As someone whose career began over 30 years ago as an engineer and evolved into selling and finally into sales training, I’ve always had a difficult time understanding why salespeople need motivating.

Engineers don’t need motivating; neither do accountants or even someone in a shipping department. Have you ever heard of a ‘rah-rah’ session for your accounting department? Of course not, then why do salespeople need motivational sessions?

The problem is that sales is the only department within an organization that does not run off of a true process. Sure, most sales organization have steps to follow, such as cold call, build rapport, demo, presentation, quote and close, but the outcome from executing this “sales process” is a closing rate of approximately 25%. If your shipping department was only successful in getting materials to your customers 25% of the time, would you feel they had a process?

Let’s stop treating the symptom of “motivating our salespeople,” and start addressing the root cause: lack of process.

How can you determine if your organization has a sales process? Simple. Can any salesperson look at any sales opportunity and identify what to do next: with no variation? If yes, you have a sales process.

By not following a true sales process, salespeople invest a significant amount of their time, and company resources, chasing opportunities that they will not close. Success is defined as winning the order, failure is losing the order. This is very discouraging and requires that the salesperson be continually motivated.

A properly designed sales process will ensure salespeople have visibility if they are not positioned to win. If changes can be made to improve their positioning – great! If changes can’t be reasonably made to improve their positioning, and they make the informed decision to disengage – that’s great too!

If salespeople consistently and non-emotionally apply a process, they will realize that when they get a “no”, that is simply an outcome of the process; it’s not rejection.

Provide your sales organization with a process and you won’t have to continually motivate them because of rejection.

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David Varner

David Varner: With a background in engineering, sales and global consulting, Dave brings a unique perspective to the sales training industry. This is evident in the workshops that Millau offers: simple to execute, based on data - not emotions - and produce immediate, measurable results. Dave is the co-author of the soon to be released books, The Sales Checklist and Not The Next Shiny Thing.