Whatever job we do, it can be hard to keep motivated. Just like on these chilly winter mornings, another hour in bed is so much more tempting than a run, swim or bike ride.
Keeping yourself and your sales team motivated is easy when things are going well, but how do you turn things around when your sales figures are dropping faster than the temperature?
You could go to the library and thumb through the dozens of motivational books going dusty on the shelves, or you could take a good hard look at what your sales team are doing and get back to the basics of what, why, how.
The What – literally, what are they doing? Analyse the team’s sales process step by step, or maybe they are all doing things differently. Either way, it’ll give you clues to what’s causing the slump.
The Why – ask them if they understand why they are doing what they’re doing. It’s easy to fall into the groove of ‘because it’s always been done like this’. Maybe it has, and maybe it used to be the winning way, but times change, the market changes and customer behaviour today, is lightyears away from how it used to be. ‘Because we’ve always done it that way’ is not an acceptable answer. The answer must be logical, practical and considered, along the lines of: ‘We know who our customers are, we’ve looked at their buyer behaviour, we’ve matched this to our products and qualified our leads.’
The How – how are they selling? Are they behaving in the way you want; do they know the company’s values and are they living them every time? If they are not, it’s time to look at what impact their remuneration, commission and bonus is having on how they approach their sales. It’s vital to reward the things that you want them to do and take away rewards that encourage what you don’t want. Do they know the company’s values? If not, time for a refresher.
When things are going well it’s easy to overlook the basics, targets are being achieved, everyone’s busy and motivation isn’t even mentioned. The problems start when sales start to stagnate and the team loses its mojo. Suddenly nothing works and as the CEO, MD, sales manager or sales director, it’s up to you to analyse the sales process, fix what you can and hope the team regain their motivation. This should help the sales figures but it won’t fix the motivation.
To have a truly inspired and motivated team it’s important to give them to tools to compete on the same terms. Fine tune the sales process, ensure they are all following the same method to create consistency and find out what makes each individual tick. A good team will have a variety of personalities. To motivate them you need to know them and they need to know and trust you. Make sure you have one on one time with each of them and find out what makes them tick. Ask about their personal and professional goals and, if you can, give them KPIs to reflect the direction they are heading. If each person in the team feels the company is invested in them and can help them achieve the career they want, they will be motivated to be successful not only to achieve their own goals but to make the company a success too.
And to the old saying: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ I say, it may not look broken but don’t wait until it is, fix it now. Be prepared for anything in the market that might throw your team off track. Minimise your risk and maximise your potential by implementing a consistent sales process. Just don’t expect thanks from your motivated team, they’ll be too busy enjoying their work, achieving their targets and thanking their lucky stars they work for you.