Can You Really Motivate Your Sales Team?

Written by Sean McPheat |

24 February, 2010

“Hi Sean,

No matter what I do I can’t motivate my team to make more sales. They are on good salaries, have good conditions and no matter what I say in team meetings or what I offer in terms of reward or recognition, I get nothing back!

What can I do to motivate them?

Vijay Lal


This is a great question and one I get asked a lot.

Motivation is a thing that comes from within. Sure you can be inspired by others but I believe you can’t be motivated by anyone other than yourself.

In order to get the best out of others I recommend that you give them the tools, the skills and create the environment for them to achieve high levels of performance AND THEN they will become motivated.

You cannot give them “motivation” and performance will improve. Instead, give them the tools to perform and they will become more motivated.

I was once asked to give a motivational talk to a workforce of 1000 sales people and was getting paid £5k for an hours work.

The brief was to get them pumped up.

Now I like to do my research so I met with some of the sales people a couple of weeks beforehand so I knew what they did and how they did it.

I found out that:

* No-one had received any training from the company in the past
* They were not using any CRM system or tool to keep records etc
* Everyone of the team was using a different sales process
* The company as a whole did not have any key unique selling points for the product

Now this was a multi-national company!

Yes, I can get anyone pumped up. But they’d be going back into the workplace to continue hitting their heads against the brick wall (but a bit faster after my hours talk!)

So instead of “motivating” the team I decided to train and develop the team. I only had an hour but I focused on 4 of the key “biggest hitting” areas that would make a difference.

The result?

Well, I got rated 9.8 out of 10 from the conference feedback forms because I gave them tools to improve their performance. I didn’t include any “motivational stories” or “pump me up” ra ra’s yet on the feedback forms the comments were like “I feel really confident and motivated that I’ll improve my performance” and even “I’m psyched, I want to get back to work and try these techniques out”

That was living proof of the point I’m making here.

Remember, give them tools to help them improve their performance and the motivation will naturally come. It’s not the other way around.

Happy selling

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

Telephone: 0333 320 2883