10 Ways Sales Managers Demotivate Their Teams

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

woman thinking
A sales leader attending of our Sales Management Training programmes was asked what he considered to be his biggest priority at work.

We thought he would have said ‘hitting targets’ like everyone else had said on the programme. This sales manager said something rather intriguing. He said that his biggest priority had to be keeping his team motivated and inspired.

Here are ten ways that the best sales managers motivate their teams. There are also some demotivators there too. Make sure you aren’t doing any of them. Here are also some sales team motivation ideas.

Sales Motivators and Demotivators

That was because, if he managed to achieve a highly-motivated team, it was much easier to achieve his targets.

If he just concentrated on hitting targets, he said he would have to micro-manage and autocratically work with his team to achieve the end goals.

It’s an interesting thought.

Is focusing on having a highly motivated team more important?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, because without having a team of inspired and motivated sales people, you are continuously having to ‘be there’ to support and coach them, taking a heavy burden on your shoulders and creating hard work for yourself.

And no, because even a highly-motivated team can suffer from outside forces that will stop them achieving goals.

So, what can you do to ensure both?

How can you achieve goals and keep your team highly engaged?

And what are the demotivators that can affect morale and drive?

Here are ten ways:

Motivation 1:  Keep the vision and goals clear in everyone’s mind

Demotivator 1: Focus on the minutia and make everyone concentrate on micro goals

Motivation 2: Make advancement, growth and development part of your regular discussions

Demotivator 2: Concentrate only on the job and what needs to be done now

Motivator 3: Spot coaching opportunities to assist in helping with poor results

Demotivator 3: Spend time looking for and catching people out for poor results

Motivator 4: Focusing on solutions to challenges and simplifying them

Demotivator 4: Focusing on problems and over-complicating them

Motivator 5: Helping team members increase their value to the company, looking for ways to improve and increase remuneration

Demotivator 5: Not discussing pay issues and keeping team members in the dark as to their value and ways they can increase their remuneration

Motivator 6: Give constant and positive feedback to encourage the direction you wish the team to go

Demotivator 6: Feedback when things go wrong and keep silent when people do good stuff

Motivator 7: Model the behaviours, skill-sets and attitudes you’d like your team to display

Demotivator 7: Act more of a ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ boss

Motivator 8: Give your teams the resources and back-up they need so success is inevitable

Demotivator 8: Make excuses for why the company keep them short, and still blame the team for when they don’t succeed

Motivator 9: Allow the team to be creative and listen to their ideas

Demotivator 9: Keep the team highly process-driven, concentrating on what they’ve always done rather than identifying ideas to improve the future

Motivator 10: Give the team challenges that stretch them and reward them for trying as well as succeeding

Demotivator 10: Expect the team to achieve big, but don’t offer rewards for learning but failing in the attempt

The motivators listed above can help your sales team to take control, build morale and be rewarded for their achievements. Effective sales managers motivate by having excellent communication skills so they can motivate accordingly. Even a great idea communicated in the wrong way can have a negative impact on the team. I hear of so many sales managers use negative phrases that it really demoralises the sales team. You don’t want.

Try them out and see if they work for your team!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

Sales DNA

Originally published: 19 October, 2017

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