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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Use Employee Training And Development To Improve Sales Motivation

How to Use Employee Training And Development To Improve Sales Motivation

It’s hard to recruit the right employees or find great people willing to invest time in their careers.

We’re facing a talent shortage, but it isn’t like employers are doing themselves any favors. A bad candidate experience mixed with a lack of feedback once hired leaves employees unmotivated and disconnected. Improving sales motivation is hard-earned but definitely worth it in the end.

A 2021 Gallup report found that over half of US employees were actively searching for a new job because they were disengaged. A revolving door of employees severely affects your ROI.

However, highly motivated employees are more productive, creative, and innovative. They’re also more likely to provide better customer service and improve their workplace culture as a whole. So when you find great employees, you have to keep them motivated and engaged.

Successfully Managing and Motivating a Multigenerational Sales Team

Offering training and development options that make your staff feel seen and valued is the best way to improve sales motivation.

Here’s how to implement these opportunities at your company.

How to Improve Sales Motivation via Training and Development

We know that training and development drive better results. Otherwise, you wouldn’t invest in it. But, you need to keep employees engaged if you want to see positive results after training.

Put Training Into Content

Employees want to know that they aren’t engaging in busy work or mundane tasks that have nothing to do with their jobs. When they feel something is pointless, they’ll feel disconnected from your company’s mission. Therefore, you should put training into context right away.

To make this possible, your training and development programs have to illuminate your organization’s missions and strategy. It needs to show how their development plays into the entire mechanism. Your employee’s goals should play a part in reaching yours and vice versa. 

When implementing a program, do the following:

  • Avoid Assumptions 

Not everyone is computer literate or needs extensive computer training, and assuming either can cause frustrations and arguments.

  • Find the Right Time

Everyone learns differently, so you must find what works for each individual. Catering to your audience will improve how they interpret information.

  • Ask Why It's Needed 

Simply ask why your staff needs to learn this information. When you know, you can pass it on to your learners, which improves sales motivation.

  • Provide Examples

Use examples of how the training will help employees in the real world. Show them exactly how your employees will use this new knowledge. 

  • Contextualize Continuously 

Don’t just show the programs needed at the beginning of the course. Constantly remind staff why they need this skill throughout the course.

Always remember to listen to your employees when preparing a training schedule. Listening to employee feedback will help you improve your training for current and potential staff members.

Invest in Employee Engagement and Recognition 

A positive workplace culture is built on personal relationships and recognition of your staff’s efforts. It’s also built on trust. If your employees don’t trust you, they won’t invest in any program you implement. In fact, they’ll often do so reluctantly, which won’t bring out the best in workers.

Reinforce Positive Behavior in the Workplace Through Employee Recognition

Employers can build a great culture by rewarding great work. They can use websites like successories.com to make custom gifts, which does more to improve sales motivation than generic gifts. However, some employees may prefer time off, raises, or hand-written notes.

As a leader, it’s your job to host team-building activities, compensate employees fairly for their work, and prioritize their work/life balance. You should also promote within instead of hiring.

Remember that the goal of employee training and development is to make your staff feel wanted and cared for. It’s not a good idea to show your compassion only when necessary, or it’ll come off as hollow. True sales motivation can only come from an always-engaged culture.

Find Ways to Motivate Employees to Engage With Training 

We want to avoid uninteresting or boring training policies because it’ll kill sales motivation. With that said, what one employee finds enriching will be excruciating for another, so don’t forget to listen to what everyone wants. Ask employees directly how they want to be and stay motivated.

Here are some ways to motivate employees to engage in training:

  • Adopt a learning management system 
  • Employee gamification strategies
  • Offer regular feedback and quick wins
  • Keep the course simple and short
  • Link a difficult task with rewards
  • Create a social support network 
  • Schedule polite/friendly reminders

Although negative reinforcement seems like a good idea, you should avoid penalties at all costs. 

According to clinical psychologists, positive reinforcement is long-lasting and is more effective at changing human behavior. Negative reinforcement does change behavior, but only for a short period of time. However, the want or need to perform the negative behavior never changes

If employees don’t want to engage in training, simply explain that if they don’t, they can’t be considered for promotions because they don’t have the skills needed for these positions. Or, you can show they’ll be rewarded for their efforts via gifts, time off, or anything else they’d like.

Improve Workflow Through Individualized Training

Once you’ve gotten to this step, you should have a group of employees willing to invest in training and development. Now, your efforts will be used to keep that motivation high. 

A smooth workflow is one way to make employees more productive because it helps them get more work done in a shorter time frame. Employees who know what’s happening and what’s next will be able to prepare, which achieves a greater output without needing new hires.

Above all else, an efficient workflow can reduce employee frustration. Employees typically become frustrated because a task is too easy or too difficult, but a schedule can increase the difficulty of each task gradually. This system improves morale and increases sales performance.

With that said, the most effective workflows are individualized. You must print out workflows that benefit the person using it, as they’ll be able to follow them without becoming aggravated.

Offer Training That Helps With Career Development or Advancement

All employees have specific career goals they would prefer to be met at their current workplace. However, some employers are scared that if they offer skills that improve their hireability, they’ll leave. In reality, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they helped them learn.

For this reason, employee training and development programs should help employees complete their necessary duties and provide extra education that extends their work abilities.

Here are some examples of career development training you can use in your workplace:

  • Enrollment in workshops, courses, and degree programs 
  • Mentoring and coaching seminars that offer cross-training
  • Improving job performance by adding needed technology

In summary, if you want to increase sales motivation, you have to improve sales-based skills. 

Retain and Grow Top Performers with a Development Plan

Blend Training With Personal Growth

Since we spend so much time at work, we’re bound to experience personal development before we leave. However, employers can foster personal growth by focusing on employee wellness.

That means discouraging overtime, opting for flexible work hours, and encouraging exercise. One study found that workplace exercise improves well-being and a 72% improvement in time management and workload completed. It also means taking breaks during training sessions. 

Remember that sales staff often work long hours and spend little time pursuing personal goals. If you encourage employees to relax or spend time with their hobbies, you’ll see an instant improvement in sales motivation. In turn, you’ll notice happier and healthier employees.

Tailor Training to Individualized Needs

At this point, we’ve stressed considerably how important individualized training can be for employees. At the Center for Sales Strategy, we believe that employees benefit more from training and development policies that fit an individual's needs rather than the entire collective.

Because when you focus on the individual, you’re actually aiding the collective. If you truly want to make your employees work hard, you need to make everyone feel unique and valued. 

To learn more about your staff’s needs, keep an open line of dialogue. Conduct performance reviews monthly and ask employees questions about what you can do for them. Then, you can create training and development workflows that are specific and valuable to each person.


If you’re noticing a dip in sales motivation, consider implementing an engaging, valuable, and goal-focused training and development process. Valuable training leads to motivated staff, less burnout, and happier employees, which lowers your turnover rate and recruitment spending.

With that said, employers must take a holistic approach to their workplace culture if they want to see long-lasting progress. But when it comes to training, an individualized approach is best.

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Topics: sales training employee development sales motivation