Trying to make it in our dog-eat-dog, highly-competitive market takes its toll on all of us. Sales reps are constantly under a great deal of stress, because they know that they need to hit their quota and sometimes things don’t go as planned. An occasional sales slump isn’t something to worry about, but if that dry spell won’t go away, you need to take some measures in order to lift your team’s spirits and boost their motivation. After all, if your sales people are not motivated, they will not be performing at their best, and that is often what sales come down to – how driven the people trying to achieve them are.
Here’s what you can do to help them start crushing their numbers again, and make their workplace a lot better and more enjoyable.
Leverage the Power of Recognition
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report has shown that 85% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. This gloomy stat doesn’t necessarily apply to your team, and it doesn’t imply that your sales are down because they have been slacking off, but if you don’t want them to become disengaged and start looking for other job opportunities, you need to put a great emphasis on recognizing all the hard work they’re putting in. The lack of feedback is one of the most frustrating factors at the workplace and it undermines the motivation and performance of your employees. So, make sure to let them know that they’re appreciated, both in personal communication and publicly. After all – people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses, so if your guys are not feeling appreciated, it will most probably be down to the way they are being treated, and not the job and its requirements.
Celebrate the Small Victories
When times are bad, every small win is a reason to celebrate and stay positive. The worst thing you can do is sit down and start to despair about the situation. Instead of that, you should remind the members of your team that every tiny step towards achieving a goal counts. No matter how insignificant moving a lead further down the funnel, a well-managed sales call or a promising response from a prospect might seem in the grand scheme of things, all these steps qualify as important pit stops that will eventually bring good results. This perspective will encourage them to look on the brighter side of things and try even harder to hit their targets. They will also know that you value every effort they make – after all, you can’t force anyone to make a purchase, even if they are more than interested in what you have to offer. Knowing that you appreciate their small efforts, even if they don’t pan out, will help your team dig deeper and reach for success.
When a crisis occurs, people are upset and worried, and sometimes it leads to finger-pointing and the blame game. Needless to say, looking for a scapegoat can tear your team apart which is why this kind of behaviour should be nipped in the bud. Team-building activities both onsite and offsite can help members of your team to develop better communication and personal relationships. Generally speaking, building loyalty among all your teams – marketing, sales, and customer support, is essential not only during the slump. In order for your company to grow, you need to break down the walls between them and get them to sit together and solve any potential misunderstandings. You can do this either by starting weekly meetings that will actually be productive, putting together get-together outside the office, or even having some down time once a week at work, where people can get to know each other better, and ultimately work together better as well.
As corny as it may sound, the best things in life are free. This means that money doesn’t always have to be the best motivator, not to mention that when sales are down, resorting to a pay raise isn’t the smartest decision to make. A research study has shown that 78% of UK employees wouldn’t work harder if they were offered a big bonus. A day off, flexible working schedule or remote working option can be something that your employees will appreciate more than a bigger paycheck. A touch of creativity is always a welcome factor, so you can offer to pick up the slack or do something they hate, such as cold calling. It’s also a good idea to ask them what makes them tick, and see if you can make that happen.
Although simple and pretty straightforward, these tips can work and help you get your business back on its feet. Bouncing back is possible only if you remember that your employees are your company’s most valuable asset. If you forget that, chances are not only your sales will be going down, but your stock as well.