How to Motivate Your Sales Team
I get asked this all the time from sales leaders I work with: how do I motivate my team? They tell me the team seems demoralised and some of them might be looking for new jobs. What can I do?
I tell them to start by focusing on why their team and the company are important.
Sure lots of people are motivated by money, but what motivates people, even more, is working towards a common goal or a common mission. They need to know what they do matters and that they’re making a difference.
If you’re in insurance, making sure families have insurance so they don’t end up homeless if a family member gets sick is important! If you sell a CRM solution, saving people time and the frustration of losing data is important! If you’re in logistics, making sure supplies get to customers on time, is important! Everything everyone sells (mostly) is important. It makes a difference in someone’s life which is why that business exists in the first place. Make sure they remember that.
Always share testimonials from happy customers. If a customer drops you an email saying ‘Thanks for your help, I can now do x much faster which means less overtime and more time with my family,’ share that! Nothing makes someone feel better than knowing their product or service made a difference. This builds pride in employees.
Make sure every team member knows they’re helping the organisation. They need to know when they hit targets the company has more money to fund entry into a new market so they can help more people. When they get back to customers quickly, our referral rates go up. When they answer the phone with energy, complaints go down. Whatever it is, when they do their job well it results in a positive impact on them, their coworkers and the company. Share that with them.
Lastly, make sure you know what their ‘WHY’ is! You need to know what motivates them, so you can help them reach their goals, so they can help the company reach theirs.
Effective sales leaders are role models who embody the vision and mission of the company they work for while inspiring their team to reach their potential and sales targets.
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Build Trust Between You and Your Department
The first step to motivating your sales team is to establish mutual trust. There are hundreds of ways to build trust among your team, but the number one rule is that trust must be a two-way street: To get it, you need to give it. Nothing erodes confidence in a leader faster than when that leader is not living up to their promises, and nothing is possible without a trusting relationship.
Be sure to protect the trust you are able to establish because if you lose your team’s confidence for any reason, it’s a long road to get it back.
Set Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals
It is your responsibility to either come up with or help your sales team to create both long-term and short-term goals for themselves. Devising goals not only allows you and your staff to see where they stand objectively, but it has been shown that goals over a shorter timeframe have a tendency to improve performance and productivity in the long term.
This is why I recommend breaking larger annual or monthly goals into weekly or daily goals. And the goals don’t have to be around revenue, it could be around how many calls, emails or meetings they achieve.
The key to setting goals is to select those which deliver the optimal motivational bang. These kinds of goals are not readily achievable, yet not impossible to reach. If your staff are surpassing their goal every day, you may have to raise the bar a little, but, if they are falling short too often and growing frustrated, perhaps it is time to find out what’s not working.
Identify Issues to Reaching Set Goals
Assist your sales team members to determine precisely what is keeping them from reaching their work goals. When you have identified the issues, work together to find actionable solutions your sale reps can use to help them overcome these obstacles.
Not only is this a great way to help build trust, and allows for quick sales course sessions, but it encourages the team member to view you as not just a supervisor, but also a valuable resource. Set aside a time to speak with each of your sales reps each week to touch base and find out what’s working, what’s not and how you can help.
Foster a Team Environment
Working one-on-one with each sales rep in your department is important, but it’s equally important to hold weekly sales team meetings. Each week have a different focus, one week could be an objection handling session where everyone shares common objections they’re getting and the team can brainstorm ways to overcome them. You can also select a team member to share how they recently won a complicated or large deal.
By fostering a team environment, junior team members can learn from the more experienced, high performers get praised for their achievements and everyone shares and learns best practices from each other.
Share the Company’s Purpose and Get Everyone Working Towards a Common Goal
Studies show that people are more willing to work harder and longer when they share a common goal with their coworkers. As the team leader, it’s important to share the company’s mission and how your team plays an important part in reaching it.
Besides working towards upholding the company’s mission, give the team a group target they can collectively work towards so that everyone wins or gets rewarded when that target is met.
Reward Those Who Exceed
Of course, everyone likes to be recognized for doing a good job, but to become a great sales leader you need to know how best to reward each member of the team. Not everyone is motivated by the same things, and it may take a bit of sleuthing to discover the right reward for an individual.
Money is the ideal motivator for most people, but there are others who would rather have extra vacation time or a longer lunch break. If you are ever in doubt about the perfect reward for someone, try asking the team member what her or she prefers.
Also, never underestimate the power of a few kind words. Always remember to thank your staff when they do something well. It’s a little thing that can have a considerable impact.
Provide Opportunities for Development
Most people want to improve the way they perform their jobs. Giving your team members the chance to learn new skills and take on more responsibilities is a great way to motivate them. Whether your company offers formal training sessions or if you take it upon yourself to conduct informal training sessions, career development is not only good for the team member but also good for the entire sales team.