How to Keep Your Sales Team From Slacking

December 23, 2014 Alex Traynor

How to Keep Your Sales Team From SlackingIf your sales team isn't pulling in the sales that they used to, you might be quick to blame them. But, as a sales manager, it's up to you to keep your team motivated and on track. Is your sales team slacking lately? Contrary to popular belief, it is your job to inspire excellence. Most misguided sales managers seem to think it is not and would sooner choose to ignore mediocre performance. Without encouragement and motivation, your sales team can easily lose their drive and plummeting sales will inevitably ensue. We're here to teach you how to keep your team from slacking.

Engage

Sit down and have a meaningful discussion with your sales team. Ask them what their thoughts are about the company and what is working and what isn't. Ask them what they've accomplished that they're really proud of. Prepare a list of questions and talk to each one of your sales reps. Get to know them if you don't already. Find out how they would define success, what they enjoy about their sales jobs, what their goals are, what would make their sales career more interesting, and what they would like to do more or less of.

Listen

Find out what they value. What kind of motivation does your sales team respond well to? Everyone is different so it's important that you sit down and figure out how each individual can be motivated. Ask what would make them feel more successful at work. Perhaps some yearn for recognition and appreciation when they do well. Some may be motivated by monetary rewards.

Implement

Set goals and create incentives to keep your sales team motivated. Implement a meaningful reward system to transform mediocre sales reps into satisfied, productive team members. It doesn't always have to be monetary. It's important that your team's motivation is sustainable, so if you can't feasibly reward your sales reps financially for every success, don't make the promise you can't keep. You might be surprised how satisfying it is to be recognized and appreciated at work for a job well done.

Coach

Many sales managers stop training their team members after they've been on the job a few months. Effective sales managers understand the importance of ongoing sales training and coaching for everyone—even the seasoned sales professionals. There are always new sales techniques, strategies, and tactics to teach and implement. Don't let your sales team's practices get stale. Plus, continuous training and coaching will develop talent and motivate your sales team to improve.

Enforce

Don't ignore mediocrity issues. Address issues as they arise so they don't turn into a much larger issue. By avoiding confrontation, you are only adding to the problem. If a problem with a rep persists after you've addressed the concern, perhaps it's time to let the person go. You want to encourage and motivate your sales team so they are positive and productive. But, if one member of the team remains negative, unproductive, and resistant to change, maybe the team would be better off without him. If one person is seriously slacking, it will affect the others. Why let one person get away with mediocre performance while the others consistently put in their best efforts to improve? Why should the rest of your team pick up the slack because one employee keeps dropping the ball? It's not fair to your sales team or the company.

Make your sales team feel valued for the work they do. Give them the recognition they deserve. When employees feel valued by managers and employers, they will be happier, more productive, and more successful in their jobs. Don't be a mediocre sales manager with a mediocre sales team. It's up to you to encourage and motivate your team of sales professionals. Value your sales team so they will be driven to succeed.

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