The top three trends in the world of B2B sales today are: social selling, account-based marketing and sales development technologies. According to Inside Out’s 2016 CXO Benchmark Study, 3 out of 4 executives said that social selling techniques are having the biggest influence on their marketing strategy. In addition, 70% said they are implementing account-based marketing practices, while two-thirds highlighted the need for sales development platforms. And a fourth factor all have in common is that managers recognize the need to motivate their sales teams to successfully use these new platforms.
The majority of companies which report doing well in the CXO Benchmark Study, have two business methodologies in common:
- Both are employing: social selling, a system in which sales teams use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) to interact with prospects.
- Both have aligned the goals of their marketing departments with those of their sales teams to follow account-based marketing principles.
However, even with the best business methodologies in place, sales development technologies are needed. The most successful companies have invested in up-to-date call management systems, which connect to their CRM systems, in order to analyze, categorized and prioritized lead development information. This seamless interaction between call management systems and CRM systems allows leads to be funneled into the pipeline properly e.g. qualified leads, with the best time to reach them and places the right contact information at the sales rep’s fingertips. This process is exactly what ConnectLeader’s Intelligent Sales Acceleration Platform can do; it keeps entire sales teams (SDR, Inside and Outside sales) in step with the entire sales process.
In addition to business methodologies and technology, there is one further aspect which all good companies report having in common, and that is–proper motivation from management in order to get the best from a sales team. Beware! One team member with a poor attitude can be contagious, lowering total team performance. But there are ways to get the most out of sales reps. Claire McConnachie, a Case Western graduate and recruitment consultant, outlines 5 ways to keep sales teams motivated:
- Assure they have proper training when they are hired; and have continued training, coaching and career development opportunities throughout their employment.
- Speak to underperforming sales reps to figure out where their process is going wrong. Sometimes a valuable coaching session might be all that is needed to accelerate sales.
- Make time to spend with top reps to ensure they stay “top performers.”
- Let sales reps do what they do best: Highly skilled, successful sales pros should be spending as much of their work hours selling. Not cold prospecting, not otherwise prospecting, not stuffing envelopes, not filling out forms. They should be selling!
- Understand each sales rep on a personal level. Don’t treat sales individuals as a collective unit–each person is different. Getting the best out of a rep requires that managers connect with them on an individual level to understand their motivations, strengths and weaknesses. This information helps managers know their sales reps on a deeper level, which is helpful for understanding how to get the most out of them.
In addition, consider these motivators to help create good teams:
- Recognize achievement
- Note the challenge of work
- Present an opportunity to move up
- Match compensation with performance
If managers can incorporate these motivators into goal planning and coaching conversations, they can elevate sales teams toward higher levels of success.
“It is important to learn if achievement, recognition, promotion potential, or the inherent challenge of the work play a primary role with your rep,” says author Kevin F. Davis. “A desire for achievement might be satisfied by noting their successes to the team as a whole, while recognition could be offered by having them give a presentation to the senior leadership. A desire for more responsibility or promotion might lead to involving them in hiring or having them serve as mentors and guides for new salespeople.”
Although money is a motivator, managers should also find out what drives each member of the sales team beyond the paycheck. Money is almost always stated to be one of the goals. But, money is a means to an end. People want money so that they can do something with it and everybody has a dream. Find out what the members of the sales team are reaching for … a vacation house in Hawaii, a trek up Everest, an antique Mercedes-Benz. Find a picture of a beach on Waikiki and post it above that rep’s computer screen; get the other rep a subscription to a mountaineering magazine; and buy that other a toy model of that Benz to keep on their desk. A good manager shows their sales reps that they understand them as individuals and also support their dreams.
In conclusion, be sure to always help sales reps achieve their highest performance by coaching them on the best business practices, presenting them with the best sales acceleration technology tools, and motivating them by making a personal investment in the sales “individual” along with the sales team.
Author: Senraj Soundar, CEO, ConnectLeader