In a competitive market, having a large and qualified sales team is not enough to guarantee good results. Engaging and motivating sales professionals is an essential step to guide the team towards high performance, with well-developed skills and a strategic vision aligned with the company's objectives and goals.
The importance of engagement in sales results, in fact, was a highlight in the survey by Aberdeen Essentials. The results showed that companies with engaged teams increased the average sales cycle by 9.2%. Those that didn't work on engagement had a modest 3.2% improvement.
In other words, it's about time you took a definite step to engage and motivate your salesforce towards high performance. The road may be long, but you can move forward in your sales process by using a few strategies. Today, we'll talk about 3 of them.
1. Propose challenging and realistic goals
Goals. What sales team lives without them? Setting goals is a very well-known strategy for those who deal with the commercial area every day. Many managers, however, end up not taking advantage of this strategy as a way to engage and motivate the salesforce towards high performance.
Let go of that final stage boss character – who fights against you instead of with you – and set realistic goals. They must be both challenging and achievable. Otherwise, the salesperson will be discouraged and ever more anxious. In addition to sales drops, you'll have to deal with other issues, such as high team turnover.
You must be asking yourself, "how can I do this"? Here are a few basic rules to know how to align goals with your team:
- Don't just focus on the number of sales. There are other interesting indicators to monitor your team's progress, such as stipulating a number of calls to be made, scheduled meetings and sent proposals. This way, your sales professionals will know that they must focus their time on different tasks, enabling the final sale to happen more smoothly than expected.
- Set a time frame for the goals. Be aware of the complexity of each goal before asking your salesforce to achieve it overnight. On the other hand, if you decide to make a certain number of calls per day, it's worth keeping up with the daily amounts in order to check progress and change routes if something isn't working.
- If the goal is too audacious, break it down into smaller goals. This helps us perceive bigger tasks as more viable and reduces our tendency to procrastinate.
- Try to follow the S.M.A.R.T. standard when setting your goals. You may already know it, but it's always good to remember. It's a method of getting your goals right by relying on five factors: It must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based
Bonus tip: keep the habit of giving your team constant feedback. Highlight the salesperson's positive aspects and provide constructive criticism on the aspects they need to improve, providing paths and tools to this end. Then, simply set a date for the next conversation and move on.
2. Create a rewards and benefits program
If a given is accomplished, the salesperson deserves to be remembered and rewarded. That's why it's so important to have clear goals. Recognizing them for their achieved goals is a way to encourage continued good performance. It also helps increasing their engagement in the next steps and reverberates motivation to other team members.
Plus, you can go beyond sales commissions. Since they're already expected by everyone, they don't bring that extra boost you need to motivate sales professionals towards high performance. Yes, money's good and everyone likes it, but there are complementary ways to reward your team for their work. Here are a few tips:
- Physical prizes such as gift cards, electronic devices, bottles of wine;
- Experiences such as a trip for two, a boat trip, a dinner for two or a day off;
- Professional training, such participating in conventions and events, scholarships, and extra-curricular training;
- Community-related, such as a donation to an employee-picked NGO.
3. Promote gamified training
Professional training is inherent to any activity. Many professionals already expect to undergo a few hours of training along their journey. Nothing new there.
No more tiring PowerPoint presentations, in which the sales professionals can't wait for the coffee break. Gamified training combines entertainment and fun with teaching, making the process more relaxed and interactive.
In addition to being able to use all the strategies above, applying gamification in training helps engaging and motivating the salesforce. A survey by TalentLMS showed that 83% of employees said they were more motivated by gamified training.
When defining the game objective, you can use elements that will make learning a more collaborative, interactive, challenging and effective experience. Here are a few possibilities:
- Conducting quizzes on the content. With this, participants can test and validate their learning in a lighter and more fun way;
- Use storytelling. You can divide the training in stages, based on plot, as if it were a real story, with characters and all. This playful nature helps making the process more interesting and fun.
- Training customization. Imagine if each team member could create their own avatar to experience the training process? This gives the process more personality and stirs the participants' creativity, who will want to take their avatar to the end of the journey.
- Team collaboration. Gamified training can have mechanisms that enable users to collaborate with each other.
Since you've just learned that gamified training can engage and motivate the salesforce towards high performance, why not give it a try and get their feedback?
When surveying our users from the past year, 98% said they learned more from the Play2sell app than from traditional training.
We have a team of specialists ready to serve you and help implement many improvements to your sales team's training process. Let's talk!