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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING INSIGHTS

| 2 minutes read

Understanding your Sales team and how to motivate them amidst COVID-19

Times are tough at the moment for everyone in business and COVID-19 has dragged businesses inadvertently into unchartered waters. Working in Sales right now is certainly challenging for several reasons. 

Firstly, the pressure is on. Sales teams are aware that they need to generate revenue in order to keep the business afloat. 

Secondly, spending may have been put on hold, so persuading prospects to buy may be harder. Companies should be prioritising looking after their people and paying salaries, so purchasing new software will come second.

Thirdly, the personality type of a typical sales person is extrovert. To clarify what this means, extroverts derive their energy from external sources, meaning that they are energised and motivated by being around people. Everyone is working remotely at the moment - some people have families or flatmates around them, others are on their own. Both pose challenges, too much noise or not enough. Either way, a sales team is not in its natural habitat and this will impact productivity. 

So how can you help to motivate your sales team?

1. Employee Empathy. Understand each team member's new working scenario, wherever possible. If they have children at home, help them to manage their working hours such that they can give their full attention to their job when they are doing it.

2. Motivation. Understand what motivates each person and try to provide that for them. Make sure that everyone has the physical equipment that they need to do their job. If they are motivated by regular interactions, consider how this can happen. Between team members, manager and leaders, this should be possible.

3. Communication. Where you might regularly have your sales team in the office and communicating during the day, this won't be happening with everyone remote. Have a morning "scrum meeting" where you discuss what you did yesterday, what you'll do today and anything that's getting in your way. This keeps the focus and keeps everyone accountable. It also raises any blockers.

4. Value. Make sure your sales team understand the value of your product in these turbulent times. Now more than ever the value behind purchasing a product is critical.

5. Client Empathy Encourage your sales team and support them in appreciating that buying your product is likely not the top priority for any prospects. Demonstrating awareness of this, and showing care and concern for prospects is a very important part of the relationship building at the moment.

6.  Flexibility. Make sure your sales team know that as a business, you understand that sales numbers will be impacted by COVID-19. It's no good pretending that sales targets will all be achieved. Setting realistic expectations with your team is critical to motivating them because it shows you understand.

7. Get involved. As the Sales leader, or business leader - roll your sleeves up and help your team. Whether it's helping the team to generate some leads, go to a virtual prospect meeting to support your team member or helping to get a deal across the line, your team will be grateful and will remember this. It shows them that you understand it's not an easy situation.

8. Celebrate. Celebrate the wins, however big or small. Share customer feedback. At the moment we don't know how long this is going to last or the impact it will have. So recognition is very important, as it's intrinsically linked to motivation.

Motivation is more than Vince Lombardi quotes and quirky posters on the wall. It’s one of the most important components of sustained sales success over time.

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content marketing, b2b marketing, e2e, talent, people

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