Keeping your sales team motivated takes patience and dedication. Like any business trajectory, no matter what industry you’re in, you’re going to experience ebbs and flows within your sales department. The key is having a team that isn’t bogged down when things aren’t going as expected.
As a sales leader, it’s your job to keep your team motivated to keep moving forward when it feels like they’re working against the current. In fact, motivation tactics should be a part of your sales enablement strategy. The resources, tactics, and guidance you provide will make a huge difference to the success of your team. With that in mind, here are seven effective ways you can motivate your sales team:
Gratitude goes a long way towards motivating your team. Although it seems like a simple gesture, research has shown that showing appreciation can be even more motivating than monetary rewards. Let your sales team know that you appreciate the hard work they’ve put into the business. Over time, this works wonders for contributing to great workplace culture.
Naturally, salespeople are competitive. But it doesn’t help when your sales team is competing against one another. You may not notice it, but your sales team may feel pitted against one another, and this can result in reduced motivation if one salesperson is seeing better results than others. To avoid this, foster an environment that emphasizes collaboration, where the sales team acts as a unit and not as individuals. Create activities, exercises, and outings that make it easy for your sales team to help one another and grow together.
Offer Different Incentives
It’s no secret that part of the traditional sales model includes incentives, most notably commissions. But the truth is, every salesperson is different, and different incentives motivate people differently. For example, some people are more motivated by paid vacation days while others are motivated by bonuses. The proof is in the pudding: according to a study conducted by Aberdeen, 33% more salespeople hit their quote when they were offered a choice of incentives.
Education can make all the difference to your sales team, and there are many different ways you can educate them. Most employees would be happy to have the educational resources necessary to help them grow in their careers. Whether you’re offering access to workshops, webinars, or books, you can steer them in the right direction.
Micromanaging is one of the biggest enemies of motivation. The issue is that it becomes very difficult to understand when you’re micromanaging the team. There are a few signs to look out for. For example, if you find yourself having difficulty delegating, monitoring your sales team often and regularly, pulling reports often, you may be unintentionally micromanaging your business. Autonomy is so important for sales teams; they need to know that they have the freedom to make their own decisions, implement their own plans, and offer their own suggestions.
Be Flexible With Your Leadership
Earlier we mentioned how salespeople are motivated by different incentives. On the same token, salespeople are also inspired by different leadership styles. While you can’t cater to everyone the same way, having a general understanding of what each salesperson prefers in the work environment can give you a realistic idea of how to pave the way for them to succeed.
For example, some questions you might ask include, “How often do you prefer to interact?” “What sort of feedback do you like?” “Do you prefer to be praised in public or private?” As your salespeople grow in their roles and learn the ins and outs of a company, this might change, so you should include these types of questions in your one-on-one reviews.
Encourage your sales team to come up with creative solutions to some of their problems. Invite them to research, brainstorm, and trial and error new methods—rather than blocking them into a pre-written sales pitch or manual. Your salespeople are the ones on the frontline testing some of your tactics, so they are uniquely positioned to come up with new ideas. Furthermore, they’re uniquely positioned to see how the market shifts and why current tactics may not be working. And lastly, they’ll appreciate having input into new strategies and are more likely to emotionally invest in the success of those ideas.