In much the same way that your gym related New Year’s resolution, ironically, doesn’t work out, simply setting an ambitious target for your sales team and hoping for the best more often than not will result in a disappointing sales performance. At the end of the financial day, it all comes down to a question of sustained motivation. In fact, making sure that your sales team stays consistently motivated is one of the biggest challenges that a business owner must face. So, how can you ensure that your sales team performs to its full potential?

Make Things Competitive

Creating a competitive sales environment is one of the best approaches to getting the most out of your sales team, however, it must be carried out in the right way to ensure maximum results.

  • Firstly, employees are less likely to shirk their responsibilities if they are sorted into teams for the competition, there is always confidence in numbers and the members of each team will motivate each other towards working hard for the greater good of the overall team.
  • Secondly, the competition should be prioritised on a day by day basis, which is to say that employees are more likely to remain actively engaged in the competition if scores are updated daily.
  • Competitions don’t always have to be based on sales. In fact, a lesson learned from Mark Roberge and his book “The Sales Acceleration Formula” is one that sales teams compete based on their ability to correctly forecast their probability of closing deals. Each day the teams add their probability of closure (lets use 60% for Deal A as an example) to the competition board and if Deal A closes by the end of the month the team earns 60 points. If the deal doesn’t close that month, the team loses 60 points. The team with the most points wins. In most cases, the first time this experiment is run, the winning team has a negative amount!

The actual competition itself can take on a variety of different forms so long as it doesn’t result in an overly competitive environment, which can harm both employee morale and inter-employee relations.

Sales Team Structure

The overall structure of your sales team also plays a key role in determining the business’s overall sales success. First and foremost, a quality sales manager is needed, as a highly motivated individual who can interact intimately with the sales team on a day to day basis can prove to be invaluable when looking to determine each individual employee’s state of mind.

Another important variable to consider is the act of mentoring. Although novice employees can benefit from shadowing the business’s top sales performers, the extra distraction can often negatively impact on your key sales staffs’ results. Following a mentor can often lead to changing the new employee’s way of selling which could have a negative effect on their sales. For example, the top performer could encourage the new employee to follow their method making 100+ cold calls a day and closing 20 deals, but the new employee has better experience from their past in meeting 30 people and closing 20 deals. Changing the process of the new employee could lead to them not performing at their potential.

Optimising your sales team is the first step towards getting your business to run like a well-oiled machine, with the above tips sure to result in a consistently motivated and high performing sales team. Although inadequate hiring can often limit the overall potential of a sales team, a fully efficient and motivated team will always be capable of great things.

Next week we’ll dive into managing a multi-city sales team, including the pro’s and con’s as well as tips to getting it right. In case you didn’t catch it, take a look at our post from last week “Does your team understand their role in your business process?”

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