Keeping sales team morale high is crucial for any business, whether the team works remotely, on the road or on-site.
The truth is, most people are not happy with their jobs.
On top of that sobering fact, sales jobs are tough. It takes thick skin and dogged perseverance to succeed.
Keeping sales team morale high is one of the most profitable pursuits you can undertake for your organization, but boosting morale for remote workers presents its own unique set of challenges.
The first half of this article will cover the fundamentals of sales team motivation. Properly set up systems can prevent stress from breaking your team down in the first place.
The second half will go over a few things you can do immediately to improve morale.
Mastering both sides of the coin will keep your remote workers happy, healthy and productive.
Set a Single Goal for Everyone to Work Toward
Setting a single goal that envelopes everything you do gives you clarity of mind. It is something you can always fall back on when things get complex.
If that works well for an individual, imagine what it can do for your sales team and the rest of the staff. It is rare to find a company with everyone on the same page.
Everyone on the team has likely already read your mission statement. And they understand what the company culture is striving to attain. They also know what their team’s goals are, and they know what they need to accomplish to ensure their team’s success.
What if every single team member had your company’s top-priority goal in the front of their mind? If an outside consultant asked every team member what their primary goal was, would it be the same answer every time?
Think of this single focus as a company goal, mission statement and cultural cornerstone all mixed into one. Having this kind of collective clarity is going to do a few key things for your sales team morale:
- Prevent stress from building up within the team.
- Gauge how important an individual’s contributions are.
- Instill the same sense of purpose within every team member.
Having your company’s purpose and culture at the heart of everyone’s workday unifies your team’s power. It is a fundamental way to boost sales team motivation and improve their performance.
Distribute Crystal-Clear Operational Systems
If setting a single goal is at the heart of your sales team morale, then your operational systems are like the arteries keeping everyone connected. It is important to keep your employee’s need for connection in mind.
And your team’s need for connection is twice as important when they are working remotely.
As you know, it is best to have these systems in place before you invite a new team member onto your sales force. That way, you can set expectations immediately and make sure you are hiring someone capable of achieving your sales team goal.
Once they are on the team, a smooth onboarding process will improve morale even further. It is frustrating to join a team with unorganized or uninformative training systems. Show your new hires that you have their backs. Check-in with them and ask for feedback regularly.
Every repeatable process your employees perform or encounter during their workday should have an operational guide attached. You can make a ‘living’ document with Google Docs that team members can easily access and update when necessary.
This step is vital for communication with remote workers. They need answers when the questions arise, whether or not there is a manager present to answer and guide them. Knowing they can access process answers and information boosts trust and independence.
After new workers conquer some of their tasks, and feel comfortable in your system, identify where they should be focusing their time. This evaluation will be part of your hiring process, but it is also something to focus in on as they work.
You can boost morale by identifying tasks they have an innate talent for and enjoy doing. Allow them to work those tasks into their routine, if possible.
At the same time, make sure there is a good amount of variety in your sales rep’s day. You do not want them to burn out on the task that best suits them.
Create a Pulse with Regular Meetings
You have formed the heart of your remote sales team morale with a unified goal and distributed their energy with clear operational systems.
Now it is time to create a pulse with regular meetings.
Meetings are notorious for being a waste of time. You can combat this notoriety by running each meeting the same way.
Here are a few tips to make sure your regular meetings are productive and boost sales team morale.
- Start and end meetings on time. Starting on time is relatively easy to accomplish consistently, but ending on time can be difficult. Do not let meetings drag. Keep to an agenda, and do not allow the focus to detour. Plan enough time for them.
- Hold meetings at the same time on the same day of the week. Having an irregular heartbeat can be a sign of ill health. In the same way, holding irregular meetings can signify organizational issues. This tip is the key to creating a healthy pulse.
- Follow the same format. Every meeting will consist of new information, but the format for every meeting should be the same. Start with a small amount of time to transition into a focused meeting.
Next, set aside time to review what happened since the last meeting. Then, spend time solving issues as a team. Lastly, review your team’s to-do list and have everyone rate the meeting and provide feedback.
- Record your meetings. Here is one area where remote work shines. Recording your meetings is a simple and effective way to boost morale. Someone likely will have to cover the phones or other business activities that do not stop for a meeting. But they should not feel excluded from company communications.
