Sawaram Suthar is the founder of TheNextScoop and Jagat Media. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in branding, promotions, page optimization, research, and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on Twitter @sawarams.
It's essential for you as a manager to maintain team motivation. Learn these inexpensive 7 ways to motivate your sale team.
A motivated and encouraged workforce is much more productive than one that isn’t, but too few employers are investing in employee engagement. According to Gallup, 64% of employees are actively disengaged or disengaged, which only leaves 36% actively engaged or engaged.
These low numbers indicate the need for immediate change, but it won’t come if employers continue to believe employee engagement policies are too expensive. In reality, motivating your sales team is worth its weight in gold. Fortunately, you don’t need bullion to motivate staff.
To boost sales, improve workplace productivity, and encourage teams to develop their skill set, you’ll need the money you already have. In some cases, you won’t even need that much.
7 inexpensive ways to keep your sales team motivated
In a high-pressure environment like sales, keeping your team motivated is essential. If you want your salespeople to reach for the stars, you must provide them with the tools to get there.
1. Align your team with company values and goals
As a sales manager, you’re responsible for developing long-term and short-term goals for your team. Think of your goals as a plan. They identify where you stand, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
To make effective outreach marketing goals, try the following:
a.) Write SMART goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By defining these parameters as they pertain to your goals, you and your team will meet their attainable objectives within a decent time frame.
b.) Align company goals and values
If your organization values teamwork, make one of your goals team-based. When you align your company goals with your values, you guide employee decision-making, attract like-minded candidates, and improve motivation.
c.) Work on your employees’ goals
Ask your sales staff about their personal goals to ensure you can include them when setting targets. For example, if their goal is career progression, set a goal to sign more clients than they did in the previous month.
When setting targets for your sales team, break hard-to-reach annual goals into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Instead of using the revenue to track progress, use behavioral cues or tasks.
Some sales tasks, while important, can’t be given a monetary value. A salesperson could go a full week without a sale, but if they sent 100 emails, made 100 calls, and vetted 100 clients, there’s a high possibility they’ll sell next week. That hard work should be tracked and praised.
Here’s what daily, weekly and monthly goals would look like for a sales team:
d.) Daily goals
A short-term goal meant to quickly restore lost motivation. Make these goals easy to achieve and simple to track, like calling 5 people or emailing 10 clients.
e.) Weekly goals
A slightly longer goal with a clear business impact. Use weekly goals to improve a skill, like prospecting. Daily goals should lead to weekly goals.
f.) Monthly goals
A significant milestone comes from completing daily and monthly goals. For example, selling $100,000 worth of products or signing up 100 clients.
Keep in mind that each member of your sales staff is unique. While one team member loves to track their wins by qualitative improvements and quota achievements, others need team-wide sales contests to feel motivated. Consider your team members' personalities when goal setting.
2. Offer good awards, plaques, and rewards
After your team completes a goal, you shouldn’t leave them empty-handed. Besides being unmotivating, a lack of recognition makes us feel unappreciated. If your employees continue to feel like they aren’t valued, it will become harder to build long-lasting relationships with them.
There are hundreds of ways to reward employees. If you want to give custom awards and plaques, then try Fineawards and a few other sites. These are typically given out for big achievements or anniversaries.
However, don’t limit rewards to ceremonies. Experiment with monthly, weekly, and daily rewards to see what motivates staff the most. You should find a solution that works within your budget.
Here are a few low-cost ways to reward employees:
- Express thanks with a public thank you
- Give a hand-written note
- Offer paid time off or extra vacation time
- Pay for lunch, coffee, or groceries
- Cover commuting costs
- Schedule an all-company activity
- Feature top employees in your blog
In the end, it’s better to let people pick their own rewards. While some prefer a monetary reward system, others are more than happy to receive kind words or a trinket for their desk.
The only thing more important than the reward itself is when and how it’s given. Timely rewards are really effective and suit most personalities, but the same can’t be said for public recognition. Speak to your staff privately and ask them if they’re comfortable being the center of attention.
3. Commit to educating and training staff
Most salespeople want to learn more about the industry if they’re given a chance. Your company will greatly benefit if it encourages a growth mindset, so foster it if an employee expresses the need to learn. Give them the tools to learn about your products and customers.
On the other hand, your salespeople are likely well-versed in the topics pertaining to your company. If that’s the case, allow employees to attend offsite and onsite events discussing various sales topics. Consider giving them the whole day off to explore this possibility.
All employees have career aspirations, but a lack of money or time prevents them from climbing up the corporate ladder. If you fulfill this need, they’ll appreciate it. It’s also a win-win situation: your employees are able to develop their skills, and you’ll gain a more skilled employee.
4. Build trusting relationships with team members
Trust lays the groundwork for motivation. When your team doesn’t trust you or thinks you don’t care about their concerns, you won’t be able to inspire them. A trusting relationship starts with believing in your staff and giving them the space to express their own needs and wants.
