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What Sales Leaders Can Learn About Motivation from Pep Guardiola

Apr 01, 2020 Red Flag Alert Updated On: May 10, 2023
What Sales Leaders Can Learn About Motivation from Pep Guardiola

Having a motivated team can lead to higher levels of performance. Motivated employees are more committed, work harder, and are more likely to reach their goals than non-motivated ones.  

Keeping a team motivated isn’t easy. All teams have employees who aren’t as enthusiastic as they should be. This can be influenced by a range of factors both inside and outside the workplace. 

However, when multiple members of a team begin to lose motivation, it can suggest that something is wrong on a deeper level.

Sales is renowned for poor motivation, high absenteeism and massive staff turnover. To develop a well-functioning team, you need to understand motivation.

If there’s one person who knows the importance of a motivated team, it’s Pep Guardiola along with a few other Premier League Managers

As one of the most successful football managers of recent times and someone known for introducing previously unheard-of ideas to his players, the current Manchester City manager is an expert at motivating his team.

This has brought success and a trophy haul that is unrivalled in modern football.

He is also known for spending short but intense periods at the clubs he manages. He has spoken about how one of the reasons for this is because he worries that, after a while, players burn out, becoming less motivated, less willing to take on his new ideas, and ultimately less likely to succeed.

He went as far as to say in one of his biographies (via The Athletic) that:

“You look into your players’ eyes and it’s a bit like looking at a lover. Either you see passion and a willingness to be seduced – or you watch as the passion ebbs away.”

Unfortunately, as a sales leader, you can’t just walk away when your team begins to lose motivation. But we can still learn from some of Pep’s strategies; here are three takeaways sales managers can learn from him about motivation.

Pep Guardiola on Team Spirit

“I need time, but as soon as possible, we are going to try to create team spirit. That is the most important thing. After that, you can create tactics, but we have to create something special with ourselves.”

Having a positive working environment is key to having a motivated team. If your employees don’t enjoy their time in the office – or worse, fear the time they spend at work – they aren’t going to operate at an optimum level. 

There are many ways that sales managers can create a good team spirit. Celebrating even small achievements or showing recognition for a job well done can do wonders for boosting morale within the team. 

 A while back, we wrote about how spreading out good leads between sales reps can be a quick mood booster for new employees, and an easy win for employees who need one. By making sure lead distribution is fair for all employees, you can create a real sense of being ‘in it as a team’.

Pep Guardiola on Convincing Players His Way Is the Best Way

“Our job is to convince guys that our way is the best way to cross the road. The tactics and training and facilities are important, but I still have to convince them.”

When you introduce as many new ideas as Pep Guardiola, you know how important it is that your team backs what you are doing. This is how he encouraged Sergio Aguero – one of the Premier League’s most fearsome strikers – to run more to help the team, even if it wasn’t a natural part of his game.

Likewise, it’s important to ensure that your sales team understands why you are doing the things you are asking them to do.

If you have experienced past successes with your methods, show the team so they can see it works. If you are bringing in new methods, explain why you think they will work. A team that understands why you are doing something is more likely to believe in it and get fully on board.

For example, a sales leader who wants to start using Red Flag Alert data to power their sales team  (hint: a very good strategy) could point their team to the fact that Power Solutions UK was able to increase their sales conversion by 123% by using the data. 

Pep Guardiola on Staying Motivated After Success

“It’s natural for players to be relaxed, so you have to be there to say ‘You have to do it again and again’.”

It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s just as important to push already high-performing teams to keep striving for success as it is to push lesser teams to get better results. 

This is all about knowing the salesperson. Some will respond to a break, while others need a fresh challenge. The most important thing is to find out what keeps motivation levels high and strive to create that environment.

Perhaps the most important thing to do as a leader is to lead by example and show that you aren’t letting up, despite your achievements. Continue to set high goals and show your team that you won’t tolerate a drop in ‘work ethic’. 

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Published by Red Flag Alert April 1, 2020

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