There's one vital truth every sales manager knows: A motivated sales team is a successful sales team.But sometimes motivation flags and the team hits a rough patch. It might be a case of the post-vacation blues, the March muddles or the mid-summer humdrums. You may never know what causes a flag in productivity, all you have to know is that it's up to you to re-invigorate and motivate your team.
Here are 6 ways to motivate your sales team and get them back to running at full tilt.
The foundation of any healthy relationship is trust, and this is no less true of the manager/employee dynamic. We already know that people who are invested in their work are more productive and more likely to succeed. (In fact, according to one study, they are 12% happier) The manager who sets a tone of mutual respect and trust is more likely to keep the team moving forward than one who focuses solely on metrics and outcomes.
In order for your team to succeed they have to feel that you have their best interest at heart, and that you are open to hearing about both their challenges and goals. Nurturing an environment based on transparency is vital to building the two-way bond of trust and engagement.
It's one thing to train a new hire, but in order to keep your team upbeat and closing, you need to always be providing new resources for them to deepen their skills.
And while sometimes that might manifest as additional training, don't forget that the depth of your knowledge and experience is a vital source of information. Spend one-on-one with your reps: schedule time to listen in on calls, provide the opportunity for them to sound off with their questions, problems, stumbling blocks.
There's another benefit of spending time individually with your reps; not only are you building rapport, you're also sending the very strong signal that you are personally invested in their success.
Set Clear Expectations
Always make sure that your team understands what you want of them. Closing deals might be the obvious goal, but have you set clear objectives? The last thing you want is a team that consistently falls short of their quota.
And more importantly, are the objectives attainable? Have you made certain that your sales reps know what is expected of them?
It's one thing to set a quota, but if your expectations are based on out-dated metrics, or don't account for a change in the market, then you are setting your team up to fail.
Give Regular, Actionable Feedback
Regularly scheduled reviews (bi/tri/annually) providing ongoing feedback.
Make yourself available on a regular basis. It's important to create an environment where feedback is part of the daily/weekly process.
And most importantly, framing that feedback in a positive light, as an opportunity for growth and providing actionable items leads to trust and ultimately to better employee performance.
Reward Successes Large & Small
Even the most self-disciplined and talented salesperson needs to know that they are valued. Celebrate milestones and victories, both large and small.
The "No news is good news" axiom is not one you want to follow when it comes to managing your team.
Be certain to recognize those small daily victories that might not lead directly to closing a deal, but rather that add forward momentum. Everyone wants to feel appreciated - a pat on the back should not be conditional on closing a deal.
Manage the Individual
Every manager has a style, and hopefully you made yours clear during the hiring process.
Understanding what drives an individual is key to motivating them. And the best way you can form that understanding is by getting to know them. Some key preferences you may want to know are:
- What do they want to accomplish?
- What pace of feedback do they respond best to: daily/weekly/monthly?
- How do they like to receive feedback: publicly/privately? In person/via email?
- What motives them?
- What is the surest way to squash their motivation?
Keeping your sales team inspired and motivated is about finding out what drives them, as individuals and as a collective. Once you do, chances are you'll see both quotas and employee satisfaction rise.