By Nicholas Cucci
As a leader/manager, it's important that you create an environment where your sales team feels valued, appreciated and trusted. They are ultimately responsible for bringing in new customers and ensuring that your company stays top of mind among existing clientele.
When your sales team is engaged and fulfilled, they're more likely to be productive and successful, leading to more sales and revenue for your business. Conversely, unhappy team members can quickly drag down morale and motivation levels, impacting their performance and that of their colleagues. Also, research cited by Dialogue Consulting, https://bit.ly/3FJC3Zc, indicates if an employee quits, it costs upward of $115,000 to replace them.
So, how can you make sure your team is happy, engaged and productive? This article shares six ways you can improve employee retention rates and keep your sales team firing on all cylinders.
The first step to keeping your sales team engaged is understanding what motivates them. This can be different for each individual, so it is vital to your sales team's success that you take time to get to know them on a more personal level.
Just as different prospects will require different selling styles and effective sales people adapt to those styles, effective managers also need to understand that the best way to get results out of their team is to fit into their world, instead of forcing one method of strategy or communication on everyone.
The following questions can help you gain insights into what motivates your sales team members:
By understanding what makes your sales team members tick, you can better support them in their roles and ensure that they're always working toward their goals. Additionally, you'll be able to play to their strengths and give them the type of feedback they need to stay motivated.
For your team to fully embrace a healthy work-life balance, you must set an example as a leader. If you're constantly working during the evenings and weekends, messaging your team at odd hours, or neglecting your own personal life, they'll view your actions as the only path to success.
Instead, leave work at a reasonable hour, unplug when you're off the clock, take vacations when you need them and encourage your team to do the same. Your team will respect your boundaries and be more likely to follow suit.
You will also foster work-life balance when you set manageable goals each day, stay efficient with your time, ask for flexibility, communicate effectively, and take breaks when needed.
The sales landscape is always changing, which is why it's essential to offer your sales team opportunities for continued learning and development. Whether it's sales training courses, product webinars, leadership programs or e-learning modules, make sure your team has the requisite resources to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.
Give your employees opportunities to develop their soft skills as well. Sales is as much about people skills as it is about product knowledge. Sales representatives who can build relationships, communicate effectively and understand the needs of their customers are more likely to be successful.
Investing in your employees will make them better salespeople; it will also give them a sense of purpose and genuine fulfillment in their roles. Encourage them to set personal and professional goals, and provide them with the support and resources they need to achieve them so they can progress in their careers.
Employees who get the opportunity to lead projects, make difficult decisions and solve problems feel a greater sense of accomplishment when completing tasks. By creating an environment where failures are simply an opportunity for growth, you'll encourage your sales team to take smart, calculated risks, experiment with new ideas and push themselves outside of their comfort zones.
Encourage each individual to take reasonable risks and come up with new and innovative solutions. As an added bonus, you may end up with some game-changing strategies that help your business grow. Just remember some people are task oriented, so thinking outside the box will be a sudden drastic change if it is not what they are used to.
Your sales team members work hard to achieve their goals, so it is important to show your appreciation for their successes. However, simply saying "good job" or giving them a pat on the back isn't enough. You must develop unique, meaningful ways to recognize their accomplishments.
One way to do this is to create a point system that rewards sales representatives for a variety of actions and metric-based achievements. Then, use those points to give them access to exclusive experiences or rewards that are tailored to their motivators.
You could also reward your top sales performers with public recognition, custom trophies, bonuses or paid time off. Whatever you do, make sure your sales team members know that their hard work is being noticed and appreciated in ways that matter to them.
Communication is the key to making positive changes. To start, schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your sales team members—quarterly at a minimum. Encourage them to give you honest feedback about their experiences on your team. If there are pressing issues that need addressing, work together to find solutions.
For your employees to feel comfortable giving you feedback, create an environment of trust. Be open and transparent with them about your successes and failures. Let them know you're always learning and growing just as they are. Allow them to share their feedback without judgment or defensiveness, show your good faith by implementing their suggestions when possible, and thank them for their input. Control your emotions.
When you see something that is not done right, your first reaction should not be to go fix it. Take a longer-term view. Get into the mindset that you are building a team here that is going to do some great stuff for the next decade, not just the next year. Ask yourself how you can help your team solve problems. That way the person who is doing something incorrectly can adjust their behavior, fix the problem and also learn from it.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to sales team engagement. However, by focusing on the strategies above, you can create an environment that supports your sales team members and helps them succeed. Your willingness to learn shows that you're dedicated to being the best leader possible, and your sales team will appreciate your efforts.
Nicholas Cucci is the co-founder and COO of Fluid Pay LLC. Cucci is also a graduate of Benedictine University and a member of the Advisory Board and Anti-Fraud Technology Committee for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, as a CFE himself. Fluid Pay is the only 100 percent cloud-based Level 1 PCI Payment Gateway processing transactions anywhere in the world. Contact Nick at Nick@FluidPay.com.
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