Sales team motivation: How to keep your team motived

Creating and maintaining motivation in sales teams is one of the most important roles a sales manager performs. When a team or members of the team are on a roll, you’ve got to keep that going. When performance drops, you’ve got to motivate them to not give up and keep pushing forward.

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Sales Managers, Directors, Head of Sales and VP of Sales always involves being a coach, a motivator, and inspiration to the team, or managers you oversee. Be a mentor. Being a sales leader, and motivating your team isn’t always easy. Especially when sales aren’t flowing into the pipeline, conversion rates are down, and deals are moving slowly.

In this article, we cover tried-and-tested methods to motivate sales teams. Whether it’s a Monday or Friday. No matter what’s going on with the sales pipeline and sectors you operate in, there are always ways to encourage higher levels of performance.

What is Sales Motivation?

As a sales manager, you can motivate the sales team and influence behaviors in a number of ways. You need to ensure they are putting in enough effort and forward-moving activity to generate leads, keep them flowing through the pipeline, and convert as many as possible.

Maintaining activity levels, and ensuring the team is focusing efforts the right way is important. As are the skills and techniques salespeople use when generating leads, speaking with prospects, and following up consistently.

And finally, we have the question of motivation. This means ensuring the team keeps doing the right things, consistently. Even when they are tired. Or the pipeline is quiet and there aren’t enough deals to go around.

Staying motivated — especially when economic or sector-based challenges makes sales more difficult — is one of the biggest challenges salespeople and managers are faced with. Here are a few techniques you can use to keep a sales team motivated.

How to Motivate Sales Teams?

#1: Motivational Sales Meetings

At the start of a new month or quarter, have an all-hands sales team meeting. Reflect on what went well. Let the team know about any change of tactics. New products or services. Any changes to sectors, geographic and regional focus or new sales lead opportunities. Give a shout-out to top performers, and for those whose performance has improved, make sure to praise them too.

If you have any team nights out, or training planned, use these sales meetings as a chance to encourage everyone to keep pushing forward. Motivational sales meetings are a great opportunity to refocus the team and get them moving forward in the right direction.

#2: Set Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly Goals

Annual goals depend on a wide range of factors. Usually, the C-Suite sets these, depending on revenue and growth-related goals, and the influence of other stakeholders, such as board and investors.

How a sales team achieves these goals is up to the strategy the most senior sales leader on the team sets. And then how these targets are achieved on a granular level is down to the sales team. A Manager, Director or VP of Sales needs to balance ambition with achievability.

For example, setting a high target for August may not make much sense if clients and prospects are on holiday. Whereas, setting higher targets for the busier months — depending on sector norms — is a sensible approach. Break these targets down into weekly, monthly and quarterly goals.

At times when targets are harder to hit, break them down further into daily goals, to ensure everyone is staying focused on the leads currently in the pipeline, and generating new ones.

#3: Monday Sales Motivation

Monday is a great chance to get the team fired up and on target. Give the team some motivational encouragement. It doesn’t need to be like something out of Wolf of Wall Street, but you do need to ensure the team hits the ground running on Monday.

#4: Reward Success

Always reward success. Although bonuses and commission structures and any other benefits are always negotiated as part of an overall compensation package, there should always be room in the budget for additional rewards for top performers.

Rewards keep salespeople motivated. Generally speaking, salespeople are financially motivated. So an extra reward, commensurate with targets being hit or exceeded (or a big deal landing) is useful as a motivational tool. These rewards could be an extra bonus; shopping or restaurant vouchers, even gifts such as watches, weekend breaks, or holidays.

Make sure you are rewarding those whose performance has struggled in the past and is now improving, alongside top performers. Maintaining motivation is always going to be more difficult for those who aren’t converting as many sales leads as others.

#5: Communicate, Provide Training and Quick Feedback

Communication is essential when managing a sales team. Whether someone is performing well or not, letting them know quickly makes a huge difference to motivational levels. Give them quick feedback, or praise, depending on how well calls and demos are going.

If you can see someone is struggling, aim to find out what’s wrong quickly, then do what you can to make things easier. This might mean providing extra training or giving someone a day off. Do whatever it takes to support the team in the best ways possible.

#6: Friday Sales Motivation

Alongside Monday, Friday is probably one of the most challenging days in the week to stay motivated. The weekend is fast approaching and few people have the energy or drive to maintain performance. Do your best to keep the team motivated. Even if that means switching them to more creative or admin-based tasks, especially for the afternoon.

Some companies give their sales teams the afternoon off on a Friday. This is a good way of avoiding time-wasting — on “busy” but unproductive tasks — and will provide an extra push of motivation in the morning.

#7: How to motivate sales teams when conversion rates are down?

Conversion rates could be down for a wide number of reasons. Sales managers who simply assume this is due to the team not performing will knock motivational levels. Aim to identify the problems. Understand what you can change or influence, such as the performance of individual salespeople.

When there are a number of factors out of the teams control, such as economic or sector-based challenges, then find ways to refocus the sales strategy on more promising sectors. Improve motivation by providing more effective opportunities, alongside extra training, mentoring, and support.

#8: Motivating remote and hybrid sales teams

Sales teams that work remotely or in a hybrid environment can be a challenge to motivate since most of the team is seldom in the same physical location at the same time. Teams leaders can try to bring the team together at regular intervals to boost morale and comradery. These meetings create a sense of community and belonging. Team leaders can also use video engagement tools such as Accordium to send 90-second videos at regular intervals, either personalized to each member of the team or directed to the whole team.

Key takeaways - How to motivate sales teams:

#1: Have motivational team meetings every month and quarter

#2: Set Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly Goals

#3: Give the team some extra motivation on a Monday

#4: Reward Success

#5: Communicate, Provide Training and Quick Feedback

#6: Keep the team going on Friday, or give them the afternoon off work

#7: Support the sales team when conversion rates are down

#8: Motivating remote and hybrid sales teams

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