The number one thing that will motivate your sales team

motivate sales team

Sales managers are hit with information from all sides on how to create high performance sales teams.   Hire the right people, create compensation plans that drive behavior, incentive programs, provide consistent feedback and the list goes on.

With so many choices, it’s hard for sales managers to figure out where to focus their attention.  Here’s a  tip that will simplify your job as a sales leader.  If you want to motivate your team…..


Let’s look at the importance of teaching with an example outside of the sales world.  I live in Colorado where many people enjoy downhill skiing.  It’s exhilarating to glide down the mountain while breathing in the fresh air.

For some individuals, skiing isn’t much fun.  They’ve never learned how to ski. Instead of gliding down the mountain, they end up in what I refer to as a ‘yard sale.’ They fall and skis, poles and gloves are all over the place.  As they gather their equipment, the snow-covered individuals say to themselves, “This skiing isn’t enjoyable and I’m not doing it again.”   This person isn’t motivated to continue the great sport of skiing because they’ve never been taught the fundamentals of skiing.

‘Yard sales’ occur every day in the sales profession.  For some reason, CEO’s and sales managers think that salespeople have magically developed the many skills needed to be effective in sales.   Take a look at a partial list of attributes and competencies needed to succeed.

  • Prospecting skills
  • Qualification skills
  • Emotional intelligence skills
  • Listening skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customer service
  • Presentations skills
  • Building rapport

Whew—that’s a long list.  Teaching, training and coaching is the number one way to motivate your sales team to greatness.  It’s common sense.  When people know how to do ‘something’ better, they enjoy doing that ‘something.’   And when they enjoy doing that ‘something,’ they do that ‘something’ more often.

Salespeople that know how to prospect enjoy prospecting and do it more often.  Salespeople that know how to hold a sales conversation with the C suite buyer enjoy those sales meetings and schedule more of them.

Take a look at your calendar.  How much time and money is your sales organization dedicating to motivating your sales team the right way by providing them training and coaching?   Avoid ‘yard sales’ and apply the number one motivational tool:  teach your sales team how to sell and influence.

Good Selling!

Category : Sales

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About the Author: Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley is President of SalesLeadership, a sales training and consulting firm. She is author of Growing Great Sales Teams, and writes a bi-monthly column for business journals across the country. For more information, co

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  1. what the sales team needs is a sales strategy aligned with the marketing strategy aligned with the corporate strategy. Then they need the marketing team to execute a solid digital marketing system to attract their target market, establish a digital relationship, and offer customers the content that supports their buying process. Along the way, teach sales what they need to know about talking to specific buyer personas, what the value propositions are, and how to assist the customer (prospect) reengineer their vision to a competitively advantageous framework for the seller. The list of the things sales needs is far too narrowly constructed. If everything else is in place, then we can move to your list.

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