Sales professionals are constantly under pressure, due to fierce competition, market changes, tough quotas, and rising customer expectations. If you are a driven sales manager determined to grow your company and get ahead of your competition, you should be constantly looking for new and more effective ways to motivate your sales force, improve their working conditions, and give them all the tools they need to succeed.
Keep in mind that effective sales management can make all the difference in the world and guide your sales people in the right direction. Below are a few critical suggestions on how to build team motivation, achieve greater results, and take your company to the next level.
1. Schedule regular meetings with your sales reps
This is your opportunity not only to develop rapport with your sales force, but also share your vision and keep them abreast of all the new developments taking place within your organization. Make sure they fully understand what your goals, needs and aspirations are, and how their input and skills will influence the company’s future.
During each meeting, you should share and discuss sales reports, keep the whole team apprised of new strategies and carefully review key performance indicators (i.e. margins, conversion rates, etc.). Ask for their opinions and encourage them to speak up. Find out if they have specific concerns with the sales process or your sales policies? Are there issues or challenges that need to be addressed immediately? Is there a better and more effective way to keep track of new and existing customers? If they have new ideas or suggestions on how to streamline the sales process, build relationships or improve results, let them bring their initiatives to light and make an impact.
Your job is to make each one of them feel valued and indispensable. Encourage them to be the best they can in any situation. In addition, they will function more effectively if you give them more autonomy, allow them to make their own strategic decisions, and chart their own path to success, while staying within the parameters established by executive leadership.
2. Provide the sales coaching they need to enhance performance
Regular coaching and positive reinforcement should be a vital part of every organization. It will not only boost morale, drive productivity and accelerate sales growth, but also reduce employee turnover. The cost of losing a sales representative can be staggering. It may impede organizational growth and even put your company on the downward spiral. To avoid this predicament, be proactive and offer coaching from day one, rather than wait until a sales person makes a mistake, misses a quota or looses an account.
Additionally, effective coaching can help them clearly identify their objectives, support their selling efforts or prepare for advanced sales training. For example, they may benefit significantly from the enhanced Critical Selling Skills Program that will help them embrace powerful and innovative sales practices.
3. Give credit where credit is due
When your sales representatives achieve great results for your organization, recognize their accomplishments in front of the whole team and reward them for their effort. This will incentivize them to work even harder and go the extra mile for your company. After all, there is nothing more fulfilling than feeling appreciated at work. Be sure to look beyond the obvious (new deals, new contracts or new appointments) and identify other areas to provide your sellers with recognition.
4. Learn as much as possible about each member of your sales team
One of the best ways to develop your sales team is to see each sales professional as a unique individual who brings his or her unique flair to the organization. Did you take the time to learn about their interests and hobbies? How about their birthdays, milestones or anniversaries? Do you know anything about their families, their personal lives or their plans for the future? Can you figure out what matters the most to each one of them? And what are the main attributes that make them special or set them apart from their peers?
Some sales reps are motivated by money, while others respond to promotional opportunities or prefer a supportive team environment. It’s for YOU to figure out what makes them tick and how to increase sales motivation.
5. Create different compensation packages to reward your sales force
When it comes to compensation management, don’t rely solely on commission checks. While traditional commission-based reimbursements are important, it can’t hurt to get creative and come up with different packages rewarding short-term or long-term accomplishments. For example, if a sales professional exceeds his or her quota over a period of three months, you may offer them an extra day off or an extra vacation day, a “dinner for two” at a nice restaurant, concert or museum tickets, or VIP access to sporting events.
6. Become a hands-on manager to motivate your sales force
No matter how busy you are, show some solidarity with your sales team by engaging in the same tasks and activities as they are, including cold-calling, following-up with hot leads, prospecting, sorting out data, etc. This way you will let them know that you understand the challenges of their job and are aware of the amount of time, effort and dedication it requires to achieve strong results and move your company forward.