Managing a sales team is a complex task, and some of the most difficult aspects of the job have nothing to do with the numbers. Inspiring your salespeople to try harder and persist even when things aren’t going well can feel like an overwhelming challenge at times, but getting it right can have a noticeable impact on your bottom line.
How to Motivate Your Sales Team
Although the prospect of earning more money can go pretty far when it comes to encouraging sales teams, sometimes they need some extra motivation that goes beyond fair compensation. Here is a look at some tried-and-true ways to light a fire under your sales team and inspire them to aim higher.
Make Your Sales Team Feel Valuable
One good way of motivating your sales team is by making them feel valued. A study carried out by the American Psychological Association found that feeling valued at work was linked to employee well-being as well as performance, with 93% of employees who reported feeling valued saying they felt motivated to do their best at work. Only 33% of those who said they do not feel valued could say the same.
This can be accomplished by giving salespeople praise when it is warranted and compensating them adequately and fairly. Offering opportunities for growth and advancement can also help. Rewards are also great motivators, so consider offering them non-cash rewards such as opportunities to lead, public recognition, time off or flexible working arrangements. Some salespeople will feel more valued if they are invited to participate in decision making.
Emphasize Collaboration Over Competition
Although salespeople tend to be naturally competitive, having too much competition between salespeople can create a negative working environment and foster resentment.
By emphasizing collaboration above competition, you can ensure everyone stays motivated. Reward mentoring, efforts to work together and knowledge sharing to encourage your sales team to collaborate more.
Encourage and Recognize Initiative
You can also motivate your sales team by encouraging salespeople to take the initiative and cultivate ideas that will grow business. Allow them the freedom and space to try out their ideas and reward them for bringing in new ideas that prove successful and attract new customers.
Celebrate Small Wins
According to a Harvard Business School study, employee morale rises significantly when small accomplishments are recognized. You don’t have to roll out the red carpet every time a salesperson manages to land a meeting, but even some verbal or written praise for small wins like moving a prospect another step down the pipeline could help boost the mood among sales teams. Of course, when there are bigger group wins, consider some sort of broader celebration to keep motivation high.
Make Praise Public
On a similar note, praising salespeople publicly for their accomplishments can really help raise morale. Whether it is a shoutout in the office while everyone is around or some pointed praise during a meeting, public recognition for small wins can be very motivating. This works even better when colleagues start talking about these small victories and congratulating one another.
Be a Committed Coach
When sales managers only give their input following a loss or mistake, salespeople start to associate coaching with failure. You can shift this mindset and motivate your salespeople by showing your commitment to coaching and spending time developing, improving and praising them even when things are going well. Of course, you should still schedule time to offer strategic help when a salesperson needs it most.
Manage With Flexibility
Although it can be tempting for leaders to believe that they need to treat everyone on the sales team the same way, that does not mean that you have to manage in just one way with each employee.
Your sales team might be made up of salespeople who work in the same industry, but keep in mind that each member of the team is unique. As you know, different prospects require different selling styles, and good salespeople will adapt to meet those styles. As a manager, you can apply this to your work and adapt to suit the unique needs of each member of your sales team.
Salespeople respond better when your management style suits their own work style. Ask each salesperson how often they like to interact, as some prefer frequent interactions and others are more comfortable with a hands-off approach. Find out what kind of feedback they prefer and how they would like it delivered, whether they prefer public or private praise, and how they will let you know about their concerns.
Work With RCG for More Ways to Motivate a Sales Team
If you feel like you could be getting more out of your sales team, get in touch with the professional sales management consultants at RCG Workgroup for tailored advice on motivating your sales team and improving their performance. Their experts can help you optimize your sales strategies to attain long-term growth.