How to Attract Motivated Salespeople (and Keep Them)
On a recent episode of my podcast, New Customer Machine, I spoke with Jack Daly, internationally renowned sales expert and author of the book, Hyper Sales Growth. One of the things I wanted his take on was employee motivation.
“How do you motivate your people? You hire them that way!” he said.
As sales managers, it’s not our job to motivate our salespeople. It IS our job to create an environment that kindles their fire rather than smothers it.
My Journey to a Successful Sales Team
My evolution as a sales-based entrepreneur is similar to the one I see many of our clients take.
I learned to become an effective salesperson by necessity. I launched my company with blood, sweat and tears, generating all of the initial revenue myself. I had to. There was no one else to do it.
As the company matured—and my tolerance for 80 hour weeks faded—I began to invest in systems and processes to make selling easier and more efficient, while also generating new revenue.
It was working.
Then, I realized I could train someone else to make sales for my company. What an idea!
I began hiring salespeople and taught them the systems and processes I had created.
But the new responsibility of finding, managing, and training a fledgling sales team came with its own set of challenges. Some people worked out fabulously, while others floundered. And maintaining those early successes required more and more effort.
Fortunately, I found Jack. He taught me that I had the answer all along. The same tools that had made selling more efficient could be applied to my new leadership role.
I got to work creating systems and processes for finding, managing and growing my sales team.
Before long, my efforts paid off. Not only was I freed of the annoying parts of scaling my team, but my company’s success began to sky-rocket!
Only when we create repeatable systems to find, measure, and grow our people, will our companies truly take off.
Three Keys to a Successful Sales Team
I’ve seen firsthand the dramatic impact that installing sales management processes can have on an entrepreneur and their growing company.
While each company must find their own blueprint for a culture that works, there are a handful of ideas and values that have been successful over and over again for our clients and here at Juicy Results.
I really can’t stress communication enough. Unfortunately, it’s typically the area we overlook the most as leaders. I know I’ve been guilty of assuming my team knew exactly how things were going and what our strategy was on more than one occasion, only to later learn they were actually stressed and unsure about the current state of the company.
If we don’t have systems in place for maintaining regular communication with our teams, many of us will put it off far too long. For that reason alone, it must be on our calendars.
Decide what your communication rhythm will be on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly level. Then, put it on your calendar. Make those items recurring and untouchable.
As Jack and I discussed, communication is a lot like working out or eating healthy. Neglect either for too long and you’ll wake up with some unwanted inches on your waistline.
It’s a lot easier to maintain our bodies than to repair them. Our company’s culture is the same way.
If you don’t keep up with your communication habits, you’ll end up with extra pounds of drama on your team.
You may be thinking:
That’s a lot of communication! What the heck should I be talking about?
That brings us to the second area of focus:
We have a phrase we repeat around here a lot: Winners Keep Score.
I’ve found that top performers love to be measured, recognized and challenged. Sub-par performers hate to be measured and challenged. Sub-par performers hide under the cover of ambiguity and lack of clear goals that most companies operate with.
Some of the most healthy businesses I’ve seen look like an ever-evolving game to their people. Each role has a clear set of metrics and they know with absolute clarity what winning looks like on a daily, weekly and quarterly basis. Once you’ve defined these metrics and set goals for the company and each team, it’s your job to make sure everyone knows where you stand on a regular basis.
There are no sports or games that I know of where the scoreboard is hidden until the end of the game. Competitors want to win, and winners keep score.
For that reason, we help companies install scoreboards and dashboards in their CRM so that information about progress flows freely and in real time. We also teach sales leaders to recognize and reward every win they can.
What should you do when your people aren’t winning?
That brings us to the third area of focus:
I’m not talking about your team’s behavior. I’m talking about yours as a leader.
Real company culture is defined by two things that are 100% up to you: What you tolerate, and what you reward.
As Jack talks about in the interview, holding onto the wrong people is one of the fastest ways to demotivate and frustrate your top performers.
We talk a lot about rewards and recognition systems in the sales community because it’s fun and exciting to high five the team and give out bonuses when we’re winning.
But it’s equally important to have the same level of attention in place when our minimum standards are not being met.
Yes, your people will pay attention to who and what kinds of behaviors you reward. But I can assure you, even if it’s subconscious, your people and your clients know what you will tolerate as a leader, and they will act accordingly.
If you want to discover how we can help you build the kind of high performance sales culture that will attract fired-up, motivated salespeople and keep them burning bright for years to come, watch this video!