Small Business 101: How to Boost the Morale and Motivation of Your Sales Team

Small Business 101: How to Boost the Morale and Motivation of Your Sales Team


[music] 00:08 Speaker 1: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Small Business
101 here on Arbeit U. Joined again by a very special guest. I love guest episodes ’cause they get to be
the experts and do everything for us. So we have Lindsey Zajac with Ahern, Murphy
& Associates. Thanks so much for joining us. 00:25 Lindsey Zajac: Thank you for having
me. Happy to be here. 00:27 S1: No problem. So we’re gonna be talking about keeping sales
teams motivated, correct? 00:32 LZ: Yes. 00:33 Speaker 3: I’m excited to talk about
this ’cause I’m in sales, so it should be interesting. 00:37 S1: So take some notes. 00:38 LZ: Yeah. Important topic and we can all learn something
from it. Even non-salespeople. Perfect. 00:44 S1: Well, for anyone watching that doesn’t
know who you are, can you just give us a little bit background on yourself and how you got
into this. 00:49 LZ: Yeah, so my background for the past
15 years or so, I’ve been in Human Resources serving as a business partner, mostly, so
working with companies to help their people strategy align with their business strategy. A lot of talent development, a lot of talent
management, training and development. Those were kind of my passions. After about 15 years of doing that, the last
five were with PepsiCo. I was a Senior Human Resources Manager there,
and that’s what brought me to Buffalo, and fell in love with this area and live here
now and raising my kids here. And then about 18 months ago, I left PepsiCo
to join my father’s firm, Ahern, Murphy & Associates, he started it 20 years ago and looking to
join with him for a couple of years, work alongside him and eventually take over the
business. 01:38 S3: Awesome. That’s exciting. 01:40 S1: Yeah. 01:41 S3: Exciting and a little scary. 01:42 S?: Yeah, right? Well, good for you, that’s awesome. 01:45 S1: Yeah. 01:47 S3: Alright, so can you identify any
common denominators in sales teams that are unmotivated or complacent? 01:54 LZ: Yeah. So I think in general, you’re gonna find things
like a lack of clearly defined goals around how it ties to the organization as a whole. So you could call that lack of communication,
you could call that lack of priorities, you could call it lack of clarity, but not really
knowing exactly what’s expected of them and how to do it, and then how it ties to the
bigger picture ’cause nobody wants to just be a cog in the wheel, they wanna know that,
“Oh, by me accomplishing X, it’s gonna help the company grow or scale” or whatever. So the lack of communication or goals. 02:25 LZ: Sometimes you’ll find some ineffective
leaders or leaders that haven’t found a way to try to motivate their teams or try to be
accessible, or try to be supportive, you might see some lack of training, some of these… A consultative selling approach with a more
sophisticated product, like you all have, it takes a little bit more time just to get
up to speed on how to best present that to clients. It’s not just like… 02:52 S1: It’s hard. 02:53 S3: Yeah. 02:53 LZ: Watch this video or read this book,
and you’re up to speed. So I think maybe a little bit of lack of training
around that process could be part of it, and then sometimes, the last one I would mention
is, just maybe poor fit, not everyone is meant to be in a sales position or wants to be in
a sales position. And if you really haven’t aligned their strengths
to that job, you might see some lack of motivation. 03:17 S1: Right. So there’s so many different… You mentioned so many different personalities
that can be in sales, or motivated by different things. So I guess how do you balance the different
personalities on a sales team? 03:35 LZ: Sure. Sure. 03:35 S1: Everyone’s gonna… Yeah. 03:37 LZ: Absolutely. So you’re right, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all
approach. Sometimes what leaders make the mistake of
doing is they think that what motivates them is what motivates their team. And a lot of times that’s not the case. So knowing what motivates you as a leader,
but also taking the time to sort of ask or find out what motivates the people on your
team. 03:56 LZ: I’m sure you both know the difference
between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. So, someone that’s more extrinsically motivated,
