The morale within a sales team can swing from high to low in a matter of moments. While a huge client win or contract can put them on cloud nine, missing out on a sale can bring the mood crashing right back down and cause serious concerns for some who rely on those sales to meet their targets and bring home their commission at the end of the month.
As we wrote recently, building a high-performing sales team is all about encouraging creativity and positivity, and rewarding members when they do hit their targets; but it’s also about ensuring that the sales team as a whole are working together to meet those goals and help those who may be struggling to clinch the all-important sales.
Incentives such as commission, time off and bonuses are all commonplace within sales teams around the world and while they can bring huge smiles to faces they can also leave members of the department feeling pretty low when they miss out. So how do you go about boosting the team morale when things aren’t going well?
The role of the sales manager
One person has a major bearing on the overall morale and performance of each sales team, and that’s the sales manager or department head.
They’re the ones tasked with bringing the best out of each member of the team in order to hit their individual and team goals, but it’s also of paramount importance that they inspire and motivate each member of the team on a daily basis, too, especially during the tough periods when the leads just won’t convert and those bonuses seem a long, long way away.
Here at Meet Hugo our own sales manager, Tom Holland, has his own methods to inspire and motivate his team.
“We all have difficult days where the morale drops and you just need to push on through. Inter-team competition gets the team going, competing against each other in a positive way and you can measure everyone against a range of metrics like calls made, decision makers spoken to, demos arranged or the big one: how much revenue they’ve made.
“Just by their personalities, sales people are competitive and playing on that keeps people motivated and pushing themselves. Target the individual on a weekly or daily basis to achieve a set revenue marker and break their monthly target into achievable bite sized chunks. It can be a big weight on shoulders to think of the monthly target as a whole figure, especially after a few quiet days or a day off!
“Perhaps most importantly, congratulate them when it’s earned. A simple well done will go a long way. I like to post across the company internal messaging system when someone on my team makes a sale so we can celebrate their success as a company. If we all hit our monthly target I allow my team to leave early on the last day of the month and we go for regular nights out together and keep the mood as light hearted as possible.”
The role of each sales team member
Of course there are roles that each member of the sales team has to play in terms of motivation and overall morale. Tom has already described how members are inspired by their own competitive natures, but it’s also down to the team to help others by lending them a helping hand or giving them a push in the right direction.
If one member of the team is struggling to hit their targets then another member could take them under their wing and provide recommendations, perhaps new approaches that they’ve never tried before in order to improve their overall sales technique and powers of persuasion.
Not only that, keeping spirits up is vitally important – and that doesn’t just apply to sales, but every department in every company. If you’re arriving at work in a positive mood, or made to feel more positive by office banter and sharing a few jokes while making a coffee or having lunch; you’re much more likely to approach your next prospect in a manner that increases your chances of persuading them to invest in your product or service or, at least, go through a demonstration.
Office jokers and positive personalities certainly have their place, and we’ve got a few of our own here who certainly raise the spirits!
Targets, incentives and bonuses
Now nothing motivates anybody quite like an incentive or a bonus. Whether it’s an early finish for hitting your monthly target or a cash bonus in your pay packet, nothing quite motivates a person – especially a person in sales – like an incentive to perform to the highest level and not just hit, but smash those targets.
When it comes to setting these targets the most important factor to consider, as Tom outlined earlier, is to keep them realistic. Looking at the numbers at the start of the month they can sometimes seem miles away, and throughout the year you’ll experience peaks and troughs in terms of popularity and availability of budgets to invest in what you’re trying to sell.
By keeping these targets fluid and realistic for all members at all levels you can keep the team motivated and give them the belief that those juicy incentives and bonuses can be achieved.