Keeping your sales teams engaged and motivated is crucial to your company’s success. The more motivated your staff, the more likely they are to generate positive results for your business. Some studies even suggest a highly motivated sales team can increase profits by 21%.
However, keeping your team members motivated can be trickier than it seems. Sales professionals are constantly dealing with high levels of stress and new challenges. A difficult economy and a dropping win rate can destroy feelings of motivation, and hamper productivity.
What’s more, if your sales are low, you may not be able to rely on financial incentives to activate and engage your employees. So, how do you keep teams motivated in difficult times?
It’s easy to assume your sales professionals are primarily motivated by one thing: money. Every sales leader and professional wants to earn more income, achieve higher commissions, and drive business profits. However, cash isn’t the only source of sales motivation.
Many employees are motivated by recognition. Staff members are willing to commit to hard work, and put in extra effort when they feel they’re going to be thanked for their efforts. Recognizing your employees doesn’t have to mean constantly rewarding them with bonuses -though that can help.
Simply showing your teams you value them, with positive feedback, praise, or non-monetary rewards, like extra time off, can make a world of difference. Sales professionals can also be motivated by a sense of purpose. If they genuinely believe in the goals and mission of your business, and feel your products and services benefit others, they’re more likely to feel engaged at work.
This is why sharing your company’s vision with your employees regularly, and helping them understand the role they play in achieving it is crucial.
Keeping teams motivated in any landscape can be difficult. Currently, studies suggest that only around 15% of employees feel engaged and motivated at work. It’s little surprise when you consider employees are dealing with higher levels of stress, and more challenges than ever before.
However, sales teams can be particularly difficult to motivate, as they face greater levels of uncertainty, more demands, and more pressure than most teams. That’s one of the reasons why turnover levels in sales are three times higher than in any other industry.
Various factors can influence a sales professional’s level of motivation in the workplace. For instance, in the age of hybrid work, team members feel more isolated and disconnected from their teams. In complex and demanding environments, sales professionals could struggle with higher levels of conflict. At the same time, the motivation of your sales teams can be influenced by:
Notably, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to keeping a sales team motivated. The steps you use to engage and empower your employees will vary depending on everything from your business goals, to your workplace structure, and even how you pay your staff.
However, there are some ways you can drive and nurture motivation in most teams, such as:
Trust is essential to building a successful team, particularly in an environment where employees often have to work independently, without supervisor support. If employees trust their leaders, and feel their leaders trust them in return, their connection to the business becomes stronger.
On the other hand, if there’s a lack of trust in the company, this leads to higher employee turnover, lower engagement, and a decrease in performance. Sales managers and business leaders can cultivate trust in the workplace by:
Even the best leaders can only motivate and inspire employees if they know what they’re working towards. Sales managers should have a clear view of the company’s business goals and core vision, so they can share this regularly with their employees.
They should also set regular daily, weekly, monthly, and even quarterly goals with individual team members. Most importantly, give your employees and managers a way to monitor their progress towards these goals. Ensure they know which metrics and KPIs to monitor, and how their performance will be measured.
When team members achieve their goals, celebrate them. Whether it’s just posting a positive announcement in a team Slack channel, or sending a thank you email to your employees, a little recognition often goes a long way.
Different situations can often require different management styles. When you’re coaching and managing a high-performance sales team during a market upturn, it’s often helpful to be more ambitious when setting goals and targets. However, during a difficult economic environment, you need to think realistically about what your employees can actually do.
If you’re not sure how your employees would prefer to be managed and led, gather feedback from your team. Ask them what kind of interactions they prefer, how often they want to be given guidance, and whether they prefer public or private feedback.
It’s also worth paying attention to which management strategies help to motivate your employees, and which may lead to internal conflict and disengagement.
One of the easiest ways to motivate your sales teams, is to reward them for their hard work. When employees receive recognition, praise, or even financial benefits in exchange for a job well done, this encourages them to continue performing in the same way going forward.
If you’re struggling with limited cashflow in today’s economic landscape, remember that rewards don’t always have to be financial in nature. While bonuses and higher commissions are great, sales team members also appreciate positive praise, and non-monetary rewards.
You could even allow your employees to choose from a variety of different rewards when they achieve certain goals, such as extra paid time off, or a more flexible working structure.
Your “company culture” isn’t just a buzzword in today’s world. It’s an important factor that influences how people behave and feel in your business environment. A toxic company culture, influenced by unhealthy levels of competition and excessive conflict can drain sales team motivation.
On the other hand, a healthy company culture can boost engagement on a dramatic scale. For instance, championing collaboration and teamwork in your business can lead to higher levels of productivity, and make your employees feel more connected to their colleagues. This leads to higher levels of talent retention, and improved accountability among staff.
A company culture that rewards creative thinking and innovation makes employees feel more respected and heard, ensuring they’re more likely to speak up during meetings and offer valuable suggestions.
One of the main things that keeps all employees, including sales professionals, motivated, is an opportunity for personal and professional growth. The best sales team members are always looking for new ways to increase their knowledge, hone their skills and become more resilient.
Investing in training strategies, from coaching initiatives, to online courses, and even gamified educational experiences, can make a huge difference to your business. It will help your staff members to feel as though they’re making positive progress in their careers, and allow them to tap into new opportunities. Plus, it will strengthen internal relationships.
Investing in developing and training your team also means you can stay competitive in a complicated environment, by empowering staff members with new skills and sales processes.
We’ve already explained how important constant communication is to building trust in a complicated sales environment. But a good strategy for communication can also pay dividends in other areas. The right communication strategy will help you to regularly address the concerns and fears that could be harming your team’s motivation levels.
For instance, if your staff members are worried about the recession, or dropping sale numbers, letting them know that you’re taking steps to rectify the problem, and that their job is safe can give them incredible peace of mind.
Strong communication strategies also ensure your employees feel comfortable sharing their insights and thoughts with you. This means you can work more collaboratively as a team to overcome issues that might contribute to burnout, lost productivity, or turnover.
A motivated sales team is a successful sales team. The more engaged and inspired your employees feel, the more likely they are to creatively solve problems, adapt to changes, and stay productive, even in a difficult environment. However, maintaining a motivated sales team, particularly during economic downturns and recessions, can be challenging.
Sales managers, leaders, and business executives need to take a comprehensive approach to ensuring they’re connecting with their staff on a deeper level and paving the way for constant motivation. If you need help keeping your sales teams motivated, why not gather some insights from the experts?
At Hypcccycl, we offer a range of gamified training experiences for sales professionals at all levels, great for teaching your teams new skills. Plus, we can help managers discover new ways to keep their sales staff members satisfied, engaged, and productive.
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Keeping your sales teams engaged and motivated is crucial to your company’s success. The more motivated your staff, the more likely they are to generate positive results for your business. Some studies even suggest a highly motivated sales team can increase profits by 21%.Read Now