Why do people call it the sales pit anyway? A pit sounds like a terrible place to be – some sort of dark and dirty ditch from which there is no escape. You don’t want your office to be a depressing place for your sales team to work every day. We’d like to re-name the sales pit and turn it into something more positive: sales paradise.
Here’s a few ways to help your sales reps escape the Sales Pit of Despair and into a Sales Paradise of Productivity and Prosperity.
1. Always Celebrate Wins
One way to get your sales team excited is to acknowledge sales success, but not just with financial rewards. Here at InsightSquared, we ring a (very loud) gong in honor of each deal closed by individual reps. Every day, the rep with the best performance – in terms of either deals closed, meetings booked or calls made – also gets to control the music playing in the office. It may seem like a small gesture, but these sorts of celebrations can greatly improve your team’s engagement.
2. Relax the Atmosphere
If your sales reps have a break between calls, are they stuck at their desk? If there’s no where for your reps to relax, that is something you need to fix. An office with a ping pong table or an outdoor space where sales reps can relax and recharge is amazing for morale. A quick game or a coffee break can turn annoyed, unhappy employees into enthusiastic ones. Your team should feel free to take time to relax, and then come back to their desks refreshed and ready to sell.
3. Try Open Plan
Your sales team needs to be able to communicate with each other at all times. Sometimes it can be distracting with many reps selling and talking at once, but a team-building atmosphere should be a priority. An open plan office with either no cubicles, or low cubicle walls, effectively allows your team to talk with each other. You don’t have to have the fanciest office in the world, but a few small changes could make it a more pleasant place to work.
4. Add Splitters to Every Desk
Hook up a splitter to every rep’s phone and give everyone access to each other’s calls at any time. If a more experienced rep on the team has a great prospect on the line, a newer rep can listen in and pick up a few new sales techniques. It’s also great for managers to occasionally jump on a call to keep an eye on their team’s progress. After a call, you can offer support and some sales coaching to reps to help improve performance.
5. Offer Surprise Contests
Not every contest has to be meticulously planned and approved by management. If your team is having a bad day or a bad week, try taping $100 to the wall and offering it up as a prize to the sales rep who has the best numbers that day. You can also use a contest to push your team to surpass a company record during an extraordinarily good week. As a prize, offer to do the rep’s job for the afternoon while they relax. These are easy, low-cost and spontaneous contests that will help inspire your team.
6. Do Role Play
Not every call will go perfectly, and your team needs to know that it’s OK to fail. One of the best techniques for working through a tough call is an ad-hoc role play after the call is done. When a rep hangs up the phone after losing a sale, they can turn to a co-worker and tell them what happened. Then they can act out the call, this time trying out a better pitch or a better answer to a prospect’s question. This way, your reps can continually improve their skills and get past even the toughest objections.
7. Get a Leaderboard
Don’t just keep track of your sales team’s performance – you should also publicly display their results. Set up a big screen TV at the center of your office with a sales leaderboard that tracks the sales of your top 5 reps each month. This will help drive a friendly competition on your team and push your reps to work harder every week to reach the top position on the board. Much like contests, a leaderboard is a way to gamify the day-to-day operations of your sales team.
8. Keep Your Door Open
As a sales manager, one of the best ways to improve the work environment for your team is to always be accessible and available for advice. If your team doesn’t feel like they can come to you with a problem or a new idea, you won’t be able to help them develop and grow. By keeping your door literally and metaphorically open, your team will feel that there is an open dialogue between sales management and sales reps.
Every sales manager wants to make sure their team is both happy and productive, and there are a number of ways to improve your work environment. By creating a culture that is relaxed, open, creative and fun, you can transform your office into a sales paradise.