they need an external reward or prize or money, or some kind of… Something external that sweetens the pot. Or they might be a little motivated by the
fear of something negative or a punishment or something like that, where an intrinsically
motivated person just finds satisfaction in doing a job well done or they might strive
for excellence so they might just like a challenge. So knowing the difference between the two
can kind of help you either create a better environment for that employee or put some
drivers in that might help them be more motivated. I’m an intrinsically motivated person and
my husband is an extrinsically motivated person. So I can’t assume that he’s gonna be motivated
to get up and go on a run in the morning like I am, he might need me to… 04:47 S3: Yeah. 04:48 LZ: Reward him somehow. 04:49 S3: I’ll buy you lunch. 04:52 S1: Yeah, there’s… I feel like most people assume sales motivated
by money. 04:56 LZ: Totally. That’s a huge assumption. 05:00 S1: Yeah. And it’s like when we started early, it’s
like, “Well of course, just… Big commission check. They’re gonna be motivated. And why aren’t you motivated?” So this is in early… This is a different question that we’re gonna
ask, but I guess can you tell us a little bit about that, why that’s… 05:15 LZ: Yeah. 05:16 S1: You don’t agree with that, the case
and then what other things motivate people? 05:20 LZ: Absolutely, so I think the over-generalization
that all salespeople are driven by money and that all that you need to be motivated is
a paycheck, or a strong commission or bonus, it’s a sweeping generalization and also I
think it’s a little bit more of an old school mentality where now some people are more motivated
by relationship building. They love meeting people, they love… Other people love finding that perfect solution. They’re kind of problem solvers and they wanna
get you the right fit for your needs. It’s very possible to have a high-performing
salesperson that’s not necessarily only focused on the money, but I think regardless of what
they’re motivated by, it’s important they have to be motivated by something because
if there’s nothing that makes them wanna get out of bed in the morning and go into work
and do their best job, that’s not really something that you can help. [laughter] 06:15 S1: Yeah. They gotta figure that out on their own. 06:15 LZ: They gotta find something, yeah. But other people are also competitive, so
maybe it’s not the money. But you do a silly challenge or you do a fun
contest, or you say, “Hey, whoever gets the most accounts this month is gonna go to the
Bills game.” Finding other ways to keep it fun and entertaining
besides just, “Well, you should wanna make a ton of money.” 06:21 S1: Yeah. 06:38 S3: Yeah. We do competitive, fun competitive stuff here. 06:42 LZ: Yeah. 06:42 S3: That motivates all of us. 06:43 LZ: I would assume so, I would assume. It’s a good way to get people fired up and
get the juices flowing. 06:48 S3: Yeah, yeah. So what KPIs have you found to be most telling
of a sales team’s motivation, and when is the right time to address metrics as a concern? 06:58 LZ: So I don’t know exactly what your
KPIs are here. But I think that any key performance indicator,
when you’re looking at a sales function, one of the big ones you wanna look at is probably
just the activity level, like what’s actually going on, looking at calendars, and not in
a micro-managing kinda way, but in a… If you’re making the calls, you’re sending
the emails, you’re out and about, you’re banging on doors, or networking, or just the activity
equals the results. So little to no activity, you’re never gonna
hit the jackpot, and you get some big accounts, I would definitely look at some of the activity
measurements. And also, two, to help find out maybe where
there’s some… Where there’s some problems or obstacles,
maybe people are making all the calls, but the first objection that they’re getting,
they don’t have the tools or the skill set to kind of overcome that. So, it’s not the number of calls you’re making. It’s building that skill set to overcome rejection. 07:58 S3: Yeah. 07:58 S1: Yeah. Not micro-managing [08:03] ____ but following
KPIs, that they… It’s hard to balance that. 08:07 LZ: Well, yeah. I think if you say, “These are the indicators
