You might have some motivational quotes to keep the fire of success burning bright. Here are a few of mine:
“Don’t TALK about it, BE about it.”
“You can’t deposit excuses.”
“Remember your WHY.”
These are all great. Ok the last one might seem cliche, but they all motivate me personally. And you have your own personal motivational tools. But what about your sales team? What gets them fired up to bang out cold calls to generate pipeline… day after day after day?
Chances are – you don’t know the full answer to this question. But thankfully, you’re in good hands, as I’ve been building high-octane sales teams going on two decades now. And so I know a thing or two about sustainable motivation. Let’s start hitting those numbers, shall we?
The Importance of Motivation in Sales
Your sales team is the glue that holds your organization together. After all, no sales = no customers.
Some sales managers purposely don’t motivate their team, because they think it’ll make the talent go soft or give them an excuse to let up on the gas pedal. The toxic thinking goes something like this: “If I keep them in a perpetual state of uncertainty, they will work harder to prove themselves.”
Sure, this used to work back in the 1900’s and early 2000’s. But today’s employees are used to skipping from one job to the next. And burnout is at an all-time high. So if your salespeople are top-performers, you must do everything in your power to keep them happy and motivated.
By motivating them — that is by celebrating their successes, recognizing their efforts, holding personal 1-1 meetings, etc. — you will give them new reasons everyday to step on the gas and crush their quota. And the best part is that you’re setting up your top talent (and your company) for sustainable growth into the future.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of all the best ways to motivate your team to perform at the next level.
5 Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team
1. Regularly Communicate Expectations
I get it — you have great expectations for your salespeople (and you should!). However, it’s on you to regularly communicate these expectations to your team. If you don’t, I can almost guarantee a pressure-cooker-like environment on the sales floor. Trust me, communicating expectations is the bedrock of a healthy and motivated sales team.
Thankfully, once you’re open and honest about what you expect in terms of performance (sales activities, meetings booked, deals closed, etc.), many salespeople will step up to the plate. Sure, some will take off their proverbial jerseys and leave the team, and that’s OK. It’s a positive leadership trait to aim for excellence. You just have to regularly communicate what excellence means in your org.
2. Get in the Trenches
Ever see those videos of Grant Cardone walking around the sales floor, jumping on calls with prospects, taking over the close, razzing his team? Aim for that. But unlike Cardone, be sure you aim for teachable moments, not useless ego-boosting moments. This will show your team that you “walk the walk” and you’re willing to, well, get in the trenches with them like a good commander. This is one of those “lead by example” things that can completely transform your sales org if you practice it on a consistent basis.
3. Offer Sales Incentives
Sometimes it works wonders to sweeten the deal — above and beyond sales commissions — if you want to motivate employees and foster a positive company culture. In sales, performance-incentives are usually tied to the number of meetings booked or sales closed. But I recommend experimenting in tying incentives to sales activities as well. If your average sales guy is putting in 75 calls per day, motivate them to get to 100 by incentivizing it. What could you offer? Be creative, but here are some ideas:
- Grubhub gift cards
- Gym memberships
- Cigar club membership
- Tech gear
- Subscription boxes
- And the list goes on
4. Celebrate Successes
Whether big or small, recognizing and celebrating success can inject newfound motivation in a sales team. You’ve seen sales floors with a bell that gets rung when a deal closes. You can do something like this, or find the digital equivalent like a “brag board.” However it might look, the important thing is that top-performers get recognized. And those who are under-performing just might start to feel healthy jealousy and choose to step up their game. If you want your team to succeed on a consistent basis, you must start celebrating their successes on a consistent basis. This is a foundational principle in human motivation.
5. Find Out What Motivates the Individual
Pizza parties are a cop-out, one-size-fits-all waste of time. This sort of thing doesn’t work when it comes to genuine, lasting motivation. Instead, you have to meet with your salespeople as individuals and build relationships. This way you can learn what motivates each person and personalize your approach to motivating him or her. For instance, some of your salespeople are motivated by collaboration and teamwork, while others want nothing to do with collaboration and teamwork. Just remember that everyone is an individual, so a cookie-cutter approach to motivating your employees will never work.
Of course, all of the strategies and tactics above will only work if you give your salespeople a good work/life balance. If you expect your team to work long hours on weekends, you’re setting them up for burnout. Not everyone is a hustler like you. Some people work at a different pace and require actual sleep.
Now, if you encourage a healthy work/life balance, you’ll get more out of your sales team and they’ll be much easier to motivate. Also remember that it’s the leader (that’s YOU) that sets the standard for the organization. Success starts at the top, and it’s on you to bring your salespeople up to that standard without burning through them.
This isn’t rocket science. Just follow the time-tested principles I’ve outlined to master motivation in your company. You’ve got this.
Until next time…