Posted on Friday January 28, 2022 at 06:37:12 PM
It’s no secret that a motivated sales team is an effective sales team. A healthy bottom line is key to the success of any organization, but maintaining motivation can be difficult. Sales is a tough industry to be in and it’s no secret that rejection is an almost daily occurrence. This constant rejection can take its toll on even the most seasoned sales professional. So, what can you as the manager or team leader do to positively influence your team’s motivation?
One of the most important things your team needs to have is trust in their manager. If they don’t feel you’ve got their best interests at heart they’ll struggle to see the point in pushing through the rejection. Having an open and honest conversation at the start of the relationship about their goals and things they find challenging is an excellent way to get things going on the right note. The more your team trusts you, the more comfortable they’ll feel coming to you with any challenges, allowing you to act as their confidant and share your wisdom.
Give positive and negative feedback
While providing honest feedback is an important aspect of managing a sales team, if you’re constantly only focusing on the negative it’ll wear your team down and they’ll lose motivation. Try to deliver genuine positive feedback alongside the learning points to soften the blow. One great way of doing this is to celebrate small milestones as well as big ones - for example, if a new team member made their first sales call. Another excellent way to provide positive feedback that isn’t necessarily related to outputs is by having an appreciation day or appreciation awards - use it as a way to say thank you to a team member who constantly contributes in a positive way. If your team sees you focusing on the positive and the negative they’ll know that the constructive feedback you give is just that, constructive, so will be more receptive to making changes.
Focus on activity instead of results
Very often we focus on the results sales teams bring to the wider company. By doing this we fail to recognize all the hard work that’s gone before which may not have yielded any results. Unfortunately, even the best salespeople aren't able to control the outcome of their inputs so by flipping the script and focusing on the things within their control you’re able to keep motivation high. Encourage your team to develop their daily and weekly schedule around inputs such as sales calls, emails, and meetings. This puts them back in the driving seat, which in turn helps with motivation.
Find out what motivates them
Most people in the sales industry enter because they’re motivated by money, but as they progress in both their personal and professional lives this is likely to change. Get to know your team as individuals to find out what motivates them besides money. Perhaps they have a family and want to provide a better life for their kids. It could be that they have an unreliable car and so are working towards buying a new, more reliable model. Maybe they’re coming up to an important milestone with their significant other and want to go all out celebrating it. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand their deeper goals to keep motivation high.
One of the most important skills you need to manage a sales team effectively is good communication. Keeping an open flow of communication is an excellent way of motivating staff as they will feel comfortable coming to you with challenges. If you can help them through dry patches you’ll have a more effective team on your hands. Remember though, open-door policies go both ways so be prepared to accept feedback too. Very often people need someone to vent to and if you can be that person for your team you’ll be able to develop a solid relationship based on trust. As we touched on in point 1, the more your team trusts you the easier it is to motivate them.
Motivating a team is certainly not easy, especially in a competitive industry such as sales. Use these tips and techniques to keep motivation high and get the best from your team.