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Brian Will, Serial Entrepreneur & Industry Leading Business & Sales Management Consultant

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In this blog based on the The Dropout Multi-Millionaire Podcast, we're venturing into the complexities of sales management. We'll shift our focus from the core mechanics of sales to the strategic and motivational aspects of managing a team of sales professionals. You’ll learn how to unlock your sales team's full potential, enhance their close ratios, and create a work environment that fosters growth and prosperity for both your salespeople and your organization. 

The Multifaceted Motivations of Salespeople

While it's common knowledge that money, rewards, and incentives are significant motivators for salespeople, it's essential to recognize that motivation runs deeper than monetary gains. 

Let’s delve into the complex relationship between a salesperson’s performance, their financial rewards, their individual self-worth, and their personal aspirations. That’s how we figure out our sales team's drivers, which are often mislabeled.

The “Laziness” Factor

It’s true that some salespeople are just lazy, but more often than not, the perception of "laziness" is actually a product of their self-worth and their perceived basic needs. 

Picture this:

A team member is absolutely crushing it for two to three weeks. They hit their sales goal early and then all of a sudden, they back off. They take some vacation time, they slack off, they come in late, and they stop pushing themselves.

Have you experienced this scenario with your sales team before? Have you ever wondered why?

Let’s break it down:

If you’re a salesperson and you’re making $200,000 a year, with a lifestyle built around that amount, you’d be pretty happy with that. You also know that you need to be making at least $16,600 a month in order to keep that lifestyle up. So on January 1, you start cranking out sales to reach that goal and by January 20, you have hit your $16,600 goal. Now you have the opportunity to take off the next 10 days of the month to kick back and take it easy because you’ve already made the money you need to make. You already have what you need, so there’s no motivation to push for more.

This becomes the sales manager’s challenge: how do we motivate salespeople to max out their potential?

The Three Levels of Performance in Your Sales Team

In order to find out how to best coach the members of your sales team, you need to find out which level of performance they fall under. Here they are on a 1-10 scale:

  1. Level 9-10: Your top performers. They’re killing it.
  2. Level 5-8: Consistently in the middle ground, you can expect the same numbers from them month-to-month.
  3. Level 4 and lower: The bottom of the pack. These team members are struggling the most to hit their goals.

As sales managers, our goal isn't just to have salespeople meet their basic financial needs; it's to encourage them to surpass these needs and strive for excellence. 

Those team members that are in the below 5 range may still be happy with the money they make if it fits their self-image and their basic needs, but unfortunately their personal goal is not in alignment with your corporate goal.

The Power of Coaching and Transformation

For sales professionals falling below 5 in their performance level, there's immense potential for improvement. This category actually holds the biggest opportunity to fix your organization.

There is one prerequisite for this to work: They must be coachable.

 If they are coachable and if we can get them to want more, we can make amazing transformations in their production, their personal income and overall productivity for the company. In fact, we can even go so far as saying we will change their life. 

On the other hand, if they're not coachable and they're not willing to listen and improve, it’s probably time for them to go.

The Pinnacle Performers: Setting the Standard

The highest-performing salespeople, the 'nines and tens,' serve as benchmarks for the rest of the team. Their remarkable success serves as an inspiration and motivates others to reach for new heights. 

The achievements of your top performers can create a culture of continuous improvement which elevates the entire team's performance, but there must always be a balance.

The Middle Performers: Realizing Untapped Potential

Within every sales team, there's a group of middle performers who consistently meet their basic needs but possess the capacity to excel further. They actually make up around 70% of most sales teams, which is a huge source of untapped potential. 

As a manager, you have to find the best way to motivate this group and nurture their potential to join the ranks of your top performers.

Motivation Through Effective Incentive Programs

Incentive programs are powerful tools for stimulating sales teams. However, setting them up correctly is crucial. A good sales manager will build an incentives program that follows at least these basic guidelines:

  1. Incentives should be awarded for outstanding achievement, not just normal performance. This keeps your top performers on their toes.
  2.  Incentives need to be achievable for everyone, not just the top producers. Otherwise the majority of the organization won't care and won’t try.
  3. Incentives need to be given in a short time frame. No one is thinking about an end-of-year bonus on January 1st.

Following these three basic guidelines will set you up with an incentive program that will increase in production from the status quo, motivate everyone on the team to strive for more, and take effect quickly and efficiently. 

Expectations, Management, and Goal Setting

Effective goal setting goes hand-in-hand with a good incentive program.

As a sales manager, you must be willing to sit down with each individual on their team to discuss their goals. Keep it reasonable, but encourage them to push past their initial comfort zone.

 Then, take it one step further and memorialize those goals. Write them down. Consistently refer back to them as the sales period continues. Then bring in the incentives when the goals are met.

Implementing a Core Metrics Chart

To keep track of progress and identify areas for improvement, you’ll need to be familiar with the concept of a core metrics chart. This tool provides a comprehensive overview of each team member's performance and helps sales managers manage their teams more effectively. 

First, decide on the core metrics for your sales team that will allow you to keep track of their goal progress. Pop them into a spreadsheet and consistently fill in the metrics as the weeks and months go by. You can use this chart to guide performance discussions and highlight underperforming areas that require attention.

The Key Role of Consistency

Incorporating these strategies into your sales management approach is a transformative journey, but it does require an unwavering consistency. Missing even a single week of implementing these practices can set you back significantly. 

With consistency, you'll witness remarkable results that uplift your sales team and drive overall success.


In the role of sales manager, your primary goal is clear: to make your sales team better. In this blog, we unveiled a range of strategies, from motivation to coaching and goal setting, to achieve this goal. By paying attention to the unique needs and motivations of your sales team members, you can create an environment that fosters continuous improvement and ensures both personal and company objectives are met. While establishing effective sales management systems may require time and effort, the results they yield are well worth the investment.

If you’re ready to break free from the status quo and join the ranks of the mavericks, the rebels, and the renegades who refuse to conform and instead build multi-million dollar businesses, subscribe to The Dropout Multi-Millionaire Podcast wherever you choose to listen!

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