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How to motivate unmotivated salespeople and reduce sales team turnover: 5 strategies   

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Mastering techniques on how to motivate unmotivated salespeople should be a constant concern of managers and companies for several reasons, including:

  • Reduce costs arising from turnover;
  • Be able to develop a high-performance team;
  • Increase conversion rates from leads to sales.

When a sales rep leaves a company, all work is paralyzed and needs to start from scratch with the arrival of a new salesperson.

When a salesperson is unmotivated, the company loses in productivity and sales focus.

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Sellers spend around 2 years in Inside Sales operations. This statement is popular wisdom and practice supports the fact. I wonder why?

What is the reason for the high turnover of salespeople?

The day-to-day of the sales operation is arduous:

  • dozens of daily calls ;
  • emails;
  • meetings;
  • proposals;
  • trading strategies ;
  • A lot of rejection.

Looking at it that way, sales really do look like a roller coaster and anyone who’s ever been to an amusement park knows that the ride back is short.

However, we can think of this career from another angle: Sales is a great area to develop skills such as persuasion, active listening, and empathy.

Perhaps the main skill developed is to ask good questions.

Good questions make the prospect think, direct the conversation, and help create sales focus, qualify the prospect, and lead to the best possible outcome.

This skill will be valuable in the personal and professional life of those who develop it.

In addition, sales provide a high financial return as the professional advances in his career.

Companies also benefit from the retention of professionals. The high turnover of sellers brings costs with:

  • terminations;
  • need to recruit and train new people;
  • In addition to the time invested in ramp-up.

If companies and sellers can benefit from the reduction of high turnover of sellers and a long-term partnership, how can this scenario be changed?

How to keep salespeople motivated: 5 tips for the company

The role of companies when worrying about creating strategies on how to motivate unmotivated sellers is:

  • Create environments and processes so that the skills described above are developed;
  • Nurturing good professionals with 1-on-1’s;
  • Understand that there is life after the quarter’s goal.

Sellers have a more difficult task. They need to change the way they see their daily lives: that call is not just another call, it’s an opportunity to ask better questions.

The 2pm presentation is no longer an appointment on the agenda, it’s the possibility to develop persuasion.

Repetitions are not the enemy (in the limit, all work is repetitive). They are the instrument for developing and mastering skills.

Understanding and using this as a lever for excellence will pay off in the long run.

This is a difficult path for both sides, but it seems viable. The decision is to follow it or not.

What about companies? How to motivate unmotivated sellers? How to actively act to reduce high salesperson turnover?

Below, we list some practical tips for reducing salesperson turnover and achieving – finally – high performance.

Tips on Keeping Sellers Motivated

1. Manager must be active in the selection process

It all starts at the beginning! And the beginning of a salesperson’s relationship with the company is the selection process. It is also the beginning of the success or failure of this partnership.

Some companies outsource this work, which is great for reducing the time spent planning each step and increasing the quality of the process. However, it is important that the sector manager is also involved in this phase.

The selection process is an opportunity for the manager to identify the profile of each candidate, align with their needs and identify possible talents, perfect for the company and position.

Before starting the selection process, the manager needs to define the profile of an ideal salesperson for the position. For this, list the project challenges and which characteristics are important for a professional to overcome them.

Together with the recruiting company, define how to find these characteristics in the people being interviewed.

Believe me, a quality selection process focused on what the company is looking for is the first step to reduce turnover in the sales team.

Also read: Are you hiring? Everything you need to know + the best job description templates for sales

2. Alignment of the seller with the company’s values

When we talk about the selection process, it is necessary to remember that the seller also chooses the company and not just the opposite.

Do you want a salesperson who is with you just for the money or someone who believes in the company and the value proposition of the product or service they are selling?

If you really want to know how to motivate unmotivated salespeople, you need to choose the second option.

To do this, present the product’s value proposition, share the company’s values, and get him involved in all of this.

A salesperson who believes in what he is selling does not want to switch products or services. In addition, he is much more likely to sell more and better.

3. Offer a clear career path

One of the biggest bottlenecks in sales is the lack of perspective for the future.

As we talked about above, the sales sector can be very repetitive show. This trait, along with a lack of forward-thinking, can be the perfect combination to end any motivation.

Most salespeople do not see the area as a career, just a job and that happens to good and bad salespeople.

This idea has a lot to do with how people got to the area. Usually because they needed money and not because they liked to sell.

That’s one of the big reasons sales reps are demotivated.

However, if the company is concerned with creating a career plan for its employees, this long-term vision of the sales career has the power to transform the team’s motivation.

Offering a vision of the future for the salesperson, covering periods of 2-3 years, renewing at each completed cycle, is a strategic path for companies that want to motivate unmotivated salespeople and reduce the turnover rate of the sales team.

4. Be a good leader

About 75% of the factors that lead to the departure of an employee from a company originate in the direct manager of that professional. This is the result of a Gallup poll. The survey also shows that 50% of people have already left jobs to get away from their managers.

Well, it goes without saying that you need to be a good leader to be a good manager, but it seems that companies keep losing employees to poor sales leadership.

Managers need to learn to be leaders and not bosses, creating an ideal organizational climate to develop employees’ skills at the highest level.

Only then, everything we’ve listed here will really be effective in its purpose of motivating unmotivated salespeople and decreasing salesperson turnover.

5. Invest in training

If you’re looking for answers to how to motivate your team to sell more, be aware that training salespeople is a step you can’t ignore.

The company is responsible for making the salesperson develop and for that it needs to invest time and money in training, training and development.

End the culture of firing only for performance.

Give time and help the professional to develop. 

Analyze the behavior of sales representatives and take the opportunity to help a professional grow. So you will have someone loyal to the company and its purposes.