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By Liz Stone August 4, 2016

5 Tips for Re-Energizing Your Sales Team

Is complacency running rampant in your sales organization? Are your sales reps content with the status quo, perhaps they are forgetting things, making too many assumptions or missing opportunities? Are you seeing a shift from a “hunting” to a “farming” mentality on behalf of your reps, or have you hired “farmers” that you can’t seem to turn into “hunters”? Whether you have experienced salespeople who have lost their drive, or newer reps you’re struggling to motivate, here are five tips for re-energizing your team or certain individuals on it..

  1. Identify the root cause
    • First thing, sit down with the salespeople in question and find out why they appear disinterested or are experiencing lackluster results. There are many reasons why this could be happening, including:
      • They have issues in their personal life – In this case you need to have an honest, off-the-record conversation to allow them to explain what's going on and come up with a plan that supports them and helps get them back on track, or gives them a break during a tough time.
      • They are bored – Give them more challenging responsibilities and harder-to-reach goals with incentive to reach them, or provide opportunities for them to contribute in other ways to the company that peak their interest and enthusiasm.
      • They are overworked – These people are just trying to keep their heads above water and keep things under control. If this is the case, they may feel paralyzed and tired. Help them prioritize and/or redistribute some of their workload.
      • They don’t like current job – They may need to be moved into another role in your company or given additional responsibilities outside of selling that give them some relief or outside stimulation, or they may not be a good fit.
      • They don’t know there is a problem, or that it is being noticed – You need to have an honest conversation with them about the problem and develop a plan to resolve it, with regular follow-up and assessment to get them on track.
  2. Provide direction
    • Convey your expectations to your salespeople. This may include increasing your expectations if the bar is currently set too low.
    • Give clear expectations of roles, the tasks expected to be completed in said roles, and exactly what the salespeople need to do to succeed in their positions. Stay true to your expectations, and let people know if they change.
    • Have regular one-on-one meetings with the salespeople to make sure they are fulfilling their roles, reaching expectations, all their questions are answered, and identify any issues or pain points as early as possible.
    • Require detailed reporting on a set regular basis from your salespeople to make sure they are reaching their activity and quota goals.
  3. Get involved
    • You may be acting as a complacent manager. Make management a priority: get more involved with your sales team, don’t let up on regular meetings and reporting, and make accountability a habit for your people.
    • Implement ongoing coaching and training. Role-play using scenarios for the activities in your sales process, such as giving elevator pitches, cold calling and giving presentations/demos. Switch off as buyer/seller and practice handling objections, asking qualifying questions, uncovering competitive landmines, etc.
    • Occasionally join reps on cold calls and ride-alongs to see how they are doing. This will force them to be more prepared since you, their manager, may be involved, as well as allow you to assess what they need help on, or what they could train their lower-performing counterparts on.
  4. Use data
    • Implement a public sales leaderboard and/or win reports to show rankings of sales reps among their peers and spark competition.
    • Set numerical goals, either by dollar amount and/or by number/type of activities that must be completed, within certain time frames (day/week/month/year).
    • Utilize CRM like Salesforce.com; tools like public dashboards and required fields are helpful to increase transparency and accountability.
  5. Celebrate little wins
    • Reward your sales reps and make them feel important by rejoicing in their little wins along with the big, such as: 
      • Prizes for hitting a certain number, such as a case of their favorite beer, tickets to a local game or show, a new gadget, gift card, company- branded merchandise, etc.
      • Share their success, such as in your company newsletter, a “Salesperson of the Month” blog or flyer, internal email, win report, etc.
      • Internal competitions, such as most successful salesperson on a specific campaign, best at upselling an opportunity, most connections made at a tradeshow, etc. Not only will the recognition motivate the team, but it allows top-performers in certain areas to share their tips for success with the rest of the team. 
    • Break up bonuses; try monthly or quarterly bonuses instead of waiting until the end of the year; these are more attainable and provide ongoing incentive.
    • Congratulate reps on a job well done. Even a little note or a pat on the back goes a long way and shows you are noticing that their work.

Try these tips on your not-so-enthusiastic salespeople to identify the root of their complacency, develop individualized improvement plans, and re-energize your sales team. Even if your reps aren't visibly complacent and are performing at an acceptable level, many of these tips can drive higher motivation. Never stop focusing on your own improvement and that of your sales team - that's how top-performing sales organizations train and keep their best people and maintain a competitive edge. 

Do you have ideas for or personal experiences motivating a sales team? Share them in the comments section below. 

Topics: Sales Management, Sales Success, Sales Playbook, Sales Training

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