How To Motivate Your Sales Team When Sales Are Down

Published on Jul 26, 2019

Sales is a very demanding profession. Reps regularly have to talk to complete strangers and convince them to buy what they have to offer. The chances of rejection are high, and some days, you just don’t feel like picking yourself up and striving to make a sale. While slumps are a part of a salesperson’s job, effective motivation ensures that this decline does not last long. Here are some key tips to help motivate your sales team when sales are down.

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How To Motivate Your Sales Team

With a disengaged sales team, businesses experience higher churn rates, missed sales targets, and failure to complete financially viable deals. As the sales manager, your objective should be to pick your team up and inspire them to accomplish their objectives. Here are a few tactics to motivate your sales team:

Enable Free Flowing Communication

How many times have you had your sales rep come to you and talk about how this month has been unusually difficult? Most sales reps don’t.

This is because managers often fail to build a culture that allows salespeople to voice out their feelings. The foundation of motivation lies in trust—and unless you build trust with your employees, you cannot possibly inspire them to achieve their goals.

Here’s What You Can Do

The best way to build trust for managers is to be transparent about their feelings and engage with your team members regularly. Even discussing a normal day can be a great way of initiating a tradition of open communication where the sales rep doesn’t feel uncomfortable talking about how they feel.

Successful managers make sure their employees are part of the process by asking questions like: “John, I want to make sure we can trust each other. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about this?” Not only is this method straight-forward, but it is highly effective.

Understand Your Sales Team

As a sales manager, it is important to know that while they may work as a team, your salespeople are different individuals, driven by different factors.

It is critical to understand what is hindering your team’s performance both on a group and an individual level. This will provide you insights into their personalities and allow you to identify triggers that can motivate them.

Here’s What You Can Do

As a sales manager, you need to clearly ask what motivates your reps. It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback on new motivation strategies. Even if this seems obvious, giving them ample time to think about it can result in answers that are rich in context.

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Tinker Your KPIs

Your key performance indicators are crucial metrics through which to gauge performances. But inflexible KPIs might do more harm than good. Relentlessly pressurizing salespeople to meet targets that are unrealistic or beyond their capabilities is a recipe for increased workplace stress, decreased motivation, and lagging productivity.

Different sales reps are motivated in different ways. While creating a customized plan for every individual may not be feasible, you can may consider implementing a tiered KPI system. For example, you can work on a three-tier plan that breaks down daily, weekly, and monthly targets. Here’s an example:

Here’s What You Can Do


Daily targets are short-term. They have to be very specific. These can include things like moving at least four deals to the next stage, or initiating contact with 5 new prospects. The key is to have achievable tasks that inspire confidence in your sales reps, while helping them work toward the monthly targets.


As the accumulation of seven daily goals, weekly objectives are much more business-oriented. This can include business development and qualitative goals, such as an improvement in call outreach quality. The reward for reaching this should be something tangible, such as a pass to a nice restaurant, or a round of golf with the senior manager.


As the biggest of the tiered KPIs, these targets carry high-value rewards that are based on 30-odd days of outstanding sales performance. The goal can be to achieve an unusual number of leads or to maintain consistent quality throughout the month.

When it comes to rewards, this has to be something of value that inspires the sales reps who missed out on it in the previous month. While some organizations give out gifts like GoPro cameras, others prefer to set up monetary rewards. Either way, the reward should be reflective of the effort required. You may even consider allowing your reps to choose their own rewards!

Train Your Team

Perhaps the issue holding your team back is a lack of training. It can be demotivating to feel that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to bring in or close a lead. If your sales reps are facing repeated failure, it can wear down morale and the bottom line quickly.

Here’s What You Can Do

Have your team complete a performance evaluation to identify weaknesses and skill gaps. From there, you can build a targeted training program to help hone these skills and give your team the edge they need to succeed. With the right training, your reps can improve their skills, and as they begin to hit their KPIs, you should see morale pick up.

Develop A Highly Motivated Sales Team

A highly motivated sales team is bound to produce extraordinary results. Having invested 20 years in the process of hiring and onboarding sales representatives, HireDNA can point out the skill gaps in your team and help you train your reps and implement strategies for success.

With data-driven insights and scientific staff assessment tools, we can help you create a sales team that is able to deliver quality results, year over year.

We Have The Stats To Prove It:

  • Our sales assessments result in a 33% boost in sales productivity
  • We help organizations uncover 33% more sales opportunities
  • Our clients experience a 25% increase in top-line revenue growth

Are you ready to build a successful sales team that is inspired for greatness?

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