The one best thing about salespeople? They are independent and do not require micromanagement.
During the COVID-19 pandemic when they are not able to step out, it is important as a sales manager, to keep your team motivated and productive even when working from home.
And here are seven ways to keep your field team motivated as they work from home:
Maintain a relationship
So many people must be experiencing anxiety or may get paranoid with the current situation. So even if they do not need a manager to tell them how to do their job, they need someone to talk to and keep them engaged.
See what you do currently to stay positive and motivated. Schedule occasional meetings via Zoom or another video conferencing platform. And that should be like an open platform where everyone can share their thoughts, stories. And most people derive energy from interacting with their peers so have one-on-one calls with each of your employees.
Sometimes little of letting go is important
Productivity is important within the team. Rather than assuming that a staffer is slacking off or making excuses when a quota is missed, try to find out the real reason behind what’s going on.
Rather than focusing on their failures, offer an empathetic ear and a flexible schedule. Overall there will be a lot of stress they will have to deal with. You have to trust that they will do their best work.
This will help your employees feel like they have room to grow and that you trust them even when things get back to normal. Because it is important to let your employees know that you have their backs and you are aware of their contributions.
Unless your company has essentials to offer, whatever you are pushing might be tough to sell right now. And making sales when most businesses are shut, all they would hear will be “Not now”. And after a point, they would not see any point in making any more phone calls.
However, it is the time when you need to step in and change the narrative. Even if nobody is buying today, it usually takes six to eight touch points from initial contact to final pitch, before a new client would buy anything. So remind them of these small things and encourage them to reach out. Because persistence can still pay off.
Work on skills
This time is the best one to take up to get your team into as many online training sessions as possible. While they are sitting at home without any clients, it is time to utilize and sharpen their current skills. They could learn new software and practice their video conferencing or presentation skills. It will also help you as an individual. This way, your entire company can step up their game by utilizing the free time.
Keep it light and fun
The pandemic is a really grave business. However, it is important to remain positive and keep your team engaged. You can pump a little bit of excitement and new creative ways in your sales meetings.
For example, you could arrange a small virtual party. Have TGIF meets, have fun competitions or if someone is good at cracking jokes, share that stage, etc. To bring some more excitement you could also offer them small prizes such as sending lunch to someone’s home, giving a shopping voucher, etc.
Also, co-workers enjoy joking around and catching up with each other. Have a couple of such minutes at the beginning or end of every virtual staff meeting. Because a staff that plays together works well together.
Celebrate wins (Even the smaller ones)
Whether it is a big win like the first sale in two weeks or a small win when a team member was able to present a decent speech, you need to celebrate both. Take a moment to appreciate and celebrate your team's wins.
Congratulate every achievement. Because at a time like this, celebrations are necessary and appreciated more than ever.
The times are tough. However, as a manager, you need to exercise skills like appreciation, encouragement, empathy. Even if your sales team is stuck, it is time to act as their leader and motivator to deal with the current state of their job, and look forward to the coming days. Develop their skills, increase their self-confidence, and watch them grow.
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