May 27, 2021
This article looks at ways –to keep sales teams excited, inspired, and focused on boosting sales through the slowdown periodScroll Down
The world is facing a sales slowdown due to changing buyer priorities. Brands are cutting spends and implementing organization-wide cost-control strategies. A McKinsey Global survey noted that over 46% of Indian B2B companies made drastic cuts in spending. Sales team motivation and the drive to perform, however, are badly affected by the perceived lack of new sales opportunities.
Moreover, the increased preference for digitally-enabled sales framework is creating new demands for enabling speed and transparency across customer touchpoints. Among sales leaders, 66% rate digital channels as being twice as important in post-pandemic times than they were before. In such times, what can sales leaders do to turn around the sales performance while keeping their revenue earners motivated?
This article looks at ways –to keep sales teams excited, inspired, and focused on boosting sales through product training, redefining goals, and acknowledging short-term achievements.
Engage with an Effective Learning Program
Learning programs that continuously engage sales teams are among the key elements to keep sales teams motivated. Effective product training which equips sales teams with the latest product knowledge empowers sales staff. You can gamify the product training or use interactive tactics to pull the trainees in. This will make learning interesting, increasing chances of continuous engagement.
For instance, gamifying product training can make participants focus on their progress across levels. Healthy pitch competition within internal sales teams is another way to encourage participants to level up their knowledge and showcase their selling skills which not just adds up to professional growth but also greatly accelerates their personal development.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting clear expectations and revaluating goals must be a top priority for sales leaders. For success, set achievable personalised goals that push your sales team to put their best foot forward.
Think of creating milestones, contests and micro plans to help them achieve short-term goals. This gives a clear picture of how much you want your sales to improve. For example, you can set a goal to increase sales by 15% over baseline in certain product categories or to convert 10 potential buyers in the new region targeted at new business acquisition.
The best way to motivate a sales team is to let each one of them select individual milestones or goals based on their past performance. By using the behavioural economics principle of choice architecture, you can give them an option of self-selection of goals with aspirational rewards aligned to them. Choice architecture nudges people to make certain choices. So, if a salesperson reaches a higher goal, he or she gets a bigger reward. When implemented in a fun way such incentives inspire your sales team to succeed under any circumstances.
Ensure Psychological Safety
Ensuring psychological safety in times of crisis is at the root of caring for your sales teams. Now more than ever, leaders need to encourage and support their sales teams to share ideas, concerns, and ways of working. Reach out and connect with them to check how they are doing and provide encouragement as well as positive acknowledgment for jobs well done by leveraging a recognition framework.
Demonstrate concern and empathy by listening to your sales team and understanding where they are coming from. You can also show understanding by turning responsibilities into group efforts. So, instead of telling team members to "achieve this target", you can ask them "How can we make sure that we accomplish this month's target together?" This affirms to your team, your willingness to work with them instead of making them work under you.
At the same time, determine how as a brand you will provide safety to the teams who cannot work remotely. This includes maintaining good workplace hygiene and following covid safety protocols to ensure your team feels safe and engaged at work.
Recognise and Reward Milestones
When your team is happy and energetic, it creates opportunities for improving the sales pipeline. Celebrate from the smallest to the biggest achievements with thoughtful recognition and rewards to keep the team inspired even during the sales slowdown. Non-cash rewards and experiences are a great way to push the sales team to work harder.
Rewards are a great way to motivate your sales teams to go out of their comfort zone and achieve their targets. The rewards can be set not only for the goal achievements but also for the right and positive behaviours they showcase to reach their targets. During this crucial time the journey to make a sale should be considered as important as closing a deal. Find the right reasons to make them feel they are valued even during the sales slowdown.
Boost Motivation with Social and Gamification
You can improve team performance by applying game mechanics. The concept of game mechanics helps define the rules and rewards to implement engaging gameplay. Based on this, run sales contests with performance incentives for all levels of performance. Brands can maintain scoreboards and leader boards to show team members how are they progressing. They can also give badges and certificates for sales success. Gamification can help brands encourage healthy competition among team members.
Not only this, for inspiring other team members, you can help high-performing members share their achievements on social platforms. This will create a social impact, motivating other team members to achieve their goals.
Do you want your sales team to be even more committed and inspired to navigate the pandemic? The strategies just shared, can help raise