Sales motivation is one of the most discussed topics on blogs or social media that focus on the sales universe. Because it is a very common subject in this vast world of Content Marketing, there are several superficial tips that do not realistically address the difficult routine of these professionals.
Whether it's suggestions like "be resilient or "get used to hearing No", it is really hard to find actionable and day-to-day tips when it comes to sales motivation.
However, anyone who works in thid field and needs to take this topic seriously knows that working in sales is more like a triathlon than a 100 meter sprint. It is necessary to create an environment conducive to motivation, with scalable and easy-to-execute processes, also including management that provides quality and technical training, and does not get lost in motivational "clichés".
Using KPIs to know exactly what the bottlenecks are in the process and motivate the team can even be a great accelerator in the growth of team morale within your company. The only question is: how to do it with quality?
Data-drive motivation: be careful when analyzing your numbers
We live in the age of sales data, that's a fact. The manager who has difficulty defining what an MQL, SQL and other KPIs are, is in very big trouble.
It is necessary to know well which data must be analyzed so there is no risk of motivating the team incorrectly. Let's look at some examples:
Imagine that you are the Sales Director of a company with 10 Sales Executives. They have great conversion rates at the end of the sales funnel. However, your company has not hit the planned goal of new revenues.
Thinking of solving this problem, the Sales Director organizes a motivational workshop to make executives sell even more. Although well-intentioned, this action can backfire.
Since salespeople are already experiencing high conversion rates at the end of the funnel, there is very little room for improvement. In fact, what they need is more leads entering the funnel so they can sell more.
At the same time, holding a motivational workshop can end up generating the mistaken impression on the team that the manager is dissatisfied with the work done, believing that it would be possible to sell more with the leads that are already in the funnel.
It must be clear that this type of uncertainty is extremely harmful, as the team can end up demotivating and selling less, consequently lowering conversion rates.
Did you see how important a correct data analysis is to boost workplace morale?
5 tips to constantly maintain sales motivation
Keeping sales motivated is not a simple task. It takes a lot of organization, monitoring (not too much), and a quality process.
Want to know what the 5 tips are? See below:
Tip 1: Set clear goals
To keep a team motivated, you need to have a clear goal. After all, have you ever imagined running an endless marathon? You would basically run until you fell to the floor from exhaustion.
Motivating your team for an eternal race has a devastating demotivating effect. Therefore, it is necessary to establish clear goals and objectives so that the sales team understands exactly where they should go.
Remember, without goals and objectives, it is possible to motivate a team in the short term. In the medium and long term, this mission becomes impossible.
Tip 2: Hold one-on-one (1:1) meetings regularly (but not always)
Those who work in technology already know what a one-on-one (1:1) meeting is. Basically, they are meetings between managers and analysts where several points are aligned, such as: analysts' satisfaction, how they have been feeling in the company, suggestions for process improvement, among several other important topics.
They are great for showing the team that they are listened to and can contribute to the growth of the business, which is an extremely positive point as people feel much better when they are part of a bigger dream/goal.
However, it is not recommended to hold 1:1 meetings too often. A widespread good practice is to do them at least biweekly with more junior professionals and biweekly or monthly with more experienced professionals.
Too many 1:1's meetings (in addition to being something very boring), can make professionals more unproductive, as there would be no agenda* to discuss.
*Meetings without agendas are just conversations with no purpose. For a 1:1 to be productive, you need to be clear about what will be discussed at this meeting.
Tip 3: Create a simple process to run
When it comes to sales motivation, can you imagine anything more demotivating than spending the day filling out a CRM and various other sales tools?
Performing very operational tasks is extremely demotivating for any sales professional. Simplicity is one of the keys to keeping the team motivated.
The more operational tasks that can be optimized, the greater the chance that salespeople will focus on what they do best, which is selling!
This action can be done together with the Sales Ops team and will certainly help a lot in the day to day work of the team.
Tip 4: Don't micromanage. Never!
This is one of the biggest sales motivation killers. Most managers believe that following the day to day of the sales team in detail, conducting the smallest details, generates a more productive team. This is the biggest myth in the sales environment. This is actually a great way to demotivate even the most resilient of salespeople!
It is necessary to have rituals such as dailys, forecast meetings, among other practices to track and answer the team's doubts whenever necessary. Watching recordings of meetings, phone calls, and more is a fantastic way to see the team's strengths and weaknesses in action.
However, micromanaging aspects of the meeting, emails or calls, will quickly make the team feel pressured to work in a way that is often not the one that would generate the most results for each professional involved. In addition, it generates a scenario of distrust that will likely generate turnover over time. Once the sales team is running the process, the idea is to give them freedom and only intervene when necessary, whether to motivate or correct errors.
If you want to do micromanagement, having a high turnover is a certainty!
Tip 5: Create a collaborative culture
The sales department is naturally a very competitive enviroment. It is common to have a lot of competition between sales excutives about who generates more business, sells more, among other situations.
As several companies also adopt practices such as giving a specific award (like trips or bigger bonuses) to those who have achieved the best performance (which is not bad, far from it), there is a risk that salespeople will become uncooperative with each other.
If it is a team composed only of senior professionals, things end up flowing without major problems, as this kind of professional profile tends to be more self-motivated and already has the technical domain to work more independently.
However, if the team is composed of professionals with a mixed profile, - between juniors and seniors - the result may not be too good. Professionals with a junior profile need more attendance, so the more collaborative the team is, the faster he will evolve.
Therefore, having this professional profile in a non-collaborative environment is a certainty that at least part of the team will be demotivated, inhibiting the technical evolution of the area and making the process extremely dependent on a few professionals.
A motivated team is a team that sells
IIt is not smart having the best sales process, using methodologies such as SPIN Selling, having the best tools and hiring professionals who are already qualified if the sales team doesn't have the structure to guarantee that they will be motivated
It takes a lot of attention, patience and also escaping the norm. Motivational speech is very good. But, using it without having a minimum structure that guarantees motivation within sales is like trying to light a fire in the rain.
With a lot of effort, some spark may even come out. But the focus will hardly be maintained.