situations.

Motivational Email When Sales Teams Are Unable to Achieve Targets

Good morning, team!

We all know the company has experienced X% below goal from [Date] because of [problem or challenge]. Although we are facing these challenges, I am proud of the team and how they have performed so far.

As our teams are looking into solutions to control the [challenge or problem], we can do [an action plan] until the issue is resolved. Every company goes through ups and downs. However, it is up to us how we survive through difficult times. We will be revisiting new fundamentals to shake things up for improved results. 

Looking forward to your responses on the new approach.

Good Luck!

[Name]

Motivational Email When Sales Teams Achieve Goals

Congratulations, team!

I have just heard that we have met our goals, exceeding our targets by X%. I am proud of each employee and grateful for all the hard work and efforts you all put in to reach this stage. Therefore, I announce (an incentive/ reward) as a celebration.

Meanwhile, let us continue working with the same enthusiasm. I encourage the team to stay focused and continue the efforts to achieve future goals.

Good work!

[Name]

Conclusion

Motivating sales teams can help companies reach targets. Since employees also want to see their company prosper, the company manager must encourage salespeople to recognize their efforts.

Employee motivation plays a significant role and is crucial for team productivity and enhances effective working setup. It is essential to remember that motivating your employees cannot happen overnight. Long-term investment requires consistency from managers and the management team.

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