Low levels of morale in the sales department can harm productivity and cut potential profits. So how can leaders of sales professionals ensure that their team is happy and firing on all cylinders?
Here are 10 powerful ways sales managers can help to boost morale and staff engagement in the sales department.
Get Buy-In from Your Staff
Your salespeople are on the frontlines. They are the ones hearing the pain points and feedback from prospects and clients every day. Why not tap into that knowledge? The best leaders are not afraid to ask for help and insights. Indeed, sales teams will respect managers who seek their opinions and suggestions for improving sales strategies and processes.
Providing training for your sales team members will help to ensure that they have the skills to succeed and confidence to push the envelope. The CPSA offers lots of effective training options and professional accreditations to help sales pros develop and grow. Learn more here.
For those sales departments where group targets are a major factor, it is important to carve out time for team building exercises. These can be in the form of in-office learnings or out of office days where team members are encourages to leave their comfort zones and look to colleagues for support. Building comradery will naturally feedback into the office environment, foster a supportive environment, and help keep your people rowing in the same direction.
Even the most enthusiastic salespeople need to rest. It is unsustainable to go hard at the role every day. All work and no play will eventually lead to burnout. Ensure that your company's culture encourages sales professionals to lead a balanced life. Ultimately, fulfillment and happiness outside of the office will trickle back into the office and help ensure your people are focused and engaged while on the job.
For those salespeople who've served a number of years at your company, consider offering extended leave. The reward of extra weeks and months away from the office in recognition of dedicated and prolonged service can really show your salespeople that you value their hard work and recognise the need to reward them with opportunities to pursue goals outside of the office.
Above and beyond the benefits of creating ways for loyal salespeople to recharge their batteries, sabbaticals can be a major distinguishing factor when initially trying to attract the best sales talent.
Communicate Shared Goals and Purpose
Absent leaders run the risk of sales team members drifting away or losing sight of how their role contributes to the overall aims of the business. It is vital that leaders communicate and continually reinforce the goals and KPIs of the sales department. By communicating shared goals and expressing how the sales department fits into the company's vision, sales leaders stand a better chance of retaining and energising their team members.
Sales is a unique role within an organisation. The challenges can often be harder and the rewards should be measurable and transparent. Ensure that your team has the right sales compensation structures in place to recognise and reward those in the team that achieves their goals. Sales should be meritocratic. It's the role of the sales manager to make sure that their people enjoy the fruits of their hard work!
If you really want your salespeople to strive to build the business, consider giving them a 'slice of the pie'. Offer ways for them to buy into your business. Consider, for example, providing a share scheme to reward high performers. If you can link it to your career structure, your salespeople will have reason to go beyond hitting targets as they will know that every extra they make will help to grow the business and their own wealth portfolio.
While money talks, it is not the only motivator. The sensibilities of Millennials and Gen Zers, particularly, have helped redefine what it is to work in a great company. Compensation today is much more than money. Get your salespeople engaged by offering help with their work/life balance. Gym, childcare, cycle-to-work scheme, mobile, tech, healthcare and more.
Want to retain your top sales talent? Then it is important that you demonstrate from the offset how sales team members can climb the career ladder. Demonstrating a clear path to leadership roles (if that's the motivator for your people) or ways to earn more money and autonomy (for those who prefer to remain on the sales frontlines) will give the sales leader the best possible chance of keeping sales superstars within the organisation rather than seeing them go to a competitor.