Struggling with sales team motivation? Wondering if your team members are a bad fit? Team morale can be tricky, especially in sales.
Folks who are new at running a sales team may find themselves making common mistakes that effectively kill all team morale.
We’re going to break down 4 of the most common sales team morale killers, and offer up some alternatives for how to motivate your sales team instead.
Team Morale Killer #1: Not Setting Clear Expectations
What expectations do you set for the people on your sales team?
Do you have clear goals and quotas, but no real expectations around day-to-day behaviors and duties?
If so, you’re putting the morale of your whole team at risk.
Most sales teams set pretty clear expectations for results. For numbers. For quotas. But where they falter are setting the expectations for behavior.
And here’s the danger: if you don’t set behavioral expectations, your sales reps can be dropping the ball… and thinking that they’re doing everything right.
There’s nothing more frustrating to team morale than to be faltering in sales performance and not understanding why.
The Key To Boosting Team Morale: Set Expectations Based On Behaviors
Here’s the way to fix it: set expectations based on behaviors and tasks.
Right actions lead to right results. And there are some actions that lead to higher sales numbers than others.
This can vary depending on your industry. But while you can’t guarantee when a piece of business will close, or when a customer will sign on the dotted line, you can consistently train how a pitch is delivered. How many times your reps pick up the phone. How many doors they go knock on.
By focusing on behavior, you will have a very clear set of expectations for what your reps should do in order to be successful.
It also serves as a clear roadmap for how to improve if a particular sales rep is struggling.
Having clear expectations for behavior, as well as performance, keeps your team communicating well and focused on the actions that really move the needle.
Team Morale Killer #2: Not Leading From The Front
If I tell you to quit smoking, and then immediately proceed to suck down a couple of Camels, how likely are you to follow my advice?
In the same way, let’s say your sales team hears the same few points on their behavior and performance in every sales meeting.
“Call 75 leads per day.”
“Practice your demonstration with a partner daily.”
“Follow up with 5 customers and ask for referrals.”
How many times have your sales team witnessed you, as a leader, following those habits? How often do you work alongside your team to guide them through and show them how those habits are done, and done well?
If the answer is “seldom” or “never,” you’re eroding the trust of your team.
The Key To Boosting Team Morale: Practice What You Preach
Good leaders, leaders of sales teams with high morale, get their hands dirty.
Think about it: if you’re not willing to do the work that you expect your team to do, it sends them a message.
It tells them that you’re too important to do the “little stuff.”
It tells them that these behaviors that you spend so much time talking about aren’t actually that important.
It tells them that their time doesn’t matter.
But members of a team naturally want to follow a good leader. If you can set the example and show them how it’s done, you will raise the bar and inspire people to follow your lead.
Have regular trainings to help facilitate the right behaviors. Pick up the phone call and give your team a few demonstrations.
Build a culture that illustrates what behaviors are important.
Showing them that you can do the same work you expect from them, and that you value that work, will boost your sales team morale.
Team Morale Killer #3: Withholding Encouragement
You need to encourage the members of your sales team. If you don’t, you will always have morale problems.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to coddle your sales reps. To issue participation trophies, or hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ until everybody feels warm and fuzzy.
But if you ignore the achievements of your reps and constantly focus on the negative, you can be sure that your team morale will plummet.
If you don’t encourage your reps, they will assume that they are doing things wrong.
Or that working hard for you doesn’t matter.
Either way, it leads to frustration. And that leads to poor morale, and to good sales reps leaving your team in droves.
The Key To Boosting Team Morale: Lead With Encouragement
So what does proper sales team encouragement look like?
Some sales reps respond well to a nurturing approach. Others prefer direct, clear cut approval with no emotional baggage. Regardless, it’s important to meet your team members where they are at and give them encouragement that they recognize.
Being a coach and a mentor to your sales team is absolutely critical. They need to know that you are invested in their success and be inspired to work hard for you.
You can’t over-empower a sales rep with too much encouragement. If they are properly encouraged, they’re confident. And a confident sales agent is motivated to perform well.
Encouragement, and teaching, changes behavior. Behavior changes performance. A team that performs well tends to have high morale.
Team Morale Killer #4: Not Investing In Your Team’s Growth
Here’s the thing about people: they don’t like standing still.
This goes for salespeople too. If the members of your sales team don’t see any opportunity to grow in your organization, you can expect the morale on your team to be stagnant as well.
If you encourage a culture that keeps people where they are, they will inevitably begin to feel used. As though they’re just another cog in a machine that’s tuned to produce your success, at the expense of their own.
Nobody wants to feel used. And nobody wants to perform well for someone who’s just using them.
So when you’re looking at a team that shows little sign of motivation, ask yourself: have you given them a reason to be motivated?
The Key To Boosting Team Morale: Help Your People Grow
If you want your team to stay motivated and continually produce results, you need to invest in the growth of your people.
A tangible way to do that is to have your sales reps set goals, and do what you can to help them achieve those goals.
Does your sales rep want to make more money to buy a fancy car? Take their family on vacation? To improve an aspect of their performance?
Find what motivates your people and help them set measurable and attainable goals to get there. Set 1-on-1 meetings with your sales reps weekly, (or at least monthly,) to help monitor progress.
Show the members of your team that you care about what they care about. If you invest in their dreams, they’ll be invested in performing well for your team.
You’ll also want to have a clear roadmap to advancement in your organization. Not every sales rep will have the aptitude or desire to be a sales leader, but those that do will want to take on additional responsibility.
Taking on more responsibility empowers people and drives them forward. So make sure you have a plan for how to build up sales leaders within your company.
If you’re ready to build up a great sales team, with great morale, Solcomm wants to hear from you. We’re direct sales leaders in the telecom industry dedicated to supporting and boosting the sales of our partners and subdealers. Contact us now to learn more about how we could work together.