Sales motivation has never been a bigger challenge as it is in today’s altered world. Traditional methods have no room anymore, what is needed is a transformational approach that would yield enduring results.

So what is this transformational approach?

For one, it has to deliver enduring results, secondly being mindful of the fact that one size does not fit all. It has to have inbuilt flexibility to be sustainable finally it has to come with tools and techniques that enable managers to successfully motivate their team on an on-going basis.

Managers who spend time with their teams and invest in them, varying their style in line with the team member’s aptitude, skills & attitude have been known to drive sustainable high performance from their teams.

Sales employees based on their skills and aptitude fall under one of the 4 categories: “Stars”, “Coasters”, “Strivers” and “Problem Children”. An average sales force has a clear majority of “Coasters” and “Strivers”, a small but elite group of “Stars” and a group of “Problem Children” whose performance straggles.

A judicious manager understands this and adapts his strategies and tactics to motivate each group and thereby move the performance curve of the team upwards.

#1 Direct focus to the job

CoastersCoasters are people who are highly skilled but their motivation may have slipped due to some factors – internal or external. Potentially star performers who have lost steam on account of a lost account, failure to develop a relationship with a new manager, or any mishap on the personal end. When the motivation of coasters decreases, so does the application of their sales skills. They take lesser initiative, make fewer calls, customers engagement is less productive resulting in overall poorer performance. Unfortunately, damage does not stop here, if left unchecked, the demotivation and negative vibes spread like fire across the team.

Coasters need to be managed positively to return them to a motivated state. One needs to identify the root cause of demotivation and help them address it, to bring back their motivation. This may need the Manager to invest a fair amount of time and effort. Any approach that heightens their sense of responsibility, perhaps in sharing their knowledge or skill with other team members or building a natural social pressure, can be useful in re-focusing them. But what is expected of them from a behaviour perspective has to be clearly established by the manager. The task is clear: re-focus the person to the job, not the job to the person.

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Author's Bio: 

Ethique Advisory provides business coaching and consulting services with a focus on ‘Customer First’.