If you’ve been in sales management for any period of time, then you know how hard it can be to motivate a sales team that is not performing.
This situation brings to mind Vince Lombardi, the super successful coach of the Green Bay Packers, who is quoted as saying:
“If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”
When things are going well, being enthusiastic is much easier than when things are going badly.
And the mark of a successful sales manager is to take an under-performing sales team or individual and create in them the fire necessary to improve their sales performance.
To achieve this transformation, you need the latest, tried, and tested sales training techniques.
If you can convey the message to your sales staff, that they are capable of greater sales performance and then show them how to do it, their motivation and enthusiasm will return and escalate.
Get Your Employees Engaged, Motivated, and Performing Better
So, how do you create an engaged sales team?
The process starts, not unsurprisingly, with your hiring process.
Align Your Hiring Process with the Company’s Core Values
You need to ensure that you are not only attracting but also retaining employees who are a good fit for your organization.
To do this, you must have an intimate knowledge of your organization, your customers, and how they interact with your staff. Your brand and company culture must align with your staff in such a way that they complement and strengthen the company.
When attracting and hiring new sales staff, you need to know exactly what it is that your company stands for and be able to convey that to a prospective hire, so that they understand it.
Your job is then to elicit from them whether or not they meet your criteria for the position. Then you must make sure that they understand what your expectations are for determining success within your organization.
If HR and line management can evaluate potential employees who most closely align with the company’s core values, then getting the sales team to a point where they are all pulling together for a common goal is much easier.
Motivating Sales Teams
While hiring the right person for your company is an important first step, the process of engaging and motivating sales staff lies with management who understands effective sales training techniques.
To get the best from someone, they need to feel that they are needed, recognized and appreciated for their contribution.
Being social animals, we crave attention. Even the most unapproachable individual wants to be noticed.
Hopefully, your hiring managers have provided you with sales staff who are well-adjusted, social individuals who enjoy interacting with both their peers and your clients.
Harness the Power of Recognition
By recognizing achievement, you feed your staff’s need to belong, to be part of a group that cherishes their contribution.
This recognition goes beyond the annual awards for performance and monthly incentives. Managers and mentors need to be on hand to acknowledge performance in each area of the sales process.
Breaking down the steps that end in a successful sale and then encouraging and complimenting the achievement of success in each step builds both trust and excitement.
Show Your Team Respect
Individuals want to be respected, both for their contribution to the attainment of team goals as well as for their own achievements and effort.
Showing respect for an employee’s contribution to achieving targets and goals builds a reservoir of goodwill that will repay you many times over.
If the sales team feels that they have the respect of management and their peers, they will become more self-motivated in their desire to not let you or the team down.
The fear of losing that respect is a great motivating force in most ambitious individuals. This has never been truer than over the past few years when CEOs and senior management have had to deal with the fear and anxiety of a changing business landscape.
How to Strengthen Sales Relationships with Prospects
Similarly, successful sales are built on relationships, and relationships are built on trust.
We generally buy from people we trust and can relate to. So, teaching your sales teams how to relate to customers and build relationships with them is one of the single biggest contributors to sales success.
Building relationships goes beyond sales gimmicks and outdated sales strategies. Being able to ask the right questions that elicit the required information, goes a long way to giving your sales team the information they need to get inside their prospect’s head.
This process is known as qualifying the prospect and your sales team must be exposed to the latest techniques and queries that help move them closer to understanding their client’s requirements.
They’ll also learn to identify their client’s fears, pain points, and true motivation for acquiring the product or service. They’ll also learn to ask the questions that reveal what it is that is holding a client back from making a decision, while simultaneously putting their prospects at ease.
When they truly understand what problem their client has, they are in the best position to provide the solution.
By asking the right questions, they not only find out what it is their client needs, but they also find out under what circumstances the client will buy the solution from them.
Old School vs. New School Selling
Old-school sales were focused on the metrics and techniques of selling.
New school selling opens a whole new world of information that wasn’t available to their older counterparts.
Rather than cold-calling prospects, the modern sales professional can speak with prospects who are already interested in what they have to sell. They can build relationships by providing sort-after information that provides value first.
Sales is now a more collaborative effort, where the prospect helps the salesperson to understand the problem and is then guided to a solution that is best suited to their unique set of circumstances.
The latest, most successful sales training techniques to learn how to improve your team’s sales performance are available both online and in person at Sales Plug University.