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6 tips to manage a sales team
The keys to motivate and manage a sales team have slightly changed. Indeed, the new generation of employees is looking for meaning and commitment. It needs a true purpose to get up in the morning.
Here are 6 tips to help you guide managers
1 – Launch new challenges
In order to motivate your salespersons, it is essential to sharpen your team’s competitive spirit. To achieve this goal, you have to set challenges that are ambitious enough but still reachable. As salespersons are often compared to each other, this will lead them to surpass themselves and to go further in their performance.
However, in order to manage a sales team, it is necessary to challenge it in a moderate way so that you won’t create a strong rivalry which could be detrimental to your company.
You should alternate personal challenges and collective challenges. The latter help mobilising and uniting a team by reaching a common goal.
Reward the three best salespersons every 6 months by offering them a bottle of champagne, without ranking them as it would deprecate the last ones.
2 – Develop a team spirit
One of the sales force’s motivations is team cohesion. Organising events or moments of conviviality is a good way to encourage exchanges and mutual assistance between salespersons in order to build a team. In every company, there is a « group effect », so it is a good idea to use « natural leaders » to motivate your salespersons.
Organise a team building activity in the form of an escape game, a rally racing or a Haka dancing session… Take a look at the catalogue of activities created by Châteauform’
3 – Establish a climate of trust / Management through values
To manage a sales team well, it is necessary to create a climate of trust between each member, but also within the company as a whole. To this end, it is necessary to honour your
commitments by keeping your word and your promises to set an example. Trust will develop autonomy and initiative.
One way to build trust is management by values rather than by rules. This allows the teams to get more autonomy and responsibilities because they share these values. What is sought is commitment, not the team’s obedience.
A salesperson has to demonstrate autonomy and reactivity in order to satisfy its customer. Once trust and autonomy are established, both talent and manager save time and gain efficiency.
4 – Personal motivation and recognition
Motivating your salespersons requires recognition, which will make the salesperson in question feel valued and develop a sense of pride. Monetary rewards are not necessarily enough in the long term.
Managing a sales team means paying close attention to your salesperson’s well-being in order to sharpen their creativity and dedication in their various tasks.
To motivate your salespersons, you have to carry out a continuous analysis of their individual performances to provide personalised and adapted advice to each of them. Team managers must show that each salesperson’s opinion matters and that their work has an impact on the company’s proper functioning.
Being able to congratulate and to celebrate success seems obvious, but these habits tend to be overlooked. It can be done in a playful way, with maracas or a gong in the middle of the office!
5 – Remuneration
The motivation of the sales force necessarily has something to do with remuneration, although it is not the only source of motivation. Yes, employees work for the company, but thanks to bonuses or variable monetary rewards, they will have the opportunity to work for themselves.
It is necessary to adapt to your employees because some may prefer bonuses over travels, for instance. Bonuses have to be proportional to the efforts made by the salesperson by highlighting their performance.
6 – Training
A salesperson’s work can be repetitive or demotivating depending on the market.
Continuous training is a good way to develop motivation. It allows the salesperson to develop its skills in negotiation or response to objections, which are useful for their job. It will also allow them to improve their adaptation or public speaking skills for their personal development.
Onsite or digital learning is now recognised as a real reward. It enables the employee to feel valued, to achieve stronger skills and to increase their productivity.
Finally, symmetry of attentions is a topic that is becoming more and more important. According to that principle, in a company, a happy talent makes happy customers. It requires the implementation of actions as explained below but also a strong corporate culture which will accentuate the sense of belonging and implication.