It’s common knowledge in the industry that to Get Your Sales Reps Motivated, you need to provide incentives and encourage competition. But is that really all it takes? Developing an environment that fosters motivation in your sales team may be more involved than you think. In my 30-year career, I’ve used one simple soundbite to kick off this conversation. It might seem like a squishy question, but it’s never failed to work. I simply say, “Julia, I want to make sure we are in a trusting relationship. How can we build trust between us?
The thing is that everyone gets motivated in different ways, and not everyone is going to feel encouraged by competition or by the promise of bonuses and expensive trips. There’s also a problem that develops when salespeople work in this kind of environment – they tend to focus on the leads that they think are more likely to make a sale and consequently neglect other leads.
Robert Yao, the founder and CEO of EpiFinder, so strongly believes in this idea he’s created a “Robert Yao Hierarchy of Needs.” Whenever someone on his team seems disengaged or demotivated, he shows them the pyramid and asks, “What do you need more of?”
If they point to “food,” he’ll buy them lunch. If they point to “sleep,” he’ll tell them to take a nap. If they point to “exercise,” he’ll say, “Go for a walk.”
So what else does it take to create an environment that inspires your sales team? These five tips should help you get started.
1. Reduce Manual Labour
How many tedious tasks are your salespeople burdened with? Do they manually pull up contact information and dial phone numbers? These kinds of menial tasks can significantly drain their energy and reduce their productivity.
VanillaSoft’s call center solutions offer progressive and preview dialing software that is proven to increase call activity by 296%. By reducing the amount of manual work your salespeople are doing, they can instead focus on putting their skills to use and make sales.
2. Give Them a Purpose
Focusing your salespeople by reducing manual labor is just the start. Next, give them a reason to focus passionately on the job they are doing. Remind them about the impact they are making and how they are trying to help people.
It’s also important that you believe in that goal and the product or service that you’re trying to sell. The more they believe in the work they are doing, the more motivated they’ll be to do it well.
3. Encourage Involvement and Interest
The more invested your salespeople are in your business, the harder they are going to work for it. Encourage them to share their ideas and let them know that they are being listened to. It also pays to give your employees more responsibility and to let them take ownership of the ideas that they’ve presented.
4. Offer Continued Training and Support
You’ve likely heard about cold call anxiety, and the best way to reduce it is to make sure that your reps feel confident and prepared before making a call. If you invest in a robust training program for new hires and continued training for your current employees, they’ll feel appreciated, valued, and also more confident in their skills.
5. Set an Example
Do you practice what you preach? Are you speaking to your team with sincerity and passion? It’s one thing to say that you want an environment that will motivate your employees, but it’s a whole other thing to actually put it into action.
You also need to be willing to embody that ideal salesperson: someone who is passionate, goal-focused, creative, and interested in helping people.
Build the Foundation First
Use these tips to build a foundation, and then feel free to modify your incentive plans or add a new bonus structure. Approaching it this way will help you motivate your employees.