Why Motivation Is Essential for a High-Performance Work Team


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At my company, we conducted an internal survey on sales rep performance in teams. We found that the better the emotional state of the agents, the higher the team’s earnings. For sales professionals to truly excel, it is important to create a positive and fulfilling environment, motivate them, and help them develop a strong belief in the product or service they are selling.

When sales professionals believe in the product they are selling, they develop passion for what translates into their performance. In this article, we examine how non-monetary motivation and other tools can help you create a positive emotional climate in your sales team, which leads to higher sales.

Build trust in your product

Ultimately, money is the fundamental motivator of a successful seller and we believe that the best sales team is made up of people who want to earn more. However, people quickly get used to money, and in order to maintain high sales indicators it is important to use other tools. So, to assemble a sales team that is enthusiastic, engaged, and invested in their work, team members must have a strong belief in the value of what they are selling.

There are several ways to create a strong emotional bond between sellers and the product or service they are selling:

  1. Highlight the unique qualities of the product and the value it offers to customers. This can be particularly effective when dealing with complex or technical products or services where it may be harder to make an emotional connection. The most powerful tools are stories and real-world examples that show how the product has helped your customers.
  2. Notice how the product is superior to its competitors. This can make salespeople feel like they’re part of something extraordinary and differentiating in the marketplace. Aside from the unique selling points that no one else on the market has, you can also include personal and unique benefits they will receive from working with you: health insurance, higher advancement opportunities, etc.

The first step in building that mindset is onboarding. It’s important to help new salespeople become aware of the technical aspects of their job and develop an emotional connection to the product. They should research the fixed part of their salary and believe they can earn much more by looking at examples of other employees. In addition, they should be confident that your product is life-changing and better than the competition. This knowledge should be reinforced over time with regular presentations detailing changes to the product or service, Google rankings, reviews, and other metrics that demonstrate the company’s excellence.

Related: 10 ways to maximize your sales team’s performance

Encourage open dialogue within the team

Another important aspect of fostering a positive atmosphere among salespeople is establishing open communication channels within the team. Otherwise, team members may become disengaged and eventually leave the company. Several things can be done:

  1. Hold weekly one-on-one meetings between team members and their managers. These 15-minute meetings should focus on work-related topics, but leaders should also take the time to address personal issues and offer support when needed.
  2. listen carefully Listen to what team members are saying and actively seek their input on issues related to team performance. This may include encouraging sales reps to share their thoughts and feelings about how the team is doing and what improvements could be made. It is important to take their feedback seriously and, if necessary, act on it or explain why certain decisions are made, even though it is impossible to implement their suggestions. In our practice, people are more than willing to voice their concerns because they understand the possible positive outcome for themselves.
  3. Be transparent about communicating bad news. Sometimes things don’t go perfectly, and openness is key to maintaining trust and keeping your sales team motivated. For example, if there is a price increase, this can be seen as bad news for sellers. In such cases, it is important to be proactive by selecting a group of 15-20 very loyal employees and first explaining the situation to them. The point is to show them the different options that were considered and why they were not viable. This is crucial, especially if the circumstance, such as a premium reduction, affects you personally. This first group may ask difficult questions, but eventually they will understand why the decision was made. The same information can then be presented to the entire team through a presentation. In most cases fewer questions need to be answered as the first group has already explained the situation to the others. This approach builds trust and shows your sales team that you value their input and are willing to be transparent with them.

Related: 9 Keys to Leading Great Sales Meetings

Introduce situational motivation

In addition to incentives that happen on a regular basis, certain situational rewards can also play an important role in increasing sales teams’ productivity levels and morale. These rewards can be a small amount of money or non-monetary, but still have a significant impact on team motivation and engagement.

Here are some examples that we have found to be the most effective:

  1. recognition can take many different forms: A simple but effective way to recognize top performers is to issue a certificate that highlights their accomplishments and contributions to the team. Later, the sales specialist can add it to their portfolio, so they are usually very happy and proud to receive one. Of course, it’s impossible to motivate people with just positive words for any length of time, so this simple technique is likely to provide a temporary but powerful boost.
  2. Informal gatherings that reflect the culture of the sales team: For example, in the Philippines, there is a cultural practice called “Lunch and Learn”: a tradition where the entire team eats Friday evening meals paid for by a co-worker. We also practice this tradition in the remote work environment, simply by sending money to the sellers and having dinner together via Zoom. This provides a place for informal interaction while also being a nice bonus, even if it doesn’t cost the company much.
  3. Challenges, even the craziest: Sometimes introducing some fun “I dare you” challenges can be effective in motivating the workplace. For example, our sales manager was once asked to shoot a dance video on TikTok if the team completed the plan. The vendors’ performance was outstanding simply because they wanted to have fun.

Related Topics: How do you recruit the best salespeople when you don’t have a lot of money?

Investing in motivation is worth it

In summary, creating a positive and fulfilling environment for your sales team is critical to driving revenue growth. By building trust in your product, encouraging open channels of communication, and providing non-monetary sources of motivation, you can inspire your salespeople to excel. When sales professionals believe in the value of what they are selling, they become passionate and engaged, which leads to increased sales and overall team success.

Remember that your sales team’s performance isn’t just about money, it’s also about creating a culture of trust, transparency, and motivation. Invest in your salespeople and they will invest in your success!

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