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Team Motivators for ...

Team Motivators for Your Sales Team

By Star Report 4 min read

By Jeff Menzel, VP of Sales - New Home Star//

When sales managers think about motivating their sales teams, most tend to think about the great dinner that could be treated for the team to enjoy, the special coffee one of their sales associates loves that could be delivered to them, or the recognition that could be given in a sales meeting. Here’s the thing, all of those examples are great ideas because they are actually extremely effective. What salesperson doesn’t like being recognized by their peers or wouldn’t appreciate their favorite beverage hand-delivered to them unexpectedly? These techniques work and should be continually practiced by those in leadership roles. Instead of creating the world’s best list of items that could motivate a sales team, think about some of the less thought of and perhaps more impactful ideas.

First, let’s discuss where a sales team should be on a normal basis. Envision the motivation of a salesperson on a pendulum or sliding scale. On the far left is an individual who just cannot get motivated; even with the best efforts put forth to do so, it just lies out of reach. On the opposite side, the far right, lies the individual that is so motivated they tend to operate at a level that cannot be maintained. One goal remains: to have the entire team balanced in the center of the scale. When the team is close to the center, they will be motivated to sell everyday, provide customers with the best experiences, and consistently lead others through the most favorable thought process.

As Sales Leaders, we must always strive to push our teams to the far right, but realistically this can only truly be accomplished during brief key periods of time. This allows for the pendulum to rest within the center for normal operation. The team should not be expected to operate in the far right of the scale too often, even as they are being led to that end over and over again. Poised leadership can only move a non-motivated individual to the normal measure on the scale, and the same goes for the opposite end of this spectrum. While the entire team should be highly motivated, they can only be motivated to the level expected on any given day.

Once clear expectations are set, remove the bad apples! Sales leaders must conduct evaluations and remain honest about every situation within their teams. Look past the progress made with certain individuals, and evaluate if the effort put in was worth the result. An effective rule when evaluating any team is to pose the question, “If I have to introduce one salesperson that would act as a representative sample of the team, would I be proud to introduce them?” Give this a try, and it may help to clear up any lingering thoughts that revolve around those questionable individuals on the team. Removing the bad apples, or those that tend to reside on the left side of the scale will help the whole team stay motivated.

Stay on track. It is natural to get sidetracked by the improvements that may appear within certain individuals, but the best sales managers look past these short spouts of improvements and force themselves to make the tough long-term decisions. It may be challenging to look past the short-term improvements, but it is the long-term decisions that will shape the team and set the stage for future success.

After the tough decisions are made, the truth of the matter is that the team needs to be guided in a positive direction with a strong focus on motivation. Keep them in the middle of the scale, perpetually motivated every step of the way. Sales contests, dinners, favorite beverages, and recognition can serve as motivational rewards and will help propel them in the right direction even during the toughest of times.

All in all, to be a good sales leader, the team must be led properly. Be diligent and honest in reviews and evaluations, remove those that are dragging down others, use motivational tools to keep the team in the middle of the scale, and don’t forget the small things. All of these tips will enable those in leadership roles to create and maintain a motivated team. Give it a chance, and see just how much value they really create.

Originally published Jul 5, 2017 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 2, 2024

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