How to be motivational in a sales environment

Irrespective of how productive and prosperous your sales team may be at the best of times, there are bound to be occasions when they lack drive, enthusiasm and motivation. In other job roles and lines of work, this is not a major problem but when it comes to sales, insufficient inspiration can have damaging and detrimental consequences.

Despite the fact most sales teams are sufficiently stimulated by the prospect of greater commission and climbing the career ladder, it is natural to feel a little weary or fatigued when endlessly trying to close deals. For this reason, creating a motivational environment has become top priority for numerous sales managers.

This is easier said than done for most but there are some tried and tested solutions you can pursue. First off, you will need to identify potential problems that could be causing a distinct absence of enterprise. From there, you can attempt to overcome these obstacles by implementing a few changes or coming up with a whole new approach towards sales.

However, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels and think that this strategic shift will last forever, as the attitude of your sales team could change. Therefore, you will also need to ask yourself some key questions everyday in order to truly establish a motivational sales environment.

Possible reasons for poorly motivated staff

Reluctance to cold call

When presented with highly targeted prospects, your sales team will thrive and no doubt be able to deliver countless conversions. However, if they have to rely on cold-calling potential customers, this could seriously affect motivation levels.

To address the issue, you can either ramp up marketing efforts to generate more qualified leads or train sales staff to become proactive with their calls, not just reactive.

An absence of organisational objectives

It is all well and good having sales targets written on the wall, but if staff are not sure what they should be doing in order to achieve these goals, their drive and determination could suffer.

Sales managers should provide clear organisational objectives on a daily and weekly basis for things like the number of conversations with prospects and when appointments have been made. These high-value activities should contribute to more bottom-line conversions.

A lack of personal goals

Regardless of an employee’s motivation for being a salesperson, they will still need personal goals to strive for and work towards. Sales managers need to recognise these aims and inspirations, creating an environment that facilitates individual growth.

An obvious motivator is greater commission or other financial bonuses, but it is quite remarkable just how effective something as simple and sincere as recognition can be.

Sales call frustration

When making a sales call, the last thing your members of staff want to hear is a voicemail message. Unfortunately, this is becoming an increasingly common occurrence and can lead to a great deal of frustration.

So, in addition to a standard sales script, your employees should also have something prepared for voicemail messages too, which must introduce the caller, bring out the company’s value proposition but not be too long or lacking excitement.

How to create a more motivational environment

Be positive

Having a glass half empty attitude simply doesn’t cut it on the sales floor. Even if your staff are struggling to convert leads and close deals, you will need to remain positive and stay upbeat.

Negativity can spread like a bad smell and will do nothing to increase inspiration or enterprise. So, cheer on your colleagues and reassure staff that good times will come to fruition once again.

Be specific

When you are offering up praise and providing constructive comments, try and be as specific as possible. It can be anything from how a certain member of staff dealt with an uptight customer or the way in which another employee managed to upsell a particular product.

If you are specific and definite when motivating staff, your words will resonate with more weight and meaning, which is sure to be appreciated and welcomed.

Be focused

Even though sales managers always an abundance of other daily duties that have to be carried out, their motivational actions and words will need to be said and done with conviction.

This means focusing attention on the workforce instead of simply looking up from your computer screen and offering up a simple “well done.” Look your employees in the eye and let them know you have faith in their ability.

Be helpful

The most important thing to remember here is offering up feedback, not criticism. Sales staff can lose motivation if they have a manager telling them what they did wrong while failing to receive any points or advice on how else to deal with the situation.

So, always be on hand to deliver useful and valuable feedback in order to induce inspiration. A sales manager’s experience and expertise needs to be harnessed by younger staff, which can only come about by being helpful.

Questions you should ask yourself every morning in order to maintain motivation levels

What did I learn yesterday?

Something new or different is bound to transpire every day; it is your responsibility to learn from these experiences.

What changes can I make today?

Based on the previous day’s life lessons, apply changes that will have a positive impact on the workforce.

Who can I help?

Motivating the sales team as a whole is important, but individual support will be greatly appreciated by those who are struggling.

How can I improve?

There is room for improvement with everyone, which includes the most senior sales staff. So, always look to increase and enhance your ability.

What progress are we making?

Look towards your sales targets and organisational objectives to ensure sufficient progress is being made.

What are we doing and why?

In addition to chasing higher turnover and bigger profits, sales should also reflect the company’s culture and core values.

A lack of motivation is something nearly every sales-orientated individual will have suffered from in the past. Overcoming this obstacle isn’t always easy, but if you look towards the working environment itself, identify possible problems, implement a few changes, and always look to improve, your sales team may never have an absence of inspiration or enterprise again. 

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Persia is passionate about helping organizations improve employee engagement across their professional development initiatives.
Published: 28 May, 2015