Your sales team is instrumental to driving new customers to your organization, but no matter how productive, most sales teams will eventually see a drop in performance. At the end of the day, selling to strangers is hard, demotivating, and often very poorly rewarded. Sales teams have to predict what customers want, pitch products accordingly, and hope both match up with what product development and the organization are doing internally.
Keeping sales teams motivated involves creating a culture of transparency, rewards, and changing how performance is measured and handed out, so your teams feel appreciated, rewarded and motivated to do more.
Give Sales the Information They Need to Boost Conversion
Sales teams are often asked to perform near miracles by converting customers with little to no data. The result can be poor conversion, customers who expect things that just aren’t part of the product, and a lower satisfaction rate across both sales and customers.
Modern technology allows you to integrate everyone into the same apps, so that sales teams see the product, see customer wants and needs, and can see what customers are actually doing with the product. Tying everyone into the same tooling such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool will ensure sales have access to information from customer service, marketing, product development, and actual customers, so that they have as much information as possible to drive sales. Here, it’s important to create a feedback loop between customer service, marketing, sales, and product development, so that everyone knows what customers are saying, what is being developed, and what to offer or promise, so that everyone is kept in the loop.
Help Individuals Set Personal and Professional Goals
Sales can be a demotivating process when there are no goals, no real achievable outcomes other than meeting KPIs, and nothing by which to track real progress. Here, it’s important to work with individuals to help them set personal and professional goals. This can include helping individuals through personal development as well as guiding individuals onto a path that supports growth, increasing skills, and changing perspectives.
Development is a type of reward for performance, but it’s also something that shows employees you are invested in their growth and that they have a future with your organization.
Introduce Team-Based Performance Bonuses
Many organizations want teams to work together which will boost performance as a whole, but still offer individual performance bonuses. This naturally conflicts, as individuals are motivated to show higher performance than the rest of the team. Delivering team-performance bonuses, where everyone wins or no one wins is one way to ensure everyone is on the same team and everyone is working to support each other.
You can continue to measure individual performance and highlight those who are not performing to standards using ongoing assessment, competency models, and actual performance frameworks, but most visible rewards should be given to the team as a whole. Why is this important? Any given potential customer will likely interact with several members of your sales team, being able to share and manage customers together increases your ability to manage them well, and driving sales as a team is logically more effective than as individuals.
Create a Culture of Recognition and Rewards
Sales teams are often taken for granted when things go well. As long as they meet performance standards, they’re just doing their job. When things go badly, they’re often pressured to boost conversion or numbers. Taking steps to reverse this psychology and to actively recognize and reward good performance will help to boost motivation and long-term performance. Simply integrating emotional intelligence, recognition, and compassion into your culture will go a long way towards improving performance.
For example, highlighting individuals who did exceptionally well during a weekly retrospect or meeting will boost morale. “I want to point out how Dave handled that case on Thursday” etc,. You can integrate tangible rewards as well, but simple recognition goes a long way towards providing motivation.
Motivating a sales team is important if you want that team to continue driving sales, but often, your approach should be in improving structure, available information, and how performance is measured and rewarded rather than in simple goal setting and increasing personal rewards. Changing culture will create a team where everyone feels like they are achieving something, has the information to improve what they are doing, and can work towards goals as a group.