When it comes to the workplace, there’s plenty to distract us. The pandemic and doom-scrolling on our phones might be the current trends, but retaining focus in your job has long been one of the biggest workplace challenges. And this is especially true for sales teams.
That’s because when it comes to sales, the pace is fast, the pressure is high, and it’s hard to ensure that a bit of healthy competition doesn’t become unhealthy.
If this happens, your reps can grow increasingly unsure of the value they’re bringing, their performance falls, and you’ll find that they have one foot out the door. To provide insight, we turned to our integration partner, Gong.
“When it comes to motivating my teams, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. I prioritize building strong relationships and a foundation of trust with each new member onboarded. Then, I focus on supporting each individual on their growth journey, offering opportunities for upskilling, training, and coaching whenever possible. When it comes to motivating, I try to put the person in a winning situation first and then aim to support them in any way I can to encourage their growth and development.”
— Willie Pierson, Sr. Director, Sales Development at Gong
With 41% of the global workforce thinking about leaving their employer in 2021, motivating your sales reps ensures they’re getting something meaningful from their work—and putting something meaningful back into it.
Yet with only 15% of employees worldwide and 35% in the US falling into the “engaged” category, this is a trickier prospect than some think. To help, we’ve explored some of the best ways to keep your team distraction-free and motivated.
Set Clear Expectations and Goals
A major culprit when an employee feels disconnected from their workplace is not knowing what they’re working toward. With workers’ hours climbing steeply, it’s easy for people to lose sight of the wider mission; to fail to see the forest for the trees… or rather, to see the purpose for the hours.
Goals can help with this, but remember that it’s not about supplying a 10-year goal for your team. Break it down into more manageable ones they can feed into on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
This way, your reps know what they’re working toward without becoming daunted or disorientated. Crucially, they know where to start.
Other factors to consider when goal-setting include:
- Solutions, not problems: Focusing on coming up with solutions will inspire your team to think creatively, collaboratively, and positively.
- Come one, come all: If your team members are the ones achieving the goals, then it makes sense to get their help setting them. Bringing them in on the ground floor will help them feel involved, engaged, and give them skin in the game.
- Focus on achievability: Big ambitions are no bad thing, but if your team consistently fails to meet their targets, they’ll grow increasingly demotivated and start questioning your work culture.
- Celebrate your wins: Bear in mind that goal-setting isn’t a forward-facing churn. You should celebrate each and every sales target you reach and use these moments as an opportunity for your team to provide feedback.
Create Clear Career Paths
It’s one thing to set your sales goals in the context of your targets, but what about your people? If they don’t see their futures interwoven with your company’s, then there’s little chance they’ll be motivated.
Make sure you understand your team members’ professional and personal goals, working with your HR team and your organization’s leaders to create a scalable team structure.
Further, as with any other goals you set—check in with progress regularly. And ensure your team has the ability to do the same through clear visibility of KPI analytics.
89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. It tells employees you value their progress, and gives them the opportunity to fine-tune their trajectory upward through your company.
Build Trust and Camaraderie
A great deal of building an effective team is down to communication and collaboration. But what’s also crucial is trust. Particularly when it comes to sales, where a functioning, in-sync team can have such an impact on results.
Research shows that the benefits of working at higher-trust companies include:
- Less stress
- More energy at work
- Higher productivity
- More engagement
- Less burnout
Employers need to make the move from boss to colleague and plug into what their workforce is thinking and feeling–something easily missed when you focus solely on numbers. This can be done on a one-on-one basis but also in town halls where you can explore what kind of company you want to be and who you want to do business with.
Only 40% of employees say they know what their company stands for. Breaking down this barrier and inviting visibility will help your employees trust more, but it will also benefit team building in a democratized, transparent workplace.
Recognize and Celebrate Your Team
When it comes to motivating your sales team, recognizing their achievements and making them feel appreciated comes high on the list.
In fact, 66% of employees say they would quit if they felt underappreciated. This shows how far a bit of love goes. But when thinking about how you do it, going outside the box can mean more memorable experiences.
More money remains a priority for the American workforce, but don’t see this as a fix-all. Work/life balance is of huge significance, so get creative in how you can help your team restore theirs. Areas to think about include:
- Work/life balance: Think about what time back in workers’ days will do. Whether it’s time to spend with family or a much-needed sojourn to a spa, this can make a big difference in your team staying motivated.
- Care packages: With sales reps spending more and more time at home, it can be a great surprise to receive a box of goodies from work—whether it’s a bottle to open that evening or snacks to rifle through during the workday.
- Say thank you: It can often be overlooked because of its simplicity, but saying these magic words does a lot for a team’s motivation—whether out loud, on Slack, or in the office.
- Time with the team: Arranging a team day-out says a great deal about how important your team is and that there are no silos when it comes to celebrating performance.
Prioritize Upskilling and Training
We’ve talked before about the importance of professional development for sales teams. It’s key to nurturing the talent you have while setting the scene for new talent to thrive.
Acknowledge your responsibility for helping your team grow and allow them access to training and skills growth. You will only benefit from an outsider’s perspective, so don’t restrict the places your sales reps can find inspiration.
Give Team Members Autonomy
The best people to motivate your team? Well, the team themselves. But for this to work, you must first give them autonomy. Further, it can drive innovation by putting more of the power and decision-making into sales reps’ hands.
We talked earlier about inviting your reps into deciding their own goals and career paths, but you need to make sure they’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the options available.
As with everything related to motivating your team, it also comes down to personalization. As much as one technique will motivate one person, it could have a detrimental effect on another. Think hard about the person and the employee to ensure your sales motivation really flourishes.