Sales is considered to be one of the most difficult roles in an organization and is highly demanding. Each sales career experience is unique and different based on the company, products and personal sales skills. It might sometimes become challenging for salespeople to stay motivated and sustain in a company for long time.
The ultimate challenge of the Inside sales or Sales manager is to find ways to motivate their sales reps to perform at their best. Their job includes retaining top talent by building loyalty among the team members.
Here are 9 ways Sales leaders can keep their team members happy, loyal and engaged:
Have a Strong Hiring Process
Recruit sales staff that you will be able to retain. A person good at sales might not remain loyal if he doesn’t fit to the company’s work environment and culture. Make the new potential hires speak to multiple members of the team so as to get a clear indication if the person is a good fit for both sales and the company’s culture. If the candidate suits both the requirements, there is a high chance of long-term success. Also, while listing the perks and benefits of joining your organization, just ensure that you keep up with them in future as well. A false commitment might end up making the employees unhappy and demotivated.
Recruit Proficient and Capable Sales Managers
Sales managers should be confident and must have the ability to motivate others in the team, in order to gain respect of those underneath them. Managers should take hold of the responsibility of the Inside Sales team. Sales managers can have a huge impact on the attitude and professional output and productivity of the team members if they coach the salespeople appropriately and practice morals and ethics of high standards.
Developing an open culture that promotes two-way conversations would ensure that the employees are comfortable to speak their mind. Consider your team member’s wish list and listen to their requests. The employees need to know that their concerns are being heard so that they feel more valued. They not just need constructive feedbacks but also want positive comments and appreciation. Sales managers must make sure that they recognize the good performance of the employees immediately.
Spend Ample Time in Training
Even if a person possesses an extroverted sales personality, effective selling is still a skill that needs to be developed. Every company has their own unique approach towards approaching customers and selling, based on the type of product/service being sold by them. Therefore, training every new sales employee thoroughly is crucial to improve their productivity and develop a kind of outlook that matches the company’s mission statement.
Frequent trainings improve retention rate as employees are more loyal towards companies that value their growth and want to cultivate it.
Give them Sufficient “Ramp-up” Time
Few companies don’t have realistic expectations as to how long it should take for newly hired salesperson to ramp up and develop consistency. They don’t have the patience to allow their employees to settle down and give them enough time to succeed. They need immediate results and expect the new person to generate revenues from the beginning itself.
The employees should be provided with enough time to become compatible with the company and the respective industry. The overall sales experience, years in the industry and compatibility must be taken into account to define the ramp-up time for every particular salesperson recruited.
Micromanagement prevents employees from making their own decisions and taking responsibility of their work. Team members become timid and paralyzed and their growth is hindered in the long run. Sales managers should empower their employees to do well by giving adequate opportunities to excel. It’s important to keep the processes simple and give the salespeople the freedom to work.
Ensure Fair Rewards and Recognition System
Salespeople crave for recognition and motivation. They want ongoing encouragement and praise to keep up sales. Getting negative feedback is a regular part of a salesperson’s daily life and hence it’s vital to give them regular praise and admiration for their efforts and achievements to keep them feeling upbeat and motivated.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
Growth is perceived differently by different people. For some, it might mean moving into management positions or getting involved in the strategic decisions and for some it might mean regular promotions, taking on larger accounts and monetary benefits. Provide your Inside sales team with a clear path for growth and you will witness a steady improvement in their engagement levels.
Pay your Employees Well
Most of the sales roles have a part of compensation which is tied up with performance (apart from fixed base salary) which we call variable pay or commission. Commission is supposed to be about motivation. Great salespeople are motivated by money and are risk takers. They want all the commission they can get and are confident in their abilities so they are willing to excel.
In order to keep the work environment healthy and competitive, you must reward the top performers with higher rewards as compared to the underperformers.