Motivating a Sales Team: Beyond Training for Peak Performance
by gardenpatch Insights on Jan 11, 2023 9:00:00 AM
A survey of over 400 sales leaders found that sales organizations experienced a 58% higher employee turnover rate in 2021 than in the 12 months prior. Salespeople need the motivation to stay engaged and perform at their best, or they will burn out.
Moreover, 61% of sales professionals think selling is harder nowadays than five years ago. As a result, effective sales training is a must for business success.
As a manager or business owner, it's essential to have a team of motivated and skilled salespeople to drive growth and success. But it can be challenging to keep your sales team motivated and performing at their best.
This blog shares practical tips and strategies for training and motivating your sales team. You'll learn to set goals, provide ongoing training, and create a positive and supportive work environment that encourages your team to succeed. We'll also discuss how to recognize and reward your sales team for their hard work and accomplishments. This blog is for you whether you're just starting or looking to improve your existing sales team.
Why Sales Teams Need Motivation
Sales teams often face various challenges that can impact their motivation and performance. Some common challenges include:
- Lack of training: Salespeople may struggle to understand the product or service they are selling and how to communicate its value to potential clients effectively.
- Competition: Salespeople often work in a competitive environment to win business from other companies. This can be stressful and demotivating if they don't see success.
- Rejection: Sale is a field where rejection is common, and it can be difficult for salespeople to bounce back from repeated rejections.
- Limited resources: Sales teams may not have the resources they need to be successful, such as access to tools, information, or support from management.
- Burnout: Sales can be a high-stress and high-pressure job, leading to burnout if team members aren't given the support and resources they need to manage their workload and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Designing a Comprehensive Sales Training Program
A good training program should cover various topics to help salespeople develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Training sessions may include:
- Product knowledge: Salespeople should have a thorough understanding of the products or services they are selling, including features, benefits, and any potential challenges or objections a customer may have.
- Sales techniques: A good sales team training program should teach salespeople how to communicate effectively with potential customers, ask the right questions, and close a sale. Check out our guide on the best sales enablement tools.
- Customer service: Salespeople should be trained to provide excellent customer service, including handling customer inquiries and complaints.
- Time management: Sales professionals often have to juggle multiple tasks and priorities, so training in time management skills can be helpful.
- Communication skills: Salespeople should be able to communicate effectively with potential customers, as well as with team members and other stakeholders.
- Onboarding for new reps: It is important to provide new team members with a thorough onboarding program to help them understand the company's products, processes, and culture. This can include sales training and other types of training, such as company policies and procedures. Providing new hires with a strong foundation of knowledge and support helps them feel more confident and successful in their roles.
Here are a few additional best practices to consider when designing a sales training program:
- Role-playing: Practicing sales techniques through role-playing exercises can be an effective way for salespeople to develop their skills and get feedback from trainers or peers.
- Online sales training programs: Many companies use online training platforms to deliver sales training content. Online courses are typically more convenient and cost-effective.
- One-on-one coaching: Providing individual coaching and support can be particularly helpful for salespeople who are struggling or have specific areas to improve.
- Real-life scenarios: Using real-life examples and case studies can help salespeople better understand how to apply their skills in different situations.
- Continuous learning: A good sales training program should not be a one-time event but an ongoing process. Salespeople should be encouraged to continue learning and developing their skills over time.
Strategies To Create High-Performing Sales Teams
As any successful sales manager knows, money is an important factor in driving motivation. However, it's not the only factor. The key to motivating a sales team is beyond offering a competitive salary or commission structure. Below are seven of the best ways to motivate your sales teams to achieve sales success:
1. Boost Motivation And Commitment Through Meaningful Work
Have you ever experienced that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of a workday? It's a feeling that can be elusive for some, but research from Harvard Business School suggests that people who find meaning in their work are more motivated and committed. So, how can you give your team's work deeper meaning and help them feel more fulfilled in their roles?
Focus on the company mission and values and how they can positively impact the world. It's easy for salespeople to get caught up in their goals of bringing in accounts and making money for the company. But, by helping them understand your product or service's social purpose and its impact on people and communities, you can give them a sense of purpose that goes beyond their own career and personal goals.
2. Automate Day-To-Day Tasks
On average, sales teams save 5 hours weekly by automating daily tasks. Automating day-to-day tasks is a great way to motivate your sales team and free up their time to focus on more high-impact activities. While automation can be a powerful tool for motivating your sales team, it's important to carefully consider which tasks are appropriate to automate and ensure that your team has the training and support they need to use them effectively. High-performing companies are 2x as likely as underperforming companies to describe their sales processes as automated.
3. Make Sales Reps Feel Valued
Salespeople are often the driving force behind a company's success, but ensuring they feel valued and appreciated for their hard work is important.
- Recognize and reward achievements: Whether through a formal recognition program or simply acknowledging their hard work in team meetings, it's important to let your salespeople know that their efforts are not going unnoticed.
