Keep motivated with long sales cycle

Dear Tony,

My sales team really struggles with motivation because the average sales cycle with our products is between 2 to 3 years. Do you have any ideas as their Sales Manager how I can keep them motivated?

I have many clients that fall into this category and the Sales Manager and Sales Director have also struggled to keep up morale and motivation within their team. The first thing To appreciate is the reason for the lack of motivation is they are ONLY focusing on the end result, which is the sale at the end of the 2 or 3 years. However, there are numerous tasks required throughout the 3-year duration in order to achieve the sale. Therefore, I recommend getting your sales consultant to compile a monthly or quarterly plan of exactly what tasks are required to achieve the sale. Therefore, each time they complete a task they can celebrate that mini win and feel motivated for the next task ahead. Examples of the tasks could be to gain an additional influencer within their prospective client, to arrange a site visit at your premises, etc.

The second piece of advice I give my clients is they need to know exactly what motivates and demotivates every member of their sales team. Many of them were aware that their team was money motivated, however, they were unaware of specifically how much they need to earn and most importantly how they wished to spend that money. What I mean by this is if you know your sales consultant is looking to earn £100,000 per annum and he has chosen that figure as he’s saving up to buy a property, then it would be good to know exactly how much deposit he requires to save. By understanding this you could help motivate the consultant by monitoring what percentage he has earned towards his deposit every month; having a specific target is always more motivational than just a figure of money. Depending on your sales team it is sometimes a good idea to get them to create their own board displaying pictures of their goals i.e. pictures of the car they are looking to buy, the property they are saving towards, the holiday etc. These visual reminders are great ways of motivating your sales team.

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