One of the biggest challenges for sales managers is to constantly motivate their teams. But it's also one of their most important tasks: a highly motivated team is key to hitting sales targets.
It’s not always easy to keep sales teams motivated because sales is not a walk in the park. The selling process can be a long and tedious process at times. And salespeople also have to contend with rejection from time to time, and it takes a highly motivated person to bounce back from a loss.
The sales manager or supervisor should be equipped with tools and knowledge to keep his/her team highly motivated so they continually hit targets and quotas. How exactly does he/she do that?
Here are seven strategies for keeping a sales team highly motivated:
1. Set the right goals
Goal-setting is very important. It gives the team direction and focus. It gives them something to work for. But setting goals should be a well-thought-out process. You have to set the right goals for your team.
Make sure the goals are challenging yet achievable. One thing you can do to keep the team’s focus is to break down goals. You have an annual sales target, yes, but break that down further to quarterly, monthly, or even weekly targets. This way, not only do the goals seem more manageable for the teams, they can also experience small wins each time they hit their monthly goal, for example. The small wins are good for their morale. Besides, the small (monthly goal) wins will add up and lead to the big (annual goal) win.
This also helps avoid the risk of playing “catch up” when the year is almost over and sales are nowhere near the target.
2. Understand what motivates the team
What drives your team members? What keeps them motivated? Is it the thrill of a sale? Is it a good challenge? The commission they get for every sale? Being able to provide for their families? Is it something more long-term, like a job promotion?
It would be easy to assume that your sales reps are just doing it for the money, but that may not always be the case. Knowing what drives your team members gives you a better understanding of who they are. It also gives you an idea on the best approach when trying to push them to work harder or do better.
3. Show them their worth in the company
Employees will work better if they have a sense of purpose. They have to know that what they do is not just part of their job description, it serves a bigger purpose: it contributes to the company’s growth and success.
This gives employees a sense of pride in their work as well, and they feel more invested in what they do. It’s not just a job, it’s a professional mission.
Make them part of management’s decision-making or planning processes. Get feedback and suggestions. Involve them in any strategic movements. Make them feel like their input is valuable to what the company is trying to achieve.
4. Set them up for success
Does your team have the tools to succeed? From training to actual tools (gadgets and technology), make sure your sales reps have been set up for success.
Make certain that they are fully trained before they set out on their own. They should also still receive proper support from mentors and be given coaching when needed. Mentorship should be a thrust of management.
Provide them with the tools they need to do the work. A smartphone, a tablet or laptop, fast Internet, and a highly intelligent and reliable CRM are just some of the things they need so they can work efficiently and effectively.
5. Encourage healthy competition
Almost everyone has a competitive streak and everyone enjoys rewards and prizes. So why not create company exercises that encourage healthy competition? One way is to run contests, with sales reps or teams of sales reps competing against each other.
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification’s basic elements (competition and prizes) are great motivational tools for sales reps. Studies have shown that 71% of companies implementing sales gamification tools reported between 11% to 50% increases in measured sales performance.
Know more about gamification here.
6. Establish trust
We listen to people we like and trust. That's human nature. If sales managers want their sales reps to listen to them, they have to establish trust between them and their people.
How? Be honest and transparent in all your dealings with them. Be generous with your time and mentorship. Recognize their efforts. Admit mistakes if you make them. Be professional yet kind. Kindness is an oft-overlooked trait in business, but it’s a great foundation for building trust.
7. Recognize wins, big and small
Everyone loves to be recognized for their efforts. In fact, public recognition is a strong motivating factor for many employees.
Wins don’t always have to be about hitting sales targets. Small wins—an email campaign that generated a high click-through rate, a sales rep who closed his first deal, a positive response from a long unresponsive client—deserve to be recognized as well. Make sure you recognize and celebrate every win, big or small.
If you’re able, reward the victors too. Rewards don’t have to be strictly monetary. You can give paid vacation leaves, gift certificates, or even just a simple plaque or certificate of appreciation.
What’s important is that you show your employees your genuine appreciation—and give them a reason to continue the good work they do.
Photos by rawpixel.com from Pexels