The Truth About Great Sales People | Motivating Your Sales Team

How To Motivate Sales Teams

Sales are the lifeblood of any business and whilst we pretty much all sell ‘something’ it is only the hungry to succeed that thrive in a sales environment.  But how do you go about motivating your sales team?

Sales professionals are usually self motivated, reward driven and engaged in your business. Motivating them can feel like trying to staple jelly to a wall. Some are mavericks, some are complete ‘lone wolves’ and some are what we would politely call ‘chancers’ – managing to hustle through that sale in the nick of time, like in a film when the shutters come down and the hero slides under, pausing only to retrieve a dropped hat. A great sales person needs little from a manager apart from un-clipped wings, confidence and a set of rules, and you can leave motivation to your annual incentive scheme or reward.

If your team have been absolutely worked into the ground but aren’t making progress – they need that boost and some motivating! The good news is, sales has a set of rules. Show them these key facts about sales and let them know how much they mean to your business!

Great sales people prospect now and reap rewards

If you’re selling, you’ll need target customers. Go about it all scattered and your results will be scattered.  Get your pipeline in order, and be honest about who is hot, warm, cold and stone dead on your hitlist – inflating the figures might help you keep a seat at the table, but a juicy pipeline that never delivers is the ultimate example of how you can ‘over promise, under deliver’. Spend time sifting through your data, make a plan, and store away some gems. Cold calling, email, letters, LinkedIn – you need to put in the groundwork.

Great sales people keep their data clean and their standards high!

How is your data? Half filled in and more like a wishlist than a hit list? Time to put in the work to refine it. Harness LinkedIn and gather data. Make notes about their potential spend, company size and relationships. Each call you make starts to feel more personal and takes you from ‘irritant’ to ‘advisor’. Keep your standards high. If you know from your research that a company is not quite suitable, don’t waste your time. It’s better to just move on than to fish in the same data pool, hoping that someone ‘might bite’.

Great sales don’t just happen

You love the feel of the sale that converts on your first meeting, the rush when you chance upon your contact on your first call, or when someone calls YOU to ask for your services! These stories are the exception, not the rule. Great sales people plug away through the dead ends, the leads that dissolve and vanish – and they don’t give up hope! If you aren’t getting a no everyday, you are either in the most lucrative business ever, you have priced your product too low, or you aren’t spending enough time trying to further your reach.

Great sales people listen and learn

If you aren’t listening to what people want, don’t want, what they’ve tried before, what they don’t know about and what they do know about, you’re wasting energy and could lose a sale. If you speak to the absolute master in marketing, and try sell yourself as the pro in town – you’ll look foolish. By doing tour research, you won’t get into a sticky situation, and by asking key questions first instead of going into ‘Standard Sale Pitch’ you’ll improve your conversions. If you can’t close a sale by listening – you won’t make a sale. The phrase is ‘Always Be Closing’ and it’s sales 1010. The only truth is not to wait until the last stage in the process – you need to learn to close as you go, narrowing them down to a point of inevitability by understanding precisely what they need – and serving it up!

Great sales people build lasting relationships

The best sales happen when people are invested in you. You might think sales can trickle in with barely any effort – but the long term, repeat sales that last when they person moves companies, switches roles or even careers are the ones where you have met or at least struck up a real bond. Go beyond trying to create a bond by talking about yourself  and trying to make yourself memorable – a new sales method that’s aggravating. Ask, listen, ask again.

What other truths are there when it comes to motivating sales teams? Leave a comment below!

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