You know what they say: there is no “I” in team. But does every sales team member behave that way? Unfortunately, no. Lack of motivation, complacency, and negative competition are common problems in sales teams, and they are a nightmare for managers.
If you are faced with the same problem, your team may be struggling every day to close deals. Some of the members may even develop negative attitudes toward others. Naturally, profits are down, and your reputation is on the line.
Calm down, though. Your sales team is not the first one to get into this kind of trouble. Read below to know how to fix it and prevent these situations.
Where did the Things go Wrong?
The fact that your team is going through a crisis because of negative competitiveness is explained by the following: most people working in sales are already super competitive, so it doesn’t take much to stoke the fire of conflict. Both newly-created and veteran teams are at risk because the need to win is in everyone’s blood.
As the result, they may have a hard time understanding that not everything needs to be a competition, and many situations in sales can have two or more winners (even everybody can be a winner!).
So, what is the problem?
This lack of understanding is the root cause of negative competition and other problems within a sales team.
What to do? It hurts my team!
Your job as a team manager is to eliminate this cause. Find multiple approaches (that you can also combine) below.
Does your Team Have a Strong Culture?
As a manager of a sales team, it is one of your primary responsibilities to provide support for every member and keep a finger on the pulse of the culture. How to do that? Here are critical elements to focus on.
- Enablers and blockers of good job. Does your team have sufficient tools to achieve the goals easier and more efficient?
- Behaviors. Determine how different behaviors within the group impact the performance. Reward those that increase morale and discourage those that bring it down.
- Outcomes. Focus on achieving objectives and frame your culture accordingly; for example, establish some simple goals and move to more complex ones.
You can view a culture map tool with these factors for free as well.
Don’t Believe in Myth of Self-Motivation
“Many business managers today, especially in startup community, are obsessed with the idea of a self-motivated person,” says Brian Kelly, a motivational speaker from write-my-essay-for-me.com. They suggest that this person is highly determined and motivated by the goals of the company, so there is no need for a serious motivation.
Well, here’s the truth: this is a myth. Everyone needs motivation to smash all the targets.
If you select team members while thinking that they will be intrinsically motivated or manage an existing team using this faulty strategy, you’ll quickly become frustrated with them. And, in many cases, overly critical. Bam! Here’s that good old conflict, ruining everything once again.
Prevent that by using a fair compensation and a generous bonus program.
Invest in Personal Growth of Your Team
Real professionals want to improve on a continuous basis and become the best. Every member of your team is a professional, and you should help them to become great. For example, you can provide them with constructive and detailed feedback and organize sales coaching sessions.
The need for new techniques and methods in sales is also relevant, so you need to share innovative insights and hold team talks about topics that can help them grow professionally.
Recognize and Praise Success
This is an important motivation element that is widely overlooked by team managers. A person who performs well should and needs to be recognized and praised. Take your recognition approach one step further by building a system for a regular praise of those team members who meet or exceed goals.
Praise is a powerful motivator because everyone likes when their skills and expertise are acknowledged before their colleagues. Also, do not save your kind words for big achievements only – even the smallest ones play an important motivational role.
Organize Fun Sales Competitions
Keep score and celebrate wins while focusing on the personal development of each member with friendly sales competitions. Arrange them periodically because they will lose their effectiveness if conducted constantly.
An important ingredient in these contests is to keep them fun. As a team manager, you should set a positive tone and let them have a good time; for example, organize contests around holidays and give them great incentives. Let them work in teams as well: it can help to foster new and stronger relationships in both new and veteran teams.
The Bottom Line
It is always challenging to eliminate problems like a lack of motivation and negative competition in teams. However, if you are patient and keep trying to turn the things around until your team has an appropriate culture, you’ll see everyone closing great deals without fighting.
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