When your salespeople feel down or unmotivated, you can re-inspire them with an open and honest dialogue about their challenges and concerns. Organizations spend a lot of time ensuring their clients trust their brand. Now, you have to pay that effort back to your people.
You can start building trust by explaining its need. In a one-on-one conversation with individual team members, state that honesty will create a happier and more connected workplace.
These other 5 steps will further encourage a culture of honesty:
a.) Foster communication
Communicate frequently with your sales team, preferably on a single shared platform, to keep them informed and updated at all times.
b.) Be transparent
At no point should your staff feel you’re hiding something? If your team should be privy to this information, you should speak to them right away.
c.) Conduct team-building activities
Team-building activities can bring teams together in ways that aren’t focused on work and provide an outlet for everyone to speak freely.
d.) Encourage collaboration
Sales teams are often individualistic, but they’re all striving for the same goal. Too much internal competition can foster distrust and poor attitudes. Instilling a culture of collaboration can help harmonize efforts and build stronger team dynamics.
e.) Exhibit leadership qualities
Your employees look to you as a leader. Managers should model certain behaviors and skills they want their salespeople to emulate.
When there’s a high level of trust in your team, they’ll feel more comfortable communicating with each other. Furthermore, you create a positive work environment when you trust your team.
5. Ask team members how they want to be managed
Managing a new team is difficult. You’re constantly wondering what they’ll think of you or if you’ll get along, but your anxiety is often a good sign. It shows you want to make a great impression.
Whether you’ve been with your team for a while or you’re planning to start fresh with a new group, it’s essential to initiate one-on-ones with your salespeople. After explaining the importance of honesty, as you did in the last section, you’ll ask about your management style.
Asking your staff for feedback isn’t easy, but knowing what your team thinks is important. It’ll help you address burnout faster and keep your employees engaged with your process.
To understand what your employees expect from you, ask them these questions:
- What are your favorite projects to work on? What are your strengths?
- How did past managers manage you? What did you like or didn’t like?
- What can I do to help you reach your goals?
- How do you prefer to receive feedback?
- How much time do you prefer to spend at home?
These questions don’t force employees to say something that could negatively affect their relationship with you. At the same, their answer could reflect something you’re doing that they don’t like. Don’t take it personally. Instead, adjust your management style or compromise.
6. Offer constructive feedback regularly
Surveys prove that employees crave feedback. In fact, 69% agreed they’d work harder if they received constructive feedback regularly because it proves their efforts are being recognized.
There are right and wrong ways to give constructive feedback. For example, you shouldn’t avoid a hard conversation until you’re frustrated or get too caught up in being tactful. However, failing to provide regular feedback is the worst thing to do, as it leaves employees in the dark.
Here’s how to offer effective feedback to your salespeople:
a.) Concentrate on the behavior
Open by stating the behavior in question, then describe how you feel about it. End with the outcome you want to see.
b.) Balance out the content
Start the sentence with a positive thing they did, then sandwich your criticisms in the middle. End with a “good job” or “thank you.”
c.) Be specific
Avoid general comments that don’t help the receiver improve.
d.) Be timely
Being prompt gives your feedback more impact.
e.) Be realistic
Focus on what can be changed instead of frustrating the recipient.
f.) Use “I” pronouns
When you use “I,” you’re taking possession of your statements. Your feedback is a matter of opinion, and you shouldn’t involve others who may disagree.
g.) Offer support
Feedback isn’t a one-and-done process; it’s continuous. After offering feedback, make an effort to follow up. Explain you’re here to support them.
When giving feedback, prioritize your ideas, limit them to the most critical issues, and consider the other person’s potential value. Always write down what you want to say and read it back. Ask yourself, “Could I act on this feedback? Would I be willing to listen to my advice?”
7. Increase pay, benefits, and overall wellness
If employees aren’t leaving because they’re unmotivated, they’re going to jump ship for another opportunity that pays more. Job satisfaction and a high annual salary go hand-in-hand.
Increasing pay or investing more money into benefits doesn’t sound like a cost-effective way to motivate your staff. However, when you compare it to the cost of turnover (including recruitment and onboarding costs), spending more on your staff is more than worth it, especially long term.
According to SimplyBenefits, an entry-level employee costs 30% to 50% of their annual salary to replace, and it gets more expensive from there. Mid-level employees can cost 150% of their yearly salary to replace, while senior-level staff cost 400% of their annual salary or more.
That means if an entry-level employee paid $40,000 leaves, expect to pay $12,000 to $20,000 to fill the exact same position. So if you can pay your staff more, it’s a good idea to do so ASAP.
However, a higher paycheck isn’t all employees need. While more money helps cover basic needs, like food, water, and shelter, wellness and benefits are also important. A healthy, balanced lifestyle keeps employees motivated, and you can provide that to them at a low cost.
For example, working from home improves wellness by providing flexibility and reducing employee commute costs. A strict “no clients after 5” policy protects employees' free time.
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