6 Tips to Motivate Your Sales Team During a Recession


"A good school teaches you resilience - that ability to bounce back." Kate Reardon

Bouncing back. It’s what we need to do during a recession. But in sales, we need to bounce back a lot faster to keep up sales momentum and continue generating business. Sales Managers need to provide leadership that helps keep their team’s heads up and their hearts engaged. Here are 6 tips to help guide your sales team through a recession.

Find good news and share.

Regardless of the media headlines, there are industries thriving and companies that are still doing business as usual. Salespeople are told ‘no’ often, so to keep attitudes leaning toward the positive, think about taking turns finding good news and sharing it with the team every Monday morning or at every sales meeting. This helps keep motivation levels higher and the focus on what IS possible.

Coach more.

Perhaps during the new hire process, you had one-on-ones more regularly with your sales team, but do you now? It’s important to stay in tune with your sales team to be the leader they need you to be. Take the time to reconnect with your team individually and as a group. Are they focused on the best-selling points? Have you practiced role-playing exercises to understand if they can identify a good prospect and close the right opportunities? Make time to refine the sales skills of your team so they’re performing at their best.

Integrate social media.

It’s always best to mix up how you sell. The good old-fashioned phone call still works, but is your team also using LinkedIn and other social media platforms to network with their prospects and clients? Have you thought about something new like creating a Facebook sales funnel? If your team needs sales training to help use social media tools effectively, schedule it. (We can help with that!)

Don’t act desperate.

It’s true, when the economy is robust, salespeople don’t always have the bestselling habits. They forget to ask for referrals as part of their process because business is strong and they’re busy. When times get tough, salespeople often try hard to make new best friends quickly. Instead of earning trust and building a relationship, they often sell hard and immediately ask for who you know and immediately want a meeting without qualifying. Prospects don’t often respond well to a hard sell and desperation.

Share best practices.

Usually your best sales reps are often too busy drumming up new business instead of sharing how they’ve been successful. Take this time to have them share what is working with the rest of your team, helping everyone replicate the sales process that’s working.

Recognize and reward accomplishments.

Motivating your team with recognition and rewards for accomplishments is the most effective way to keep things moving during a recession. Even if the reward cannot be tangible due to budget, a thank you note, certificate of recognition, or a pat on the back goes a long way when it comes to workplace motivation.


By implementing your own special combination of these strategies, you can enhance your sales teams’ attitude and day-to-day motivation. The most important thing to remember is that people and relationships need to be managed with care during a recession. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your sales team so you can stop the spread of fear and encourage positivity and teamwork. While you can’t control the economy, you can still exercise some influence over workplace motivation. Download our Guide to Recession Marketing 

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