A quote can be used by sales managers to motivate their teams. According to those words, nothing happens in a business until someone sells something. A company may experience a flurry of activity behind the scenes. However, sales of products or services are required to prompt or support those activities.
A sales team is made up of individuals who generate revenue for the company. They do, however, become brand stewards as they build beneficial relationships with clients. When your salesforce burns out or loses steam, it can have a negative impact on the success of your company. That is why it is critical to staff your team with top performers and play to their strengths. Here are four approaches that business owners or sales managers can take.
1. Use Tech Tools for Hiring and Training
When it comes to hiring team members and evaluating their on-the-job performance, all managers have blind spots. You may only see snippets of client interactions or become overly focused on quarterly results. Recruiting processes, including interviews, may tilt hiring processes in favour of some candidates while overlooking others.
Hiring managers are drawn to similar people or candidates who remind them of themselves. Confirmation bias may be present in everything from job descriptions to interview questions. When leaders conduct performance reviews and identify training or mentoring opportunities, they may make the same judgements. They make decisions based on their perceptions of what constitutes a good salesperson, frequently relying solely on their gut reaction or personal experience.
However, other people’s ideas and outside tools are frequently required to gain a more objective and accurate perspective. For example, artificial intelligence-powered technologies can run sales performance analytics to determine what characteristics high performers possess. To arrive at unbiased conclusions, these tools use benchmarks and data from customers, sales teams, and business outcomes. Managers can quickly identify valuable training opportunities and who would make an excellent hire.
2. Establish Realistic and Meaningful Goals
Motivation and empowerment both begin with a goal. You can’t expect your sales team to aim for something they don’t know about. Similarly, if the goal is too lofty, a team will see no reason to try. Your employees look to you as a manager to steer the ship by giving them something attainable to strive for.
Goals can also be related to popular motivational theories. For example, you could give bonuses to team members who meet or exceed their annual sales targets. While a bonus provides financial incentive to sales teams, not all employees are motivated by money. Financial needs are placed at the bottom of the pyramid in some motivational theories, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Your goals should address higher-level needs like esteem and self-actualization. Non-monetary rewards and recognition, such as positive feedback and stretch assignments, will also empower sales teams. Despite the fact that sales are a numbers game, employees frequently want to know the “why” behind a given target. Managers who connect sales objectives to a larger purpose provide context and meaning to sales teams.
3. Create a Culture of Trust
In theory, most managers understand the risks of micromanagement. However, knowing something in your head and putting it into practise are two very different things. Because they haven’t had any other experiences, some leaders create cultures based on fear rather than trust. People, being creatures of habit, frequently repeat what they know and see others do, even when they have opposing intentions.
Sales leaders who engage in micromanagement may believe they are assisting or coaching their team.
However, the consequences of micromanagement can be similar to bullying. According to some experts, this leadership style is a form of workplace bullying. Employees may experience depression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem and confidence, in addition to a loss of motivation. Your sales team may also become concerned about losing their jobs or facing retaliation from you or other company leaders.
Unfortunately, a fear-based culture produces employees who go through the motions and do the bare minimum.
To avoid confrontation or job loss, they stop contributing their insights and knowledge, saying yes to whatever the leader says. Creating trusting cultures in which managers step back and demonstrate their belief in their employees’ abilities empowers them. They are more likely to speak up, innovate, and feel motivated to help the company achieve its goals.
4. Practice Open and Effective Communication
Employee-employer relationships cannot function without effective communication. Confusion arises when sales teams guess what will happen next and what managers mean. It is a disservice to the team when people are left out of the loop or are caught off guard. You may also irritate employees if you expect them to communicate but do not practise what you preach.
Managers typically use team and one-on-one meetings. Bringing the group together helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Individual chats allow employees to clarify questions and discuss situations that may not be applicable to the team. Face-to-face time is used in both group and private meetings, resulting in an instant, two-way feedback loop. Employees get the tools they need to do their jobs, and you get a sense of what’s going on in the field.
Effective communication, on the other hand, is not limited to meetings. Managers can practise good communication skills by sending emails, voicemails, documents, and participating in online discussions. For example, sending an email conversation between you and your boss to the team without context will be confusing.
While the email may contain useful information, employees will be unsure what to do with it. Include context to explain why you’re forwarding the email and any actions you anticipate your team taking. This way, the team won’t dismiss the email’s details or be concerned about how it might affect their jobs.
Empowering Sales Teams
Sales teams that are empowered and motivated are more likely to deliver the results that companies require. High-performing teams cultivate the type of client relationships required to bring in the numbers. However, in order to achieve the desired business outcomes, sales employees require strong leaders. Sales managers who employ effective technologies and leadership styles can create environments that promote rather than discourage achievement.
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