How to Be a Motivational Leader For Your Sales Team

Smiling beautiful female professional manager standing with arms crossed looking at camera

Motivation is an inherent skill we all possess to allow us to reach our full potential. It inspires, creates great leaders, and encourages engagement with others. Motivation is a vital skill for building new personal and business relationships. motivational leader

In the age of data, it is easily forgotten that those revenue streams are all related to, and dependent on, a person – your employee. A motivational leader understands the human behind the job title; they appreciate that each team member needs an environment of trust and mutual respect to effectively carry out their work.

RELATED: 7 STEPS TO GAIN RESPECT FROM YOUR SALES TEAM

In this Article:

  1. Encouragement
  2. Open Communication
  3. Lead & They Will Follow

How Can A Leader Develop Motivational Skills?

Encouragement motivational leader

A motivational leader cannot solely be a criticizing presence; instead, they will understand that encouragement is equally essential for team morale. When you offer praise, you are telling your team that you appreciate and acknowledge their efforts. A little praise can go a long way to motivate your team to face the next hurdle.

If your team has been asked to push themselves to reach a new goal or target, fatigue can set in and lead to indifference towards the task. A team that is only ‘going through the motions’ is a team that needs encouragement.

As a sales leader, you need to boost morale and take time in meetings to praise previous efforts. The urge to always look forward to the next goal, can mean that the praise for previous successes is forgotten. You need to reward your team for all their efforts. A team bonus or OTE is the ‘official’ thank you from the company, however, a pat on the back from a manager is equally motivating.

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
—Bill Gates

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor but without folly. —Jim Rohn (Entrepreneur & Motivational Speaker)

Open Communication

Helpful male boss mentor coach teacher explaining new online project to young female worker intern student | Open Communication

Clear communication is how we make ourselves understood. As children, before we speak we point, and we use eye contact. We strive to communicate from childhood.

Turning a spotlight on your communication style can help you understand the dynamics required to lead by listening. Round table discussions will encourage two-way open dialogues that prevent future confusion on tasks and goals.

You learn as much by actively listening as you do by speaking. Motivational leaders create a culture where asking questions and seeking support is encouraged. This is not a leadership flaw, but a strength that allows a team to enjoy a relationship of mutual respect between them and their leaders. If an individual on your sales team is struggling, by actively listening to them and working on the issues as a team of two, you will get to the root of the problem and have a good opportunity to resolve and learn from the experience.

Karen Martin, a respected executive business coach, says the chances of achieving success without complete clarity are slim. Martin wants you to ask ‘WHY,’ not ‘what’ your business is.

In her acclaimed book, Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance, Karen Martin discusses the following topics:

  • Provide greater transparency about true versus assumed performance.
  • Build strong problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities throughout the organization.
  • Develop personal clarity to be a more direct, purposeful, and successful leader.
  • Eliminating ambiguity is the first step for leaders and organizations to achieve strategic goals.

Karen Martin champions the idea of understanding that your business is only as strong as your employees. By not allowing the standard practice of a “tolerance for ambiguity”, a company can focus on the purpose of the business.
Most Sales teams have experienced the ‘meeting that could have been an email’. Your team does not need to be bamboozled by KPI metrics at every sales meeting. Like your clients and customers, the relevant information is all that is required. Overwhelming your sales team with data will lead to ambiguity. They will miss out on the message you are trying to communicate.

Martin has encountered in her work the number of employees of a company who do not know ‘why’ the business is operating, they only know ‘what’ it is. The core message is drowned out by ambiguity.

Lead & They Will Follow

‘Do what I say and not what I do’ is the wrong example to set as a leader. Your team should look up to you as an effective leader and role model. If they see you putting your all into your work, they will follow by example.

A managerial position can pull you in many directions. You won’t always hit the mark, failure is a part of business. If you are willing to own up to your own failings in a crisis, this will encourage your team to do the same. Fostering a climate of honesty in your sales team helps everyone grow together.

Delegation can be difficult however, the urge to control everything is not feasible. If you are a motivational leader, you understand your individual teams’ strengths and have established an environment of mutual respect. Dividing up tasks is a good way to tell your team that you trust their ability to succeed. Taking on the more difficult tasks yourself is a good way to display leadership.

Earn your leadership every day. –Michael Jordan (NBA Allstar)

It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s more than okay to listen to the people you lead – in fact, it’s essential.” – Mary Barra (CEO, General Motors)

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” —Arnold H. Glasow (Renowned Businessman)

Motivational leadership is democratic, not autocratic; expecting only obedience will create a negative working environment. Look after your sales team, and they, in turn, will look after your business.
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What’s your view on motivational leaders? Have they helped you in the past?
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