Let’s be clear, your sales team members are without a doubt one of your most important assets. Without them and their successes, the whole business will fail. That’s why I am often surprised that the sales team are often the most neglected department in the business.
Keeping them happy and motivated should be a key business priority. The more engaged and valued they are, the better the sales, and ultimately the business. Here are the topmost common reasons you’ll find your sales team is demotivated – once addressed, you can revel in your mutual success.
- Your goals are not aligned: It is imperative to align your company goals with those of your sales team. I regularly speak with management teams who feel that the over-riding corporate goal should be year-to-year growth, and that as they have invested in the infrastructure, process and systems and sometimes even increased production capabilities, then they have ticked the boxes to enable this. However, when I speak to the sales team they simply say that they are “satisfied” with this goal. For a sales team “satisfaction" is the enemy of “desire”. If the sales team does not have the desire to reach the same corporate goal, then it must be addressed. The sales goals should come first, and the team should be engaged to agree what these should be – then the company should support these goals.
- You aren’t tapping into their personal motivations: The vast majority of managers believe that their sales staff are just motivated by money and that attractive commission structures on sales are all that is needed to keep them selling. Of course, money is important, but it can be used much more effectively - the compensation plan should reflect the behaviours of the sales that the company wants to promote. Also, managers need to be clear on the personal goals of the individual sales team members and ensure that they are aligned with the company goals. Staff rarely leave for money, they leave because they don’t feel valued – never forget that recognition is a great motivator for sales teams, particularly peer group recognition.
- You don’t have a company-wide sales culture: A successful, well integrated sales team is critical to the success of all companies; their successes should be regularly shared on a companywide basis. Doing this and making each employee aware of the role they have in supporting the sales team will create a stronger sales culture within the company. There is nothing worse than a sales team that feels unappreciated. The sales team is not the whole company but the whole company should be the sales team.
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