How to motivate a sales team?
Are you challenged with how to motivate your sales team? Have you run out of ideas? Are you seeking a few ideas on how to keep your sales team motivated, positive, and productive? Here are a few tips on how to motivate your salespeople. These tips may be obvious but are sometimes overlooked.
Start with the work environment. Are they sitting in a tiny cubicle? Do they have enough elbow room to move? Do they feel like cattle? How about the light condition? Is there any natural light or is it all artificial light? Believe it or not, but the working conditions will have a significant impact on salespeople moral. The workplace must be designed to facilitate interpersonal relationships between employees. A positive work environment makes employees feel good about coming to work, and this provides the motivation to sustain them throughout the day.
Know Your Sales Team
Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor says it perfectly, “get to know your people personally and professionally”. Learn about their goals, dreams, aspirations. And help them achieve them. If your team knows and feels you care about them, they will perform beyond expectation.
Sale people are individuals, not one team. They should be treated, recognized, and praised for outstanding performance as an individual.
Expose to Leadership
As salespeople grow, it is very important to introduce them to other members of the leadership team. For example, each time a salesperson achieves a milestone, their name should be mentioned during weekly/monthly update status reports with executive management. The more their name is mentioned, the more they are known for their accomplishments and increases their reputation within the company.
Education is especially important to development for salespeople. Always let sales people participate in training session and sales meeting. If they are invited to attend a meeting, they will feel like they are connected to the company.
I know this tip might be challenging, but when a salesperson has input on their sales quota, they are more likely to achieve it. They negotiated the quota and accepted it. Now they feel obligated to achieve it. Salespeople who have no input have a tendency to debate an assigned quota. The psychology of not having any input puts a rep on edge becomes bitter toward their boss.
Nothing more aggravating to a sales rep is the lack of communication from their leader. For example, a rep may spend 30 minutes or 3 hours to complete a weekly report. Providing feedback is important in keeping up the moral of a salesperson. If a rep never receives any feedback, they feel the work they put into the report becomes unappreciated.
Feedback can be as simple as saying “ great activity…thank you for being very thorough with your analysis…congratulations on closing xyz…or a very simple comment…your performance is outstanding, I see a bright future for you at XYZ”.
Salespeople are motivated in different ways. Consider having one-on-ones and ask them what motivates them? Some reps are motivated by awards while others reps prefer gift cards or trips. Once you understand what motivates your reps, you can use it to increase their performance. In this article, I wrote “How to increase sales productivity“.
How to empower your sales reps? Start by letting your reps figure out a problem on their own. How many times has a rep walked into your office to ask you how to solve a problem. And your instinct is to provide them with the answer. Next time, challenge them to come up with a solution and present the idea to you. This will give you the opportunity to ask the rep questions. The rep will realize they worked out the problem and become confident in their decision-making process. They will feel empowered.
Lead by Example
And finally, lead by example. If you come into the office with a positive attitude, no matter how difficult your job may be, your reps will pick up on your body language. If you are prompt for all the sales meetings, your reps will respect your work ethic, and follow suit.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to motivate your sales team. All you need to do is create a positive working environment. Care for your sales team personally and professionally. Each rep should be evaluated as an individual and treated as such. Invite reps into meetings to keep open the communication channel. Encourage sales reps to work out problems on their own. Don’t deny reps from seeking additional training and development. Understand the power of personal motivation – awards or monetary gifts. If you create a collaborative workplace that fosters teamwork, and your team feels that you care about them, they will be motivated to exceed any performance metric in place. These tips may be very obvious but are often overlooked.