While many companies are still dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, they getting ready to deal with yet another hurdle for businesses. It appears more and more likely that we are heading towards a recession if we are not already in one. Selling during these difficult times can be extremely challenging. Customers generally spend more carefully. Instead of using fear to motivate your team, try using a more positive approach. It’s difficult to keep moral high when it’s difficult to remain motivated to work hard after a global pandemic, rising prices and production issues. So How Do We Motivate Sales Teams Through Uncertain Economic Times?
10 Tips to Keep Your Team Motivated
- Trust is essential to maintaining any good relationship and begins when sales managers build trust with their team. Knowing what motivates your team is the key to ensuring they remain enthusiastic and driven. What motivates salespeople to be successful can vary from person to person. Ensuring your team is aware of the decision-making process as well as consistent and supportive communication with your team helps in building this trust. Everyone has a different work style and preference on how their employers manage them, so invite them to let you know what works best for them. Communication should be clear and often. You should schedule meetings frequently and consistently, but they should occur more frequent during tough times. Don’t avoid bad news and ensure you have a plan to address any affected team members. Being available and prepared will help keep morale high.
- Not believing everything you hear is very important during these times. It is necessary to remain focused on your main goal and ignore what the media is saying. Your mindset is crucial to your success. If you believe you and your company will be successful, then you will continue to succeed. Just because other companies may be struggling doesn’t mean that you will.
- Streamlining processes during difficult economic times is essential for ensuring your salespeople are used most effectively. Instead of complicated processes that consume a lot of your salespeople’s time, they can focus more on the customers by actively engaging with prospects. Ensuring you have easy access to the content the customer requires saves valuable time.
- Applying incentives will help in keeping your team engaged. Different people respond differently to different incentives, so encourage your team to communicate with you what incentives work best for them. Link these rewards with periodic reports and remind your team you are there to support them in whatever you can. Continuing microlearning through gamified quizzes keeps your team interested and committed. Ongoing communication is important so your team knows what areas they need to improve upon now, instead of waiting until another quota has been missed. Setting performance goals and tracking the training to determine where the issues are and improve with better information.
- Using automation software to handle some of the repetitive tasks, allows salespeople to direct their attention to more valuable tasks, such as upselling and closing new deals. Automation tools also help support teams and boost their capabilities.
- Building relationships can allow learning from others without the need to be competitive. Strengthen your relationship with your clients by asking them how to help them solve any problems they may be experiencing. Working in a partnership instead of competition also is more valuable for the customer.
- Tightening your prospects may be a better option during tough times than trying to widen your search. Instead, try your attention on what your ideal customer and businesses may be. Once you know who your best prospects are, use a campaign involving multiple forms of communication. Take the time to plan and use a combination of email, phone calls, direct letters and events to connect with executives. Concentrate on your presentations. Show your prospect exactly how your company will benefit them. Tell them exactly how your product will save them money, generate money or improve productivity. Increase your visibility with your existing customers by speaking at conferences, and volunteering at events. Expanding your network activities is an easy way to do this. If you personalize sales content for every buyer, it makes them feel important and valued and more likely to reinvest.
- Creating a contingency plan is an asset when the times are uncertain. Create new strategies to expand, revise and become more valuable to your customers. Make sure you remain flexible with your plans. Businesses should have more than one location, client, or product and this is more critical during financial uncertainty. Considering reps only spend about 33% of their day selling, there is plenty of room for their day to be spend more productively.
- During tough times it’s also important to rely on what remains tried and true. Relying on company culture could include a strong camaraderie or simply listening to feedback. Now could be a good time to increase your team’s training. Asking your senior reps to share some of their experiences can be great motivation for your team and it shows your continued interest in their success. Continuing to encourage sharing success stories can reinforce the procedures that are already in place. Celebrating wins is highly motivating to your employees and they don’t all have to relate to closing a deal. You could celebrate learning a new skill.
- Your sales skills got you this far, but by refining them you can meet the ever-changing needs of the customer. Now is the time you should be asking some tough questions to understand where your skills may need some tuning. By refining your skills, you will have a better understanding of what your customers’ needs are now and in the future. Have your customer’s needs changed? Are they facing any new challenges and has their buying process changed at all? How are you able to help them either now or in the future?
During times of financial confusion, businesses need to alter their outlook and communicate this to their team. Ensuring your team is aware of the reasons for the change provides the motivation to action and isn’t difficult if the right assistance is implemented. Your sales team needs to be aware that maintaining current customers and attending to their needs takes priority over new prospects. Provide precise instructions on how you would like this handled. Coach your team on upselling approaches and informing current customers on new products and services that my interest them. Take the time to understand your customers’ needs and challenges. Plan to work with them to reach their goals and reduce challenges.
Operating a business after a global pandemic and in the face of a recession is demanding. Functioning out of fear usually leads to cold-calling and worrying about trying to close new deals. This procedure will not work. Focusing on existing clients is a more favorable approach as they can boost your company’s value. They are the most likely to bring you new business by referring family and friends. Streamlining processes are Essential in ensuring that your team’s focus is where you want it to be. Ensure your team only focuses on certain prospects will produce better deals.
Even though we cannot predict the future, sales teams that change their approach by taking care of their existing customers, while looking for new partnerships tend to find new opportunities to grow their business. Considering markets tend to take a downturn roughly every seven years or so, the skills you learn during difficult times will probably suit you well in the future.