Improve Your Sales Team's Morale in 5 Minutes a Day
Bad morale can be one of the deadliest problems you face as a sales manager. Not only does discouragement keep a sales rep from producing to his or her potential, but it can also spread like wildfire through the rest of your team, dragging everybody down.
While it's important to know how to deal with major issues affecting your team's morale, many of those issues can be prevented, or at least minimized, by promoting a consistently positive sales culture. And the only way to do that is one day at a time.
Here are some simple things you can incorporate into your daily management routine to keep your sales team happy, productive, and running smoothly.
Immediately Recognize Achievement
Everyone likes to be recognized and praised when they've accomplished something challenging, and your sales reps are no exception. Create a culture of celebration by regularly recognizing their achievements in concrete ways. It can be as simple as congratulating a rep during your morning sales meeting for unusually good performance the day before, and as complex as a prestigious yearly sales competition like the Netpique President's Club.
To be effective, the recognition you give should be a good balance of the frequent and unexpected (spontaneously sending out an email congratulating the team on a great week) and the more long-term (a regular competition like sales rep of the month).
While the element of competition can be an important motivating force for a sales team, too much emphasis on competition can create a cut-throat atmosphere and actually damage morale. It's great to have a superstar, but consistent production requires a full, well-functioning team. Be sure that in addition to sponsoring competitions that result in a clear winner, you also find other things to recognize--like dramatic improvement in a particular skill or metric, or excellent performance by the entire team during a certain period of time.
Regular celebration of accomplishments, both small and large, will keep your sales reps feeling positive about their abilities and eager to do better.
Implement Regular Training
A sales team left to its own devices is not a sales team set up for success. Regular training sessions are a vital way to build and maintain skills, as well as correct problems in the way your team may be approaching the sale. Organizing training sessions shows your team that you care about their success, and are invested in doing what you can to help them achieve it. A robust sales training program can be a significant inducement for prospective sales reps to take a job at your company, since they know it will promote their professional development.
If your current sales training is a little anemic, don't panic. You can start small. Look at your sales team and think about the top five problems you see in the way they are approaching sales. Address those problems one by one at your sales meetings. Share an inspiring story. Spend some time doing role-plays. Every little bit helps, and the more you put into sales training, the more you will get out in positive morale, improved performance, and better numbers!
Generate Fresh Excitement and Fun
Sales can be both monotonous and exhausting. Your sales team depends on you to help re-inject energy and enthusiasm into what can otherwise be a draining job. So your sales meetings need to be interesting and multi-faceted if you want them to be effective. One of the best ways to generate team morale is to help your sales reps get to know each other. Play ice breaker games. Take them out to a movie together. Do a "spotlight" that highlights a different rep each week. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Do some morning karaoke. Go the extra mile to make sure your team really feels like a team.
To get reps excited about coming to sales meetings, add in some fun surprises. Tape candy bars under everyone's chairs before they get there. Offer a gift card or movie tickets to the rep who sells the most that day. Order pizza. Show a funny youtube video. Celebrate birthdays with party hats and cake. Work hard, but play hard too.
Keep Communication Open
Make sure your reps feel comfortable talking to you. The last thing you want is to not find out about a problem until after it becomes a team-wide drama. Set aside time to interact with your reps individually. Don't pry into their personal lives, but do be interested in them as individuals. Be approachable and helpful. Make sure they know that questions are not only welcomed, but encouraged. It doesn't take a lot of time for your sales reps to feel like you have time for them. A sincere greeting and "how are you doing?" for each rep, every time you see him or her, sends the message that they are worth your time.
Hopefully you found something in these suggestions that will have a positive effect on the morale of your sales team. Here at Netpique, our sales culture is one of our most valuable assets. If you need some assistance setting up or revamping a sales team, we would love to share with you what we have learned during over ten years in the sales outsourcing industry.