- Offer opportunities for professional development: Investing in your team's professional growth and skill development shows that you value their long-term success. In addition, it shows that you are committed to helping them reach their potential.
- Provide a supportive work environment: Sales can be a high-stress job, so creating a supportive work environment that allows your team to thrive is important. This can include regular check-ins, providing resources and tools to help them succeed, and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
- Show appreciation for their contributions: Sometimes, saying "thank you" can go a long way. Show your sales team their contributions are valued and appreciated by regularly expressing your gratitude.
- Seek their input and involve them in decision-making: The good news is that giving your salespeople a sense of ownership and autonomy can help them feel valued and invested in the company's success. Ensure to involve them when developing sales plans, methodologies, and strategies.
4. Set Goals
Setting goals is essential in motivating and driving success for your sales team. Without a clear target to strive for, your team members may lack direction and a sense of purpose.
Sales quotas are a good starting point, but it's important to recognize that different salespeople are motivated by different goals. Some may thrive under the pressure of competition, while others are more motivated by personal goals or challenges. To find out what works best for each salesperson, it's important to have regular check-ins and discussions about their goals and how they can be supported in achieving them.
5. Provide Sales Leadership Training
Sales leadership training is essential for any organization looking to build a strong and successful sales team.
Here are a few reasons why providing sales leadership training is important:
- Develops management skills: Sales management training helps managers develop the skills they need to lead and motivate their teams effectively. This can include skills like communication, conflict resolution, and goal setting.
- Builds team cohesion: Sales Leadership training can help build a sense of teamwork and collaboration within the sales team, leading to improved communication and a more cohesive team.
- Improves team performance: By providing sales leadership training, you can help your team members understand their roles and responsibilities more clearly and develop the skills they need to be successful in their jobs. This can lead to improved sales performance and productivity. Lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies at least $1 trillion annually.
- Increases employee satisfaction: When sales team members feel supported and empowered by their leaders, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Sales leadership training can help managers create a positive work environment and foster employee engagement.
6. Motivate Remote Sales Teams
Motivating a remote sales team can be challenging, but there are a few strategies that can help keep your team members engaged and motivated:
- Set clear goals and expectations: It's important to set clear goals and expectations for your remote sales team, just as you would with a team that works in-house.
- Provide regular communication and support: As a remote sales manager, it's important to stay in regular communication with your team members and provide them with the support they need to be successful. This can include regular check-ins, providing resources and sales tools, and offering opportunities for professional development.
- Foster a sense of community: It's easy for remote team members to feel isolated. So, finding ways to foster a sense of community and connection is crucial. This can include regular team meetings, virtual happy hours, or just trying to stay in touch with them. Check out our guide on building successful remote teams.
- Recognize and reward achievements: Recognizing and rewarding the achievements of your remote sales team can help keep them motivated and engaged. This can include formal recognition programs or acknowledging their hard work in team meetings.
- Offer flexibility: One of the benefits of working remotely is the ability to have a more flexible schedule. Offering your team the opportunity to have some flexibility in their workday can help them feel more in control of their work environment and increase job satisfaction.
7. Make The Sales Prospecting Process Easier
Prospecting can be a challenging part of the sales process for many sales reps, with 40% citing it as the most difficult aspect of their job. The sales industry is constantly changing, so it’s essential to ensure sales connect with the right people at the right time for greater success.
Sales prospecting is the first step in the sales cycle. Effective sales prospecting is a crucial part of the sales process, as it involves identifying and connecting with potential buyers, known as prospects. The goal is to develop a database of qualified leads that can be entered into a sales funnel to convert them into paying customers.
Sales reps can use many different tactics to identify and connect with potential buyers.
By establishing a systematic approach to identifying and reaching out to potential leads, sales reps can develop frameworks that can be used repeatedly, increasing the likelihood of closing deals with prospects.
The best approach to building the best salespeople is to focus on both training and motivation. As subject matter experts, salespeople should be well-versed in the products or services they are selling. This requires an ongoing training process and development, whether through in-person training courses or self-study.
In addition to having a strong knowledge base, salespeople must be motivated to succeed. This can be achieved through various methods, such as setting clear goals and offering incentives for meeting them.
Ultimately, the key to building the best sales team is to pay attention to their needs and provide the necessary support and resources to help them succeed. This includes providing opportunities for training and development and finding ways to keep them motivated and engaged in their work. By focusing on both of these areas, businesses can build a team of salespeople who are well-equipped to meet buyers' needs and drive success for the company.
Let Us Do The Heavy Lifting
By providing your sales team with new skills and the knowledge they need to succeed, you can set them up for success and drive growth for your business. So why wait? Take action now and invest in the training and motivation of your sales team. If you're unsure where to start, the team at gardenpatch has years of experience in helping companies build teams of high-performing salespeople. Talk to one of our experts here at gardenpatch today!