Motivate your sales team

Motivating your sales team is essential for good performance

By Brian Thompson,

Sales teams need motivated employees to succeed. This is an obvious truth about the industry, but going from theory to practice can be difficult. Not everyone is always at the top of his or her game - bad days happen, lack of energy happens and sometimes the workplace is set up in a discouraging way. Sales managers need to put in work to get their employees motivated rather than simply expecting them to show up ready to go every day. Here are a few ways to get started:

Make employees feel they have a stake in the business
According to Forbes, working to ensure employees feel responsibility for their jobs and over the organization itself can help improve motivation. When employees incorporate their work and their companies into how they see themselves as people, motivation to do well is naturally fostered.

Different types of people feel that important sensation of ownership in different ways, according to recent research from Qualtrics. People often need to feel autonomy and to see a task through to the end, and these strategies can help bridge the gap between generally positive and generally disengaged people. For sales teams, this might mean keeping people involved from gathering and nurturing leads through closing. It can also entail letting employees develop relationships with prospects on their own under some general guidelines, rather than having them do so following strict rules.

Try to foster team spirit
Another article in Forbes suggests looking at employees as teams of people rather than only and always as individuals. These teams include managers too - looking at what leadership can do to address performance issues or meet sales goals is just as important as seeing what individual salespeople could do. It is also useful to cultivate an attitude of cohesion in other ways. For example, employees who feel like they are letting down a whole team rather than just underperforming may be more easily motivated to address any issues they are having, according to Forbes.

Sales teams can be very competitive by nature, which makes it difficult for some managers to institute a team mindset. However, it's possible to take steps in that direction in many ways, such as having people compete against their own personal best instead of each other. Rewards given for performance can also be created that are not competitive or only ever awarded to one person out of a team.

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Brian Thompson