Stupid Methods for Motivating Salespeople

12 Sep


There are a lot of bad sales managers and bad leadership techniques – below I’ve highlighted some of the dumber methods I’ve seen time and time again. These eight tactics will not only lead towards lower long-term sales accomplishments, but also put a company at risk of losing some of their better salespeople.

  1. Scare them. A manager should be clear and direct – but if your sales force lives in fear of repercussions and erratic management feedback, they will move on to greener, friendlier pastures.
  2. Micromanage tenured salespeople. Starting in year 2, salespeople should be motivated by their manager, feel supported by their company and understand expectations. If they miss their marks, there should be constructive criticism and strategy discussions to help them reach their goals.
  3. Be their buddy. Opposite of micromanaging, I’ve seen too many managers befriend and coddle their salespeople. You shouldn’t be going out for drinks with them on a regular basis – your job is to coach and support them. If they see you as a friend, all kinds of problems can arise once they are under-performing.
  4. Discuss internal problems. 99% of your conversations with salespeople should be about clients, prospects and external problems.
  5. Avoid meeting prospects and customers. I’ve witnessed too many managers completely step away from interactions with their customer base when promoted from salesperson to sales lead. This is a great way to see your salespeople in action and teach in a hands-on manner.
  6. Force them to work in the office. If they are outside salespeople that you want in front of their customers, let them be responsible for their own 8-5:00 schedule. If they are hitting their marks, why are you worrying about where they start or end their day? If they fall behind, focus on their expected activity not the length of their lunches.
  7. Change their commission structure. I understand commissions may need to be tweaked or adjusted occasionally – but have you changed the commission structure more than twice in the last 5 years?
  8. Never help them hit their goals. As the sales leader, this is your #1 job to HELP your salespeople close more deals. Any way you can do that should be your first priority of the work day.

Are any of these bad habits a part of your routine? Ask YOUR manager to go through this list with you. At your monthly meetings and annual employee reviews, allow your sales employees to give you feedback as their manager.

Sales leaders should be good listeners, motivators, mentors, and parrots (repeatedly discussing sales targets and expectations). Your salespeople are already stressed by their goals, prospects and clients – don’t add to their stress. If you help them solve problems, they are destined to surpass expectations. So, spruce up your leadership tactics and build that better sales team.

Make it a great day~ Drew

It’s time to grow faster.

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