Managing a team of sales reps is an ongoing challenge in keeping the energy high, staying motivated and increasing productivity to continue producing great results. Not an easy task, but one that is vital to the longevity and success of your company’s future at every level. Remember, your sales reps are the front lines of your business. They will often be the first impression a prospective customer has of your business, and the conduit for effectively communicate the quality and care of service you offer the world. Here are 5 ways to keep your sales reps motivated and productive:
1. Schedule Ongoing Training
New hires will undoubtedly have an initial training process they go through to learn everything needed to sell and best represent your business. But training should not end there. Pencil in time every few months (or sooner) to review sales points and communicate any new policies or changes in service. Trim excess fat that has not shown to be valuable and pluck off some of that low hanging fruit that might prove otherwise.
2. Supply Them With Tools to Succeed
Every person has their own way of keeping organized and knows what works best for them. That’s not to say that you have to completely overhaul your process. But perhaps there are certain elements that are easy to incorporate. Smart phone, tablet, laptop, email client, CRM, etc. If they have a system that has proven to work well for them, experiment their integration within your current environment to see if they are feasible. It may be easier and more effective than training them on every little procedure that works for you. Give them the necessary tools to succeed.
3. Discuss Customer Feedback and Reactions
This is extremely important to both the success of the sales rep and that of your company overall. Sit down together to discuss any patterns he is finding in the sales conversation that is getting consistent reactions or feedback to any of his sales points. This can be both positive or negative and may highlight valid issues that need addressing. If every customer is surprised by your pricing, recalculate. If they’re scared off by your product warranty, reevaluate. Are customers hanging up on him every time he reaches a certain point? There’s probably something wrong there. Listening to customer feedback and reactions will help you stay connected with the industry standards and provide valuable criticism needed for your company to continue growing. It’ll also help in identifying red flags and key points to rework the rep’s conversation outline.
4. Provide Support
While you may be the boss, it’s important to view your entire staff (including yourself) as a team. There are many moving parts that make up a company, with each person relying on the work of others to provide an effectively successful service. As mentioned before, sales is the forefront face of your brand’s reputation. Make yourself available at times to help answer questions and address concerns. If they see a possible flaw if the system, see if it’s something you can work out together to create a possible solution. A well oiled machine will function efficiently and effectively for many years when serviced regularly.
5. Give Them Your Feedback
Similar to ongoing training, mentioned above – to review company policy and procedure – let your sales reps know how they are doing in line with expectations (theirs and yours). Most companies will hire, train, evaluate performance and end there. Sure, there might be a six month or annual review that sums up their prior performance, but those are typically too general and often too late. If there are aspects needing adjustments, suggest some minor tweaks. Performance enhancement tips can be just as motivating as praise and may help reignite the fire needed to improve. And if they’re doing a great job and really killing it, let them know. It’s always nice to get positive feedback on a job well done.
Sales can make or break a company. It’s the ultimate driving force behind the success of a business and likely the first impression a potential customer may have. Hire good people that show great potential. Give them the tools needed to deliver positive results, and provide them with the full support you have to offer in helping your business achieve new levels of growth and success.
(Flickr photo by Stuart Heath)