A successful sales team
From setting goals to building trust with employees, there are several ways business owners can drive motivation among their sales teams. — sanjeri/Getty Images

Motivation is the key to any successful business team, but for a sales team, motivation can determine how successful or unsuccessful a company is. As a small business owner, sales manager or director, motivating your sales team can be one of your most difficult ongoing tasks. Not only do you have to know how to motivate each individual, you have to bring everyone together as a strong team.

These five strategies will help you motivate your employees and build a strong sales team.

[Read: 4 Expert Strategies for Training Your Sales Team]

Build trust with each member on your team

Before you can motivate your sales team to deliver results, they have to trust you. The only way to build trust is to prove that you have your employees’ best interests at heart. Have open and honest conversations with your employees and act to create an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute. Showing your team that you are willing to hear all voiced concerns or opinions, follow through on responsibilities and check in with them often will foster trust.

Set difficult, yet attainable goals

Nothing unites and motivates a team more than a shared objective. Sales leaders should determine what they want their teams to accomplish and create team goals. Each goal should have a purpose and challenge the team daily, weekly and monthly. Allowing your sales team to set their own goals puts them in the position of determining something they’d like to achieve individually and demonstrates their commitment to the team and company.

Host contests with great rewards

Salespeople like a good challenge, and friendly team contests can create a heathy, competitive culture for the sales team. Make the contest challenging, such as beating a sales record in a quarter or receiving the best customer service score that month. Finally, the key to a competition that generates real results is to set explicit rules and make the prize worthwhile a couple of free movie tickets aren’t going to cut it. Here are a few rewards that will really motivate your team:

  • Mandatory paid vacation.
  • Office upgrade budget.
  • Use the corner office for a week.
  • Attend a conference of their choice.
  • Donate to a charity of their choice.

Everyone is motivated by different things, so you will need to find out what works. This can take some time to figure out, but knowing your employees personally can make the decision easier.

Motivation is the key to any successful business team.

Publicly share both team and individual wins

You can share your sales team’s wins through a daily or weekly company email, which allows those who have been working hard to be recognized on a larger scale. You may also want to have a bulletin or digital board set up to display employees who have met their goals or achieved higher sales. When employees see that they are being recognized for their hard work, they will be motivated to continue being productive and may even challenge themselves to work harder. Seeing others performing well can also motivate those who aren’t doing as well to step up and perform at their best.

Create opportunities for team building

There are different ways to foster communication and connection between team members and yourself. An evening out for drinks, attending a sports event together and hosting a game night are all examples of events where relationships can be built and strengthened. Team members have the opportunity to get to know one another and you can get to know them outside of the workplace where things such as stress and anxiety may prevent a closer connection.

The most important thing to remember is that members of your sales team may not all be motivated by the same thing, so the better you know them, the easier it will be to determine what works best. Remember to be sincere in your efforts to get to know them and foster trust by being authentic. Your team will thank you through their commitment and productivity.

[Read: How to Streamline Your Sales by Automating the Sales Process]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published December 12, 2019