Team Management

Motivating Your Sales Team: Strategies for Accountability

Managing a sales team is a complex task that goes beyond providing leads and training. Steve Trang and Brandon Bateman discuss the nuances of motivation, emphasizing that understanding each salesperson's "why" is key. Aligning goals with personal motivations and maintaining open communication fosters a culture of accountability and empowers teams for success.

Managing a sales team is challenging. Hiring competent salespeople, providing leads and training, and tracking results seem simple on paper, but in reality, it is a different story. Salespeople can be unpredictable, lack motivation, and fall short of their commitments. How can you hold your sales team accountable and thrive together?

Steve's Take: Salespeople Are Driven by Purpose, Not Money

Steve Trang recently sat down with Brandon Bateman to delve into the intricacies of managing a sales team. Brandon remarked, “When [managing sales people] how we do it on paper and [how we do it] in reality are completely different… it seems so easy until it definitely is not." He's not alone in this observation. Steve noticed that there is a common mistake managers make. They don't truly understand what motivates their sales force.

Ask your sales team what motivates them, and you'll often hear "money." But it's not just about money; it's about what money can do for them - fulfilling needs, supporting families, providing education, and bringing financial freedom. Money is the 'why' behind their motivation.

Keep Reading:
The Importance of Managing Emotions in Business

Uncovering Each Salesperson’s "Why"

So, how can you put this insight into action to motivate your team? Step one is to uncover each salesperson's "why." Steve shared some probing questions he employs to get to the heart of his team's motivations:

What's a goal you’ve been trying to accomplish? 

How long have you been wanting to accomplish this? 

What have you tried to do this? 

What's that going to look like when you get there? 

How's that going to feel? 

What's important about that? 

You’ll notice, these are the same types of questions you would ask a prospective real estate client. But, when asked of your salespeople, they can reveal their core motivations.

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Aligning Goals and Metrics with Purpose

Once you've unraveled their purpose and motivations, what's the next step? Now it's time to align their goals and metrics with their driving purpose. In that way, you are holding them accountable to their purpose versus a metric.

Now, these metrics aren’t something you should come up with on your own. Together with your team, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) rooted in their unique "why." Then, regularly revisit these metrics to maintain accountability.

Crucial Conversations for Alignment

There will inevitably be times when things don't go as planned or goals veer off course. To handle this, establish upfront expectations for addressing them. Outline agreements and discuss your approach. This allows you to reference prior conversations and take action in line with your goals and purpose.

Accountability doesn't have to be confrontational. If you understand their motivation and engage in direct yet empathetic conversation, you can lead a motivated sales team.


So what’s the final verdict and what can we take from all this? To hold salespeople accountable, it's important to understand what drives them and maintain open communication. By connecting the 'what' of their work with the 'why' that motivates them, you can foster a culture of accountability and empower your team for success.

Keep Reading:
The Importance of Managing Emotions in Business
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