A successful sales team requires high levels of energy, dedication, and commitment from all members. It can also be a very tiring job, with plenty of customer interactions that may or may not lead to closed deals in the end.
If you are the leader of a sales team, one factor that you should consider for success is their engagement level. It’s important to keep them motivated and ignited to maintain your team’s momentum.
High compensation is not enough. We’ve all heard stories of people quitting their high-paying jobs to find happiness and engagement in lower-paying jobs.
So how do you keep your sales team engaged throughout?
Let’s take a look at some ways to do it.
1. Give a deeper meaning to what they do
It’s not wrong for your sales team to initially believe that their only purpose is to bring in more customers and revenue for the team and that they just earn commissions and revenue along the way.
But this kind of motivation can only last for so long. When people experience burnout, the only thing that can keep them going is the “why” behind what they do.
And if their only “why” is that they want to make money, you’re going to be seeing a high turnout rate in your sales team before long.
Research shows that people who find a deeper meaning behind what they do are more motivated to do it. Try to make your sales team understand the deeper goals of your company, such as the altruistic visions or the social purposes.
If your team members can feel like there is a bigger purpose behind what they do, it won’t be long before you start seeing higher levels of engagement from them.
2. Encourage more collaboration than competition
Sales teams are intensely competitive. Every day is a battle to see who can make the most sales and meet their quotas as fast as possible.
However, running on this kind of mindset only cultivates burnout. When your team members see each other as competition, their energy will start to focus on how to be ahead of the pack or not get left behind.
This can get exhausting quickly because they will feel like there is no support system for them.
A sales team that fosters and encourages collaboration is more likely to have members that stick around. It is also a healthy work environment to be in.
Competition between your members should be healthy. It should be the kind of competition that encourages them to push each other upward instead of downward.
A collaborative work culture ensures that every member of the sales team looks out for each other, making their work lives a little bit easier and more fun.
3. Praise your members publicly
Being a good leader involves a lot of people skills. Whenever your team members do something good, praising them is a great way to reinforce their actions.
However, if you really want to turn things up a notch, praise them in public. This goes a long way in motivating them because they can see that they are recognized by the leader and the entire team.
This also motivates the rest of the team. When they see that one of theirs is doing well, they will also want to improve their performance. After all, we humans crave praise. It’s just in our nature, which is why it’s such a powerful motivator.
Of course, try not to overdo the praise, especially when it comes to one team member. This can lead to bitterness when the team members start believing that you are giving special attention to one of them.
If one team member, in particular, is excelling, you can start looking into how to motivate the rest of the group so that they too can receive public praise. This makes the team feel more cohesive and inclusive.
Naturally, while praise should be public, keep criticism delivered in private. Your sales team members will appreciate this, and they can end up trusting you more.
4. Be a leader, not a boss
One of the basic tenets of team management is being a leader instead of a boss.
A boss does not care about his team members; he only cares about what they can deliver. He may hover endlessly to ensure that his members are putting in the work all the time, and he is distant from his team.
On the other hand, a leader consistently motivates his team to do better by setting an example. He also cares for the welfare of his team.
If a team member fails to deliver results, the leader asks why and asks what they can do to help, while a boss punishes team members who fall short.
A leader is part of the team; a boss rules over the team.
If you want a higher level of engagement from your members, lead them and show them that you are there to help, not push them around.
Sales teams with leaders are more motivated and engaged because they know that their leader is there to support them and help them improve.
On the other hand, teams with bosses are more toxic and unhealthy, and prone to burnout.
5. Be flexible in how you lead your members
Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all concept. How you treat one team member does not have to be the same way you treat the rest of the sales team.
Adapt your leadership strategies to the different personalities of your team to bring out the best in them. After all, if people are different, your leadership style should also be suited to the differences in your team.
The better you can lead and motivate your team, the more engaged they will be. And a sales team with high levels of engagement is one of the most productive, efficient, and healthy teams on which to be.