How to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated
DatabaseUSA.com® will begin writing a blog series about our organization, the people who work here, and some lessons we’ve learned that might be helpful to other businesses. Our goal is to give insight into topics that are important to us, as well as to our customers. This article is the first in the series, written by our VP of Sales, Tim Pinkerton. We’ve asked him to discuss how he motivates his sales team and what techniques he uses to keep his team engaged and productive.
Article Author: Tim Pinkerton — Vice President Sales | DatabaseUSA.com®
Trusting your Gut & Cultivating a Positive Work Dynamic
One of the most important things to keeping a team motivated is to hire great people that will fit into the current culture. If that culture is positive, motivated and driven then the last thing you want to do is introduce a negative member into the mix.
It’s possible for people to be great during the interview process but once involved in the daily grind they turn south. I try hard to get a good feel for someone’s personality before onboarding them. Admittedly, the DatabaseUSA.com® vetting process usually weeds out bad candidates, however, there are occasions when some bad apples slip through. Some of the red flags I might take into consideration when determining if a person is a good fit for our company after the initial hire include: personality clashes in the office, people who don’t show up on time, the excuse makers, the lone wolves and even great sales people with a streak of bad customer service complaints.
Just as recruiting great people is important – so is removing bad people from your sales equation. Don’t swing the ax on a weekly basis and have your staff worried about job security. Instead, evaluate performance on a monthly or quarterly basis and keep a watchful eye on how everyone cohesively works together.
Focus your Energy
People who work in sales normally have big personalities. If there is one thing that is true across the spectrum: A great salesperson is excited to share ideas. To keep our team motivated, we have a morning group meeting. It’s a chance to bring everyone together so the team feels connected, excited and confident to begin the day. The meeting isn’t about selling and sales goals necessarily.
At DatabaseUSA.com® we use these meetings to:
- Discuss the previous days successes, losses and lessons learned or just have a general fun conversation
- Analyze and discuss inspirational people, videos, books or sayings.
- Learn about different departments within our organization and how their processes work
Having the ability to meet like this each day creates a fun dynamic every morning. Most of the time people walk out of the meeting laughing and ready to begin the day in a positive space. BONUS: Your team may have learned something new too!
Motivation: The Pathway to Success
Employee motivation obviously varies depending on the person, but on an individual level these motivations could be any number of things.
On a macro level most motivation boils down to two types:
- Desire for awards
- Avoidance of repercussions
It is much more fun and, I think, more powerful to give rewards to motivate people. Who doesn’t love to celebrate both small and large victories? Commissions are part of the sales game, but I always try to add extra perks and catch people doing well so that, at the very least they get recognition.
There will, unfortunately, always be a need to hold people accountable though. Most people are honest and work hard for their employers, but there will always be a few people who try to get away with stuff. There has to be known consequences for things like not showing up for work on time, dishonesty or other shady behavior.
Leading from the Front
I think the one of the most forgotten or neglected ways of motivating a team is by leading from the front.
I will never ask anyone on my team to do anything that I haven’t done or would not be willing to do. I’ve had some great bosses and mentors and I can tell you from experience that it’s extremely motivating to see your boss roll up their sleeves and put in work when it’s time to push the pace. I believe your people should see you walking the walk and not just talking the talk. When people know that each of their team members, including their supervisor, is standing shoulder-to-shoulder and working towards a common goal they move past their own personal motivations and work for something greater than themselves. This also aides in creating teamwork and a family-like culture.
There are, of course, many ways to motivate people but these are some of the ones that I feel are the most important.