What to Do When You Have a Demotivated Sales Rep

According to Career Trend, job satisfaction goes beyond receiving a fat paycheck on a regular basis. It is, therefore, no surprise for employees to be disgruntled over matters that are not related to their pay. Unfortunately, a dip in the morale of sale reps affects their performance, and consequently your returns, irrespective of the cause.

We highlighted compensation-related ways on how to really motivate salespeople not so long ago. Today, we continue this discussion by giving you research-backed action plans you can implement to make sure that your sales team remains fired up to sell.  

For starters, undertake an in-depth root cause analysis with the help of your line managers. This can be done by undertaking a survey or one-on-one interviews with your reps. However, select the managers who will handle this exercise carefully and avoid untrustworthy individuals who will only derail you.  

As you carry out these interviews listen to the pain points of your employees and be keen to do the following: 

1. Get rid of unhealthy managerial habits  

It is not uncommon for employees to develop a sense of mistrust towards their employers especially if they are micromanaged by their immediate bosses. As Harvard Business Review’s Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay writes, micromanagement is a key contributor to employee disengagement and often leads to underperformance.  

In this case, consider training your line managers on healthy managerial tactics that give frontline staff the freedom to work with unnecessary interference. You can even consider reshuffling the leadership of your sales teams, especially, if managers have held same positions for long. 

2. Review your communication strategy 

According to Forbes, rumors thrive where there is a deficiency of credible information. If the top leadership doesn’t provide proper guidance, then employees will be left guessing what to do. In such a situation, salespeople are likely to lack confidence in the senior management of the organization. This has a negative impact on their attitude towards work and their performance. 

If your business is in this situation, then you need to act fast and establish a robust chain of command on how information flows from top-leaders to junior staff. Seek to nurture and establish a culture of openness in your institution. Strengthen this practice by providing timely and accurate information to your salespeople. 

3. Foster collaboration among business units 

If you realize that salespeople are being frustrated by support teams such as back office staff, consider reorganizing the way the units interact. Do not allow organizational bureaucracy to creep in your company as it will hamper its growth. This is according to Gary Hamel in his article on why bureaucracy must die. Instead, re-engineer your operations to make them customer-centric. This influences all business units to work seamlessly to achieve fast and quality services to clients. 

4. Create a conducive work environment 

One of the things that motivate sales reps to sell more is working in a friendly environment. So, if your employees are complaining about unpleasant colleagues, consider reviewing your recruitment strategy. Your target should be getting employees that naturally fit in your organization. You may need to make a deliberate move to manage any staff that aren’t good team players to prevent them from poisoning their focused colleagues.  


Lack of motivation in sales employees can result from different factors. However, whether it’s related to their compensation, work burnout, or personal issues, proper management of the situation enables them to get back to their selling routine immediately. Use the above ideas to keep your sales reps motivated and enjoy a better sales turnover.