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Sales Team Motivation Checklist : Identify Motivational Drains

Finding a sales reps “motivation drain” is a skill every sales manager should sharpen. It is needed when specific sales activity slows or stops.  I was working with a client and his motivation and activity to making new appointment calls had stopped. He had excuses and reasons for not calling which in many cases will frustrate a sales manager and lead to a quick “pump them up” or “shake them down”. Rather than do that, invest a little time, build trust, educate and increase motivation by helping your rep find their “motivation drain”.

In order to do this you need to understand the activity chain related to the problem. This is the activity chain that leads to making new appointments for my client.

  1. Develop a list of people to call for one-on-one appointment meetings you feel good about
  2. Schedule a time to call for appointments
  3. Make the calls
  4. Schedule appointments

To identify the drain, search for the activity they still have motivation for and work on the step just above it. In this case he did not feel motivated about any activity, so we needed to focus on step one, the list.

I asked if he felt 100% comfortable that each person on the list was the type of client he would like to meet with and his answer was no. Every time he looked at the list all he could see were the names he did not want to call. This was the motivation drain.

His assignment was to trim the list down to only people he was motivated to call. His list went from 50 down to 11. He started making calls again and scheduling new appointments. The total amount of time invested in this exercise for me as his manager was 5-10 minutes. He now understands how to find this drain next time.  I did not need to pump him up, or chew him out. My job as a manager was to identify the drain, plug it and let him get back to business.

When you have clearly defined sales processes it will make it easier to find and review activity chains. You can then more easily identify motivation drains and help your reps sell more products and services.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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