We’ve talked about picking and managing your team, but how best should you motivate them?
A little bit of competition can certainly be a healthy, but it can also be toxic. I’ve talked many times about how a good sales person will put the pressure on themselves to bring in the sales, I think a competitive drive is part of the DNA of a good sales person. You hear stories about how the lowest performing sales person has had a squid dropped on their head and stupid forfeits like this. For me no matter what the intention or how ‘good natured’ this is, it doesn’t have a place in the workplace. It can quite seriously de-motivate and de-value your sales team if you are going to publicly punish them on performance. Don’t forget that there are any number of factors out of your sales person’s hands.
A little bit of feedback can go along way with your sales time. This is often best on a one to one basis and can be quick and informal in nature. As above, no one likes feeling as if their every move it being monitored but if you spot a little room for improvement or have a suggestion, chipping in can be quite useful.
I see an alarming amount of posts that simply say you should fire an underperforming sales person in 3 months. (or less!) Sales as an industry is extremely high turnover where I feel many good sales people simply aren’t given the time to perform. At the same time the more transactional aspect of sales careers makes retention harder as a good salesperson is more likely to leave for more money. I’ve said throughout this series that I don’t agree with the standard way of looking at sales. It can’t all be about new business, disqualification is as important as qualification and ultimately a small client often takes as much effort as a big one.
If your livelihood depends on booking appointments, you’ll book appointments but how many of them will be cold leads that will ultimately lead to nothing? Those are factors you of course, have no control over, but perhaps if your job didn’t rely on booking appointments you wouldn’t have made them to begin with?
You want sales people who are going to think of the organisation and their impact on the later sale/operation. You want people who understand and represent your business and become associated with it. Building relaitonships takes time and the best are often forged over years, you’re never going to get that if your firing someone after 3 months. If your sales person has the right attitude, is doing the right steps and making progress, give them more time. No doubt you can’t keep a dead asset around forever, but hiring and firing on a whim is not good for the long term stability of your business.