5 Sales Morale Diseases, And How to Prevent Them

Learn five common sales morale diseases that affect sales productivity, and how to prevent them.

April 11, 2014


Poor morale is a disease that directly affects the sales productivity of any team. It slowly eats away at all the good qualities like energy, enthusiasm, persistence and motivation. Poor morale can make retaining your best reps and recruiting top talent a constant struggle.

But poor morale is not a death sentence.

Morale can be improved, and when it improves, the good qualities are free to flourish again. When salespeople are happy, they reach out to prospects more often and make better connections – the same activities that increase sales productivity.

So go on and get healthy by learning how to prevent these 5 common sales morale sicknesses.


What it is
Frequent meetings, especially if you don’t have anything new to share, will frustrate the productive members of your team. They’d rather use this time to make connections, set appointments, meet with prospects, manage their pipeline and create the contracts and presentations that help them exceed quota. Time spent away from selling activities impacts your team’s ability to meet sales goals and earn income.

How to prevent it
Keep meetings to a minimum so your team has time to do what you ultimately expect of them: make sales.

Try holding an hour-long meeting only once every two weeks. Use this meeting to communicate the new product features, opportunities and client messaging strategies that will lead to more sales. Keep it fresh by including guest speakers who empower your sales team, such as motivational speakers, successful team members, product managers, marketing directors or your C-suite. 

Personalize your forecast meetings by making them individual sessions and only as long as they need to be. Struggling reps may need – and may also appreciate – more personal time than your seasoned, successful veterans.


What it is
Adaptophobia strikes when necessary changes that will benefit the sales team either don’t happen or are too slow in catching on. Adaptophobia has a few symptoms:

  • Sales teams are reliant on old-school, ineffective tactics like cold calling and pavement pounding
  • Sales reps don’t know what to do, when to do it, or when they have done it right
  • Sales reps avoid complex, larger sales opportunities because of unnecessary barriers or unclear methodologies
  • Sales reps have helpful suggestions that aren’t heard or acted upon

How to prevent it
Furnishing your team with effective selling solutions and insight is the first step for squashing adaptophobia and driving sales productivity.

Next, make sure your sales methodology enables accurate forecasting so that sales reps understand pipeline management and the strategies for moving buyers from one stage to the next.

Finally, sales reps are your best source for real-world feedback. You don’t need to act on every suggestion – and you probably shouldn’t – but you should lean on them and encourage feedback to continuously evolve your overall sales process.  

Compensation Plan Plague

What it is
Your best salespeople are intelligent, persistent and serious about improving their skillset. And yes, serious about making money.

Poorly crafted compensation plans that do not provide a crystal clear understanding of how to make money are the culprit. When this happens, your sales team will focus on the negative points of the compensation plan instead of strategizing ways to exceed quota.

How to prevent it
To drive sales productivity, your compensation plan should be simple to understand and, equally important, fair.

Nothing de-motivates a sales team like injustice, so listen up and act swiftly if a sales rep feels cheated and the complaint is valid. Paying commissions quickly and consistently will drive the selling behaviors needed to achieve overall team goals.

When compensation plans are clear, workable and fair, good sales reps will drive company revenue and maximize their earnings simultaneously.


What it is
This one isn’t hard to figure out. If you are trying to perform a task without given the proper know-how, it’s only a matter of time before you become dejected. And it’s not just about sound training at the outset. Sales reps need ongoing training, too. Even the best athletes can get into a funk – it’s no different for sales reps.

How to prevent it
The best way to stay ahead is to create a plan for continuous learning and improvement. The sales environment is changing rapidly, and what works today is far from guaranteed to work tomorrow.

Establish the proper feedback loops to quickly spot trouble areas and help when needed. For example, the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Usage Reporting Dashboard provides trend graphs that help you monitor the adoption of best practices and identify red flags proactively.

You can also use individual reporting to see which reps are excelling and which reps need more training. Also, try bringing in a professional trainer occasionally to provide a unique perspective and to show your team you are committed to their professional success.


What it is
Selling requires focus and drive. Team infighting only adds stress, taking the focus away from goals.

No one wants to work in a taxing environment, or with hostile, me-first colleagues.

How to prevent it
Do everything to give your sales reps what they want: a positive, uplifting workplace.

If you have a disruptive “team” member, create a clear action plan for improvement and then remove this person if the behavior doesn’t change. Getting rid of a top producer can be tough. But if this person wreaks havoc on the team environment, your decision will improve overall morale, which will eventually lead to increased sales.

Plus, this will show that you care more about creating a positive environment for the whole team as opposed to the revenue contributions of one person.

Sales productivity is easier in a positive, fair, team-centric environment.

Have you experienced any of the Sales Morale Diseases we charted above? If so, how did you medicate and get back on track?