How to motivate a sales team when sales are down

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It happens to the best of us. One moment your Sales team is hitting targets and closing deals with gusto, and the next… a slump. While it can happen to anybody, it can also be a worrying trend if not addressed, especially as keeping a healthy sales pipeline and making money is how a company keeps growing.

What to do? The good news is that sales slumps don’t last forever, but they can have an impact on the morale of your sales team. Changes in the market could be responsible for the initial problems, but once your team lose confidence in themselves in and in the company then picking yourselves back up again can be tough- and could even lead to people moving on from your company.

Don’t let this happen. It’s time to be proactive and inspire your sales people- and the best way to do so is by motivating your sales team. Here’s how:

Take stock

It’s time to take a more holistic view of your team and take stock of the situation. It’s not just about the number of deals closed. Have you decided to take a new angle when it comes to chasing leads or prospecting for new clients? Have you changed your KPIs or goals recently? What about personal development: do your team feel neglected or that they don’t have the right opportunities to push themselves?

To get a better understanding of what’s happening- and therefore start to fix the problem- you need a more objective view of your team. Hold a meeting with your sales reps and ask them if they’re having any problems with the sales process, or anything else that might be impacting their performance. The insights they provide might well hold the key to solving your sales slump; alongside this, it will also reassure your sales team that you value their insight and opinions, thereby boosting their morale into the bargain.

Reassess relationships

Working in sales requires a certain amount of independence. After all, you’re nurturing and closing deals on prospects that you have sole responsibility for, and you’ll likely be jetting off around the country- and the world- to meet clients and make that happen. However, that’s no excuse for not keeping tabs on your team. When was the last time you actually sat down with them in the office and had a talk?

Holding regular contact and feedback sessions are a vital part of keeping any employee engaged, and it’s no different for sales people. Given that organisations with high employee engagement outperform those without by a massive 202%, this might be the answer to your troubles. Sit down with them and ask how you can help with their personal and professional development. You can even hold social events and training days, and gradually build a strong relationship with your sales people that will make them feel like a valued and intrinsic part of the team.

Evaluate their priorities

Though they say that work life and home life should be kept separate, it’s inevitable that one should bleed into the other, and affect the performance of your sales reps. One of the most important things you should determine when it comes to motivating your team, therefore, is whether their circumstances or priorities have changed in the past few months, or since your last review meeting.

Do they want something different from their job, or do they want a promotion where beforehand they didn’t? Salespeople are notoriously ambitious, and if you don’t give them the opportunities they need to progress they may well leave the company or quickly become dissatisfied. By evaluating what might need addressing or improving within your team.

Motivate stale employees

Sometimes, the daily grind can start to wear on people. Is it the same for your employees? Have they stayed in their job for too long, and are they finding it is fulfilling as they once did? 27% of employees say that having more opportunities at work would make them feel more motivated to do better, whilst 20% say that the same could be achieved through career development and training opportunities; would that do the same for your sales team? Why not put a rewards scheme in place to motivate them to hit goals, or sign them up for a training scheme that will help them climb the ranks within your company, or in their career? Once they know they have more opportunities at their fingertips, they’ll likely feel more engaged and more excited about their future with you.

Are your KPIs realistic?

KPIs are a great way to measure employee progress and create a culture of improvement and innovation. However, these targets might not always be realistic, especially when compared to seasonal market conditions. For instance, summer can often be a quiet period, especially given that many professionals will be go on holiday. Fewer deals will inevitably be made, but are you adjusting your sales targets to match? If not, your sales team may feel stressed and overworked, which will in turn affect their morale. By taking the time to acknowledge the increased burden on your team and shifting your KPIs to more manageable levels, you can maintain a balance between great performance and a happy workforce.

Hit your targets with BMS Performance

Our years of experience working within the sales sector make us perfectly placed to provide you with advice and expertise. Interested? Why not contact our team of recruitment experts and start your journey with us today?

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