Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said outstanding companies have a foundation made of outstanding people, and your sales team is no exception to this statement. Of course, you find the most exceptional sales force based on your hiring decisions, but do you ensure those workers continue to be impressive for years to come?
Employee burnout is a serious problem, and Psychology Today reported the effects of this issue are sometimes as severe as panic attacks and emergency room visits. With these risks in mind, you want to ensure your sales team is ready to tackle each day head on, understands its worth and feels energized to convert leads.
So how do you get keep your sales team going? For one, the answer is not more free coffee. If you want to supercharge your staff with more than a caffeine-fueled boost, you will need to model the energy you want to see from your workers, improve productivity and recognize your team members for their achievements.
Ramp up your energy
If Ponce de Leon was not pumped about locating the Fountain of Youth, do you think his crew would have followed him on a quest to find the impossible? The same could be asked about the many explorers who hunted for El Dorado, the city of gold. If you want to motivate your sales team, you must boldly and energetically take the helm.
“As a manager, you must model the energy you want your sales team to exude.”
How can you produce that energy for your team? Motivational speaker, author and salesman Zig Ziglar suggested having a positive attitude in all situations. At times, sales will be slow. In fact, Business News Daily said sale team members typically hear “no” more than “yes.” However, you cannot slow the momentum in these moments. If you have a grim attitude in dire situations, how is your sales team supposed to keep hope alive?
Imagine our explorers, who were faced with hostile environments, hunger and alien diseases. In many cases, they pressed on despite these obstacles, all the while assuring their crews that the prize was just within sight. You need to share that energy with your staff members so they will embody it while engaging current and future business.
Focus on the higher payoffs
What are your sales team members doing each day, and do they see the value in their work? If you said “no” to the second question, ask yourself whether your team is engaged in high-payoff activities.
Throughout the day, you may talk to your team members, and everyone appears busy. With their schedules and to-do lists full, you may not think twice about their productivity and motivation. However, how many of those items in their lists or schedules are necessary? Are they booked for meetings that they do not need to attend? Do they have nonessential duties?
If so, these employees can feel as though they are not hitting any milestones despite how busy they are. As motivational speaker and Success magazine publisher Darren Hardy said, a busy employee is not necessarily a productive one. This issue stems from managers as well as staff. Are you overloading your team with too many unnecessary tasks? If so, limit their duties to high-payoff activities, which first and foremost includes selling. This means calling leads, following up and becoming familiar with accounts are among your team’s top priorities.
Do not skimp on recognition
To further show your team’s value, set goals and reward your staff for reaching these milestones. Bloomberg Businessweek said employee engagement is key to motivation, and one way to keep workers engaged is to have clear objectives. How many new contacts should a team member obtain each week? How many lead conversions should occur each month?
“Goals give your sales team clear markers for achievement.”
Goals give your sales team clear markers for achievement, especially when those objectives are tied to high-payoff activities. But you cannot stop at setting goals. Sure, your team members will have a personal sense of value when they hit their quotas, but you must display that value from the company’s perspective.
In a keynote address delivered to SPEAK Inc., sales and sales management expert and motivational speaker Jack Daly emphasized the value of recognition, particularly for employees who go above and beyond to address client needs and ensure repeat business. Recognition must be a large part of your company’s culture and values.
These are outstanding individuals, so how do you make them feel exceptional? Not only should this encouragement come from the management level, but you should also foster an environment of peer-to-peer support, according to Forbes citing data from a 2012 Bersin & Associates study. Ensure your team members are uplifting each other.
Charging into the new year
With 2015 just beginning, this is the perfect opportunity to set a strong pace for your sales team. Get your staff in the right frame of mind to find their Fountains of Youth and El Dorados – to persevere through the slumps and keep their energy high.