that will help drive optimal performance to make you successful in your role, the average
person has X amount of meetings a month, or the average person is making X amount of calls,
or the average person is shaking hands and getting cards from so many people.” Having some kind of guideline of what that
looks like is meant to help them versus meant to crack them with a whip if they don’t do
it. 08:33 S1: So what are some… For any business, really, what are some of
the actionable strategies that they can do to kinda keep sales… The sales team motivated? ‘Cause I feel like when somebody comes in
it, they’re motivated. They’re ready to go. 08:52 LZ: Sure. 08:53 S1: They get started. Six months goes by and they get demotivated,
or a year goes by, maybe they had a few bad months in a row, and it’s hard. I feel like once you lose motivation, it’s
really hard to kinda get it back. So how do you either, A, constantly maintain
the motivation or even further, if people lose motivation, what do you do to get it
back, if it’s possible? 09:15 LZ: Yeah. Absolutely. So I think there’s a lot of ways to kind of
tackle this question, but one of them is people do what they see. And if you’re kind of emulating that high
energy, “We can do this,” you need to be motivated if you want your team to be motivated. So sometimes, leaders don’t always realize
how impactful the way they walk into the room is, or the way they address people. So it starts with you, I think, focusing more
on the sales experience for your customers as opposed to just the outcome. What’s the value proposition? What are you doing differently than your competitors? What are those things? And getting them really up to speed on that,
investing in their training. 09:57 LZ: With any kind of a selling role,
a lot of it’s gonna be that one-on-one coaching because they can’t just learn it all in a
day or in a classroom. They have to learn it sort of while they’re
doing it. So finding a way to help them on a client
call or help them through a process, so that they… You’re building their capability. People wanna feel like they’re doing a good
job, and they wanna feel acknowledged and everyone wants to matter. So I think appreciating their efforts, rewarding
their results, and just really trying to build their capability, remove obstacles for them,
will help them stay motivated. 10:33 S1: Okay. So you mentioned emulating what leadership’s
doing and such. And it made me think ’cause I’m not like a
rah-rah motivational person, [laughter] I’m real quiet and… 10:46 LZ: Sure. 10:48 S1: So, yeah. How do you… Do have to be rah-rah, motivate people, or… 10:53 LZ: I don’t think you have to be super
loud and extroverted, and charismatic. But you could walk up, if they’re on the top
floor or wherever they sit here, and, “Hey, guys. How’s it going today? How are we doing? We’re gonna make some sale. We’re gonna close some deals.” Whatever your terminology is, it’s kind of
showing some interest in them. But just… Sometimes, just believing that they’re capable
of doing it, like, “We got this. Hey, if anyone needs my help, I’m here. If you want me to sit in on the call with
you, I’m happy to do that.” That level of just support… Countless studies have shown that affirmation,
encouragement and support is way more rewarding and motivating long-term than fear, threat
and intimidation. And I know that’s not the kind of leader that
you are, but having that underlying like, “I’m here for you. I’m encouraging you. I believe in you,” will help. 11:42 S3: They know they have someone to go
to. 11:43 LZ: They have someone to go to. Yeah. 11:46 S1: Makes sense. 11:46 S3: Yeah. 11:47 S1: We’ll work on that. [laughter] 11:51 LZ: Or whatever your personal style
is, too. If you’re goofy and you wanna do something
to make them laugh, that’s encouraging, too. 11:58 S1: All right. Well, that’s… We got through all of our questions. 12:04 S3: Yeah, awesome. [laughter] 12:05 S1: So thanks so much. 12:06 S3: Yeah, thank you. 12:07 S1: That was really good. Anyone running a sales team, getting into
sales, starting a company… 12:13 S3: Leadership. 12:14 S1: Yeah, leadership. This is great stuff. So thanks so much, Lindsey, for coming out. I appreciate it. 12:19 LZ: Yeah. Thank you for having me. 12:21 S1: And thanks for watching, like, subscribe. See you next week. [music]

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