Summertime can be a rough few months for sales. Many of your prospects are on vacation, very few people answer their phones, and no one really wants to think about buying something new. It’s common knowledge that the summer doldrums can sap your team’s energy and motivation – but you don’t have to let it drag down your sales performance completely.
If you didn’t hit your goals last month, it’s natural