Your sales people are likely to be the most valuable people you employ. Without your sales team, how can you achieve your business growth aspirations? All businesses have their ups and downs, but when your sales team are de-motivated or underperforming you’ll soon notice it. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you may find that it takes a few months for the poor sales figures to become apparent, and by that time it’s too late. Picking your team up, getting them motivated and enabling them to perform better will then be a reactive response to a couple of poor sales months. Of course, a pro-active strategy is better, but how can you ensure that your sales team are always on top of their game?
1. Communicate the vision
If your business leaders are the navigators, your salespeople will be the drivers to get you to where you want to go. The overall business strategy and vision need to be communicated well. Your sales people need to live and breathe the vision, believe in it and be motivated to deliver it. One of the biggest mistakes that business leaders can make is by not providing regular and open communication about the business aims and objectives to their people. Your people will be far better placed to support you in your journey if they know where you want to go.
2. Align targets and objectives with the vision
Rewarding sales people based on performance has been proven to be successful in motivating your people to achieve set targets. For consistency, the targets should be aligned to the business strategy and provide clear expectations to your sales people. They should also be realistic and achievable; otherwise, your staff will simply feel that they are being set up to fail.
3. Make time for personal development & training
No matter how good your sales people are at their job, there is always room for development and improvement. The job of the sales team manager is to ensure that the team is equipped with the right skills and that their skills are kept up to date. Undertaking regular off-site training can be an effective way to allow your people to take time away from the day to day challenges and focus on their own personal development. It’s also a great way for teams to bond and get to know each other better, as a sales person's role can often be a lonely one.
4. Introduce a peer to peer mentor scheme
Peer to peer mentoring is a great way to develop your people. It’s a win-win development strategy as both the mentor and mentored will benefit. The mentor will feel a sense of empowerment through being given the responsibility to help a fellow employee. The mentored will feel they are being given the support to develop their skills in a safe environment.
5. Reward and recognition
Rewards don’t always need to be financial, although as a basic reward package, sales people do expect to receive a performance related bonus. But other forms of recognition, such as career development and investment in training has a big impact on how motivated your key sales people will feel. Get your salespeople involved in key projects to help them feel their input is valued. Set-up a peer to peer mentor scheme or invest in a training and development programme to give your team a boost.