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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a>
Sales Leadership
Feb 13, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Motivation is like water; it provides life for your team and organization, but it can so easily escape. Motivated teams have stronger business results, and so there is a strong argument to be made that managers and leaders are obligated to inspire and encourage their salespeople. However, many are not successful at motivating teams, and their employees and organizations can pay the price. There are ways that you can ensure that you are getting the right motivational messages through to your sales team, however, and we’ve outlined them here.

Build Trust on Your Team

You can put up all the posters and make all of the speeches you like, but they will all be wasted if you don’t have a strong foundation of trust on your team. If your team doesn’t believe that you have their interests in mind, or they don’t believe that their other team members are there to support them, it is unlikely that they will suddenly feel inspired from a motivational message. Have an open and honest conversation with your team and work to fix the problems that they point out. When they see that relationships are headed in the right direction and that the team is stronger, they will be much more enthusiastic and willing to listen.

Understand Your Team Members’ Goals

Any attempts to motivate your team members will fail if you are addressing the wrong goals and incentives. You need to first understand what your team cares about if you want to motivate them. Listen to them and pay attention to the things that excite them – their commission is likely a factor, but they may be enthusiastic about team outings, contests, or praise and recognition. If they are looking to progress in their career, the prospect of a promotion will likely work to excite them. Once you understand the factors that really matter to your team, you can ensure that you use the right things to motivate them.

Pay Attention to Timing

Like everything in life, timing matters. Consider the frequency of your motivational messages, the context, and the method. It is important to offer motivational messages when your team succeeds, but also when they fail. It is also important to inspire everyone before you kick off a major new initiative or target. You should also ensure that you use different channels to communicate. If you send emails with encouraging messages but you never say anything motivational in meetings, your team may begin to doubt your dedication to this cause. You also don’t want to constantly repeat motivational messages because this will seem disingenuous. It will take some trial and error to get the balance right, but eventually you will figure out when to get these messages across.

Unlike water, motivation cannot be frozen and kept in a steady state indefinitely. You need to continually work to ensure that you are adapting your messages and your methods to keep your team motivated. However, by following these guidelines, you will be able to adjust and alter to keep your team motivated long into the future.

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