Unfortunately, there is no quick way to motivate Presales. Any good manager will tell you that it takes constant effort to create a work environment that keeps employees happy and productive.
If you are in a slump or simply want to take your team’s productivity up a notch, here are some practical steps to keep your Presales team motivated:
1. Customize Your Management Style
It would be easier for every manager if your people just behaved the same and had the same personalities. But, we all respond differently to different styles. Tailor your approach to each individual. Better than guessing, have one-on-one informational meetings to learn your team’s personalities, work styles, likes, dislikes, and how they prefer to receive input and feedback. For example, some are visual learners and need to see feedback in writing while others are auditory and need a meeting to hear the words. One member may want daily check-ins, and another may work better with monthly status updates.
2. Offer Incentive Choices
People are also motivated by different incentives. You may have a group of intrinsically driven individuals for whom helping your customers is rewarding enough. For those that are extrinsically motivated, ensure you’re inspiring everyone by offering a variety of rewards. If your budget is limited, it could be something as small as a shout out at your next team meeting or their picture on the company wall of fame. Days off and monetary bonuses are always appreciated. You could even empower team members to choose their own incentives within your budget range. Whichever tactics you use, apply the same practice of tracking individual and team KPIs to make it easier to monitor goal attainment and award incentives.
3. Elicit Trust
Work on open and honest communications with your team to build trust. It takes time, but the pay-off is worth it. They are more likely to remain productive and less closed off if they feel you have their best interests in mind. You don’t have to justify everything with your team, but clarity goes a long way to help them feel valued and respected.
4. Provide Tools to Succeed
While motivating your team, ensure your tech stack is up to date. The tools should be making your team’s job easier, not harder. This may mean investing in some demo automation software, which could help your employees accomplish far more in less time.
5. Foster Autonomy
Employees, especially salespeople, often feel they are replaceable and just cogs in a large business. Avoid turnover and maintain motivation by encouraging autonomy. Keep meetings to the bare essentials so you’re not unnecessarily hurting productivity. If you can say it with an email, you probably don’t need a meeting.
Make sure employees get the right training so that they can do their job to the fullest, but don’t micromanage how they do it. Give them the tools, then let them govern themselves. This allows those who are closest to the issues to innovate the most effective solutions, rather than dealing with rigid, top-down policies.
6. Set Attainable Goals
Help each team member formulate a plan with daily to monthly goals. Work together on long-range goals and then task the employee with developing a series of short-range goals to achieve these broader objectives. Have them report back to you once they’ve crafted these gradual goals. This sets up a framework that you can review with them through regular employee appraisals.
No matter the goal type, they should align with your team and business objectives. Goals should be challenging but achievable. If not, they won’t have an energizing effect, but rather sap team morale.
7. Emphasize Collaboration
It’s natural to want to compete, especially with a team of driven sales people. To combat unproductive rivalry, encourage collaboration within your team. Promote knowledge sharing by regularly asking your team to describe what contributed to their recent failures and successes. Recognize and reward mentoring. Peer-mentoring cuts down on competition and helps elevate your entire team’s expertise.
This leads to your team feeling that they are all in this together and that their collective success matters more than individual successes. As a result, your reps may be more willing to share resources and hand off to someone more experienced in a potential client’s field when appropriate.
8. Make Recognition Public
Most reps appreciate commissions, but that isn’t enough to motivate them or keep them happy. Everyone wants to feel valued and recognized for their contributions. Without proper acknowledgment, they are likely to search for jobs elsewhere.
Giving recognition one-on-one is a start, but try to follow up by highlighting achievements in weekly emails, meetings, or team calls. The rep will get a boost from your shout-out and another round when their colleagues talk about it afterward.
9. Find Deeper Meaning
The more engaged your team is, the more productive they are. Sometimes, they need to see the difference they are making in the big picture. Collect and circulate success stories and statistics that show how your team is having a positive impact on your customers and on your company’s overall success.
This could include feedback from a customer about how your team increased their productivity by 25% or consistently saved an employee eight hours a week. Or how they increased your quarterly earnings by 10% or prompted someone to praise your company on social media.
10. Focus on Health
If your team is exhausted mentally and physically, they can skid into total burnout. Sales is a fast-paced, competitive environment that can lead your force to neglect their sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Looking after your team’s wellness will ensure long-term commitment and motivation. Offer resources like performance coaches, nutritionists, and healthy snacks in the office. You could also get your company to provide health and wellness stipends for such benefits.
Lead by example and model a balanced lifestyle for your team. Discourage overtime and working on nights and weekends. Refrain from sending emails after hours. This will make a difference in how your team views their job and how loyal they are to the company.
Being a manager of a presales team requires a lot of skill and an understanding of team dynamics. Keeping your presales team happy, healthy, and motivated is essential to maintaining a successful business. This infographic outlines practical steps to build and maintain a healthier, more productive relationship with your team and create an environment conducive to success.