December 20, 2016

inspire-sales-team-salesIs your sales team performing at its full potential?

If not, helping them get there may simply be a matter of keeping your team inspired and feeling engaged with your company.

Whether you are a sales manager, director or VP, you have the ability to motivate your sales reps to focus on their goals and improve their overall productivity.

With that in mind, let us discuss a few ways you can improve your team’s sales performance.

 

How to Incite Your Team’s Sales

 

1.   Create an environment based on trust

 

Interactions between a manager and an employee can sometimes be tense or uncomfortable because of the nature of the relationship.

But in order to create a successful business, you must develop comfort and trust with your sales team so they can perform confidently.

One great way to build trust is by showing respect and appreciation to your salespeople in a genuine way.

Why is this important?

Showing appreciation is crucial because 50% of employees who are thanked by their managers feel an improvement in trust and overall business relationship.

And that sense of comfort can lead to an increase in happiness and sales productivity.

 

2. Recognize your sales team’s hard work

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Showing your team appreciation can be a great way to help motivate them to sell more.

Here are a few ways you can effectively acknowledge your sales reps:

1: Praise specific accomplishments. The last thing your sales team wants to hear is a generic “thank you” after working hard.

Be specific about the praise you give them by saying something like, “I appreciate your integrity and the respect you give to your customers as you sell to them.”

2: Give them your full attention. Do not attempt to multitask as you show thanks to your salespeople. When you compliment their hard work, make sure you are not simultaneously checking emails or trying to hold multiple conversations.

3: Show appreciation for them in front of their peers. You may have noticed that many salespeople value public recognition. Make your sales reps feel important and celebrate their success with others on their team—recognition drives productivity.

4: Write a handwritten “thank you” note. Sure, “thank you” emails are nice, but a thoughtful note to a salesperson you are recognizing will likely be more appreciated.

Not only that, but they can keep the note on their desks as motivation to continue to work hard.

 

3. Turn the sales process into a game

 

Salespeople tend to enjoy, if not thrive, in competitive situations.

One great way to bring a little competition into the office is to make a game out of selling.

By doing this, you can make the sales process more entertaining while also promoting teamwork.

To help you accomplish this, here are a few games you can utilize that will incentivize your team to make more sales:

  • Game 1 – Sales Bingo. Start out by giving your sales team custom-made bingo cards with different products or sales amounts. As each salesperson (or team of salespeople) sells a product or earns an amount on that card, they mark it off with an X. Similar to a standard game of Bingo, the first salesperson (or sales team) to mark Xs across the board wins.
  • Game 2 – Boss For a Day Prize. Instead of a cash bonus, offer your top sales performer the chance to be boss for a day. Stepping into management’s shoes can give the sales rep a valuable lesson on the importance of meeting quotas, and could also prepare them for a future management role.
  • Game 3 – Scavenger Hunts. Split your sales reps into multiple teams and provide them with a list of several items or services your company offers. The first team to sell one of each wins a prize.
  • Game 4 – Leaving Early Prize. Everyone loves to leave the office a little earlier, so why not make a game of it? Hold a quick meeting to announce a team quota for the last few days of the month. If your team hits their sales goals, reward everyone on the team by allowing them to leave early on the last Friday of the month.

 

4. Manage your team the way they need you to

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As you may know, salespeople have a wide variety of personalities, ambitions and methods of learning.

With that said, it is important to remember that you cannot treat and manage every sales rep the same way. By generalizing the learning and working styles of your salespeople, you could end up alienating many of them.

 

How can you find out what they need from you as a sales manager?

By asking them questions like:

  • What motivates you on a daily basis?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What do you need to achieve in order to reach your goals?
  • How do you prefer to be appreciated or rewarded after accomplishing a task?
  • How can we measure your success and progress as you strive to meet your goals?
  • What are some things that can get in the way of you reaching your goals?
  • What can we do to make sure those things are avoided?
  • What kind of structure do you need in order to perform your job most effectively?
  • How should I keep you accountable for reaching your goals, without coming across as too negative?
  • What is the best way to approach you if you fail to meet your sales commitments?

 

When you ask questions like these, you give your salespeople the opportunity to explain their preferred management style.

These kinds of questions show that you actually care about their development, which in turn builds trust.

In addition, you are learning valuable information on how to handle your team as a manager, while allowing them to focus on their goals.

 

Final Thoughts

 

As a sales manager, director or VP, motivating a group of individuals can be extremely challenging.

But the common thread with the above tips is that they focus on your sales team rather than your needs or the needs of your business.

According to a Westminster College survey, 69% of employees would actually work harder if they felt their efforts were more appreciated.

By making your team the primary focus, you are showing your reps that you truly value and appreciate them.

And when your sales reps feel valued and recognized for their hard work, a sense of trust is built, their productivity skyrockets and they feel inspired to work even harder to sell.