Keeping your sales team motivated is one of the most important aspects of ensuring long-term results.
There’s no doubt that sales representatives stand on the front lines of business, and it’s integral that these people do not waver in the face of hardship or demanding targets.
If you’re struggling to keep your sales team motivated, which can happen occasionally with self-employed sales jobs, here are a few pointers for giving your team that extra boost when they need it most:
Recognise the key players
Ensuring that your team’s achievements are recognised by both management and their co-workers is a great way of ensuring that morale stays healthy.
Whether you mention it in a weekly meeting, or offer small gifts or rewards for doing well, there’s no doubt that recognition and reward is key for keeping your team together.
Try not to focus your attention on a select few – even if a person is not one of the top performers, if their work has improved recently, it’s always nice to recognise the small things.
Get with the team
There’s often nothing more motivating than having management work alongside you, which is why it’s sometimes important for bosses to roll up their sleeves and get in on the work with staff.
If the sales team is on first name terms with some of the highest and most important members of management, it affords a great opportunity for a lucrative atmosphere.
Even if they, or you, spend just ten to 20 minutes a day on the phones, it can offer a definite morale boost to any team.
Create smart prizes
Prizes are often a great way to reward your hardest workers, but as mentioned before, it doesn’t always get your core team involved.
By creating prizes that are winnable by all, (studies have shown positive reactions by the handicapping of certain contestants based on prior performances/wins), you can create an exciting atmosphere that sets the entire team up for winning.
Just remember that everyone needs to go home satisfied.
Studies have shown that gifts (non-cash prizes) offered as lower-level prizes can be seen as equal to top-level prizes and can produce a beneficial reaction in the workplace.
So a weekend getaway for core performers can be valued as much as a cash reward offered for the bigger sales prizes.
Just ensure that the rewards for the core performers aren’t seen as lower value as the prizes for the top level guys – tickets to a mid-season championship football game is a little bit different to a £1000 cash reward.
Invest in a little extra coaching
No one likes the idea of expenditure, but when it comes to your sales team, you can afford to spend a little extra time and money if you think that you’ll get a decent return by coaching them.
Scott Edinger, writing for Forbes, says that:
“A startling number of sales managers have been promoted solely on the basis of being stellar representatives.
“Without management guidance these managers frequently think that coaching is all about telling team members what they need to do—and most of the time that consists of what they used to do.
“The best coaches work with their people to understand the current issues and jointly diagnose what is working and what is not as they develop an action plan to achieve sales objectives.”
Edinger goes on to state that coaching a sales team should also focus on the practical and tactical elements of the job, as well as the bigger picture as a whole.
By aligning sales actions with goals, it is easier to understand the processes that are involved with the building of a sale, and as a result, you can effectively manage the team with a clear perspective of what is going on.
What’s more, it’s always important to remember that a great coach or leader is someone who can give correction without causing resentment amongst the team.
Celebrate the good times
There’s nothing worse than being led to success, only to get fobbed off once you are there.
Many of us have worked in environments where great things are achieved, but not rewarded, and short of not actually paying staff, there’s nothing more demoralising than that.
Whether it’s buying a round of drinks on a Friday evening or sending an email of thanks to the team, acknowledging hard work is always the way to go.
Some sales managers request that the CEOs take their teams out to lunch occasionally, or set up fun afternoons at the end of the month, and there can often be nothing more inspiring than seeing business owners showing their appreciation for staff.