Sales engagement can mean different things to different organizations. Some equate it with job satisfaction, while others measure engagement by measuring or tracking salespeople’s emotional commitment to their organization. Although job satisfaction and commitment are important ingredients, they are only one piece of the engagement equation.
While organizations are keen to maximize the contribution of salespeople toward corporate imperatives and metrics, individual salespeople desire recognition, a sense of purpose, and satisfaction in their work.
Aligning salespeople’s values, goals, and aspirations with those of the organization is the best method for achieving the sustainable sales engagement required for an organization to thrive.
How the Successful Sales Leader Drives Engagement
There are specific critical things that a sales leader can do to drive engagement, which in turn will lead to improved sales results. The most critical factors are coaching, motivation, and building trust.
1. Develop a Coaching Relationship with Your Sales Team Members
For sales managers, the value of regular meetings with their salespeople – customized to their specific circumstances – cannot be overstated.
A rushed meeting where the sales manager ticks through a list of goals, and areas to improve, is more likely to produce a stressed or irritated salesperson than an engaged one. Ensure that your coaching sessions are open-minded and welcoming. Remember that people aren’t always forthcoming with issues that might be bothering them or preventing them from being fully tuned into their work within the sales team.
Set aside dedicated time each week for individual coaching sessions on your salespeople’s most important deals. This is about them, not a pipeline call or forecast call. Commit to it, don’t blow them off, and treat them as important – because they are to your people.
Everyone is motivated by different things, so understanding what drives your team is crucial.
People possess distinctive characteristics, and what motivates them is unique as well. Individuals need to be recognized for their efforts. Learn the motivators for each of your salespeople and align your conversations around them. Here are the most common four key motivators that drive sales teams:
- Money: Many professionals get into sales because they want to have control over their income. Because of the possible high-earning potential, sales attract money-motivated individuals.
- Career mobility: Successful sales professionals are recognized — and promoted — based on their personal efforts.
- Recognition: In sales, it’s even better since every win comes with a cash prize. There is a cultural dimension to this as well. I remember taking over a sales team in France, and one of my team members earned a bonus for exceptional results. I wanted to present her with the reward in front of her peers. But I was told by my boss to do it in private so that her colleagues would not be envious, which is one of the things I wanted to drive!
- Sense of purpose: While sales skills can be applicable across various sectors, most salespeople find it hard to be enthusiastic about selling a product or a service they don’t believe in. Yet, if your sales team is aligned with and genuinely connected to the company’s mission, they will share that zeal with your customers.
3. Trust Is a Must
Why is trust so important? When salespeople trust their leader, it elevates their productivity, team unity, and job satisfaction. Lack of trust leads to lower engagement, higher turnover, and an overall decline in performance.
We all recognize the impact of an inspiring leader we believe in — our dedication to work amplifies. Here are a few ways to start building trust with your sales team so that you can be an effective motivator:
- Have Integrity — Do what you say you will, when you say you will.
- Invest Time with Your Team — Go beyond occasional sales meetings to understand your team members and what matters to them.
- Be Genuinely Positive — Keep your language and mindset positive.
- Collaborate and Listen — Do not make sales strategies all about your ideas but ask the salesperson for their input and implement the best ideas into the plan.
Each of these four undertakings is conducive to the outcome.
When salespeople have strong relationships with their superiors and they feel valued as an individual, it strengthens trust. When they feel empowered and are motivated to represent the brand on social channels and create opportunities, it strengthens trust. And when trust is strengthened, the benefits are wide-reaching to the entire sales team.
No matter who you are, we all suffer from a lack of motivation at times. However, this is especially common among sales teams. As a leader or a manager, you’ll need to know how to motivate your team to get through sales calls, follow up with customers, and, ultimately, close deals.
At Revenue Storm, tools, training, and incentives are important elements for the field. Still, leaders must also prioritize investment in the mindsets and behaviors that impact sales performance for individual contributors and sales team leaders.
Today’s buyers expect brands and vendors to work around their schedules and needs. Meeting this expectation requires savvy sales leaders to make it a continual priority to foster sales team engagement through team cohesion, seller empowerment, and trust-building.
Take some time to think through each of your team members. What motivates each of them; am I spending enough time coaching? Reflect on the language you are using to motivate. And then, write down an action plan!