Motivation is always essential across all of the departments of your company. However, we can probably all agree that it is most critical for your sales team to be constantly hyped up and ready for battle. After all, in their motivation lies a huge percentage of our bottom line.
Hence, there is no wonder why sales heads really make a huge effort into motivating their team to increase their performance. We’re talking about all-expense-paid holiday vacations, jaw-dropping commissions; some even put actual vehicles and properties up for grabs.
Unfortunately, motivation is not something that can easily be bought, even by these big incentives. In fact, there are even times when these perks become counter-productive in maintaining the mental well-being and drive of your salespeople.
Thus, in this article, allow us to show you alternative ways of motivating your sales team. Here they are:
1. Set Smart Goals
There’s nothing more stressful for a salesperson than scrambling at the last moment to hit the monthly sales goal. After all, we can all only do so much to influence our consumers’ purchase decisions. We can never control the results.
Hence, wouldn’t it be better to set goals that are based on key sales performance metrics instead of just the resulting numbers? For instance, you might want to focus your goals this month on increasing the quality of your calls instead of counting who made the most of them.
2. Use Recognition to Your Advantage
Here’s a tip that can increase your employee productivity as well. Use recognition to your advantage. Don’t just reward those with the highest sales numbers. Instead, use it to encourage good practices such as hard work amidst struggles and camaraderie despite challenges.
Compensate strategically as well. Don’t just focus on what’s big and flashy. Take the particular needs and wants of your sales team into account. For instance, younger employees tend to appreciate experiences better (such as travel and spa weekends) while older employees tend to favor more family-oriented types of perks such as child care assistance and additional vacation time.
3. Establish a Culture of Trust
In relation to the previous tips, you should also value and reward teamwork and trust. This is especially true for those with sales teams that are constantly encouraged to compete. Keep in mind that while this practice can drive results, it can also impact long-term goals. For instance, there are a lot of sales goals that would require multiple teams to share their research and leads with each other. This is simply not possible for teams that lack the foundation of trust.
You must also deliver your share of the bargain. Are you thinking about making significant changes to your sales process? Consult with your teams first. Genuinely take their feedback into account. You might even need to share valuable information from time to time, especially if it’s going to impact the efficiency of your employees.
Finally, trust goes beyond just transparency and sharing of resources. Instead, it is a meaningful professional bond that is built on effective communication and success in joint efforts.
4. Allow Flexibility and Autonomy
Giving your salespeople autonomy is another effective way to show your trust. We understand how we can be controlling at times as sales managers. In the end, though, we must learn how to present our goals as the destination and trust our employees enough to allow them to find their path on their own.
You might want to consider more flexibility as well, especially in work locations and schedules. As an added benefit, this may also allow your team members to be more accommodating to potential customers. After all, they will have the freedom to set appointments outside the usual work hours and even search for leads during their off-hours from the comforts of their own home.
5. Equip Your Team with the Right Tools
Another thing that can significantly demotivate salespeople is the lack of ability and equipment. It can be easy to underestimate the discrete skills used to convert leads to paying customers. The problem is, refining these skills without adequate training will take some time to learn. It certainly won’t hurt to help your salespeople out by incorporating such skills and techniques into your training programs as well.
Equip your team with their needed tools as well. There are a lot of online platforms that can make your salespeople’s work faster, easier, and more convenient. For instance, there are CRM programs like those by Hubspot or Zoho that combine sales, communication, and customer retention features in one dashboard. We particularly recommend software that has strong automation, data analytics, and reporting attributes as well.
These can help free your salespeople from the burden of menial and repetitive tasks, giving them more time on what’s important: closing their sales.
6. Be More Accessible
There are certain circumstances that go beyond your employee’s training and capacity. They can also have limited access to the tools they need at times. Whenever this happens, your team will need more than just training and high-tech platforms. Instead, they will need your opinion and guidance. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to provide that if you’re not that accessible yourself.
Now, we’re not saying to make yourself available 24/7. You deserve a proper work-life balance just as much as your employees do, after all.
However, it won’t hurt to actually set aside some time for your sales teams to contact you. You must also set up communication systems that will allow your employees to reach out to you both publicly and in confidence.
Do you have established communication platforms already? Then maybe the problem lies not in inaccessibility but in your demeanor. Learn how to smile. Be a little bit more generous in giving encouraging words. Establish a friendly yet professional relationship with your employees, enough to make them feel that it’s okay to seek your help when needed.
7. Improve Your Hiring Procedures
Another main reason why salespeople, and employees in general, can get demotivated is when they realize that they’re not fit for the job. Suppose an applicant really has the potential to make it big in sales, but he simply doesn’t have the patience to write all those reports. Meanwhile, you have another employee who only went into sales expecting a big commission without fully understanding the effort that goes into it.
Such issues and inconsistencies can significantly be reduced with more detailed job descriptions and interviews.
Finding the right talent can take time, but believe us when we tell you that they are out there. The benefits that your salespeople will experience from working with people who enjoy the hustle as much as they do will also pay off in the long run.
8. Learn How to Say “Thank You”
Finally, motivating your sales team can be as simple as learning how to say thank you. More than handsome rewards, commissions, and extra perks, your salespeople just want to be recognized through sincere gratitude.
You’ll be surprised at how such a simple step can do wonders for their motivation and job satisfaction.
By the way, these are not the only steps that you can do to increase the motivation of your employees. These are simply the ones we have already tried and tested ourselves. Good luck!