Team members should know they will never miss out on information because they can review meetings at will. Of course, do not let this be an excuse for anyone to skip meetings.
- Practice your non-verbal communication. It is difficult to ‘read the room’ if you are holding a virtual meeting. As a team leader, it is critical to instill confidence in your team through your body language and speaking tone. Slow down your delivery and minimize head movement.
We have covered three fundamental ways to improve morale and productivity. Next, you will learn three social practices you can use immediately to keep sales team motivation high.
Build Personal Relationships with Your Employees and Coworkers
Most humans enjoy some form of personal connection with their leaders. You do not need to spend a ton of time here or get too personal, but choosing to build a relationship with every team member is a wise investment.
There are two main ways you can build this kind of relationship with your team.
Positive Personality Traits
Your job as a sales manager is a whole lot easier if your team looks up to you. You can accomplish this by being transparent, empathetic and patient with them.
Show your appreciation for your team members regularly. Figure out whether they prefer public acknowledgment or private acknowledgment and provide it often.
Create a support channel on your virtual workspace for them. Do not micromanage. Give them room to breathe. Only hire trustworthy people capable of working productively independently, willing to accept the responsibilities of working remotely.
Outside of being a consistently positive influence for your sales reps, there are a few other ways you can show that you care about them. One way is to simply strike up a conversation that has nothing to do with work.
Another powerful way to boost morale is to help your sales team with their home office. Ideas here range from improving the ergonomics of their workspace to sending them a coffee mug.
Maintaining just a few of these interactions will lessen the amount of internal stress your team experiences daily.
Boost Morale by Respecting Everyone’s Time
We all know how essential personal time is for our well-being. When employees protect and enjoy their leisure time, they come to work in better spirits.
It can be difficult to protect leisure time as a remote worker. After all, the tools of your trade are only a room away.
As a sales manager, you can be proactive about this by making it easy to identify when a team member is unavailable. Communication channels like Slack make it easy to change your current status from “I am available” to “Do not disturb.”
On that note, give your team members regular breaks from work. That might mean two hours on and fifteen minutes off, but make sure those short breaks are uninterrupted. Think of how easy it is to tell when someone is unavailable in a regular office and try to mimic that ease in your virtual workspace.
Pro Tip: You can go above and beyond as a sales manager by helping your sales team develop their talents on the job. As you are building a personal relationship with them, figure out what makes them tick. Then give them relevant assignments whenever possible. Recognize situations where they shine.
This strategy is a powerful and creative way to respect them and their time. For example, do you have any team members that have a knack for web design? Have them build out some of the web pages for a sales funnel or redesign the tracking form.
Helping them align their resumes with their interests could boost morale in a big way.
Coordinate Team-Building Events
Want to improve morale? Then you should coordinate team-building events.
Doing so will give your sales team members a chance to break out of their shells and loosen up a little bit. You can accomplish this virtually or in the same physical location.
How much of your team drinks coffee? Organize a way for them to get together every week to enjoy their morning cup of joe.
Does your team play video games? Coordinate tournaments and get everyone in on it. You can add a small cash prize, one paid-hour off or just stick with bragging rights for the victor.
Collaborate on your fitness goals with technology. You can use tools like FitBit or an app like MyFitnessPal to encourage each other to get healthier. Keep track of each other’s progress and reward your team members for taking care of themselves.
Local team-building might be the best segment in this article. Give your remote team a chance to connect physically. You can do this by organizing an annual party and doing whatever you can to get everybody in the same room.
Just one meetup per year can do wonders for sales team morale. After all, do you ever really know someone until you have met them in-person? When you know and like your teammates, you are more likely to want them and the team to succeed.
What improves morale more than the continual success of you and your team?
Working remotely has its benefits, but so does having a physical location for your workforce.
Make sure your operations are not too stressful for your team and be a consistently positive influence in their daily lives. If you hired the right salespeople, the rest should take care of itself.
Are you looking to hire remote salespeople?
See if your candidate has what it takes to succeed by requesting a free trial of The DriveTest® sales assessment now. Once you have the right talent in place, keeping your sales team morale high is one of the most profitable ways to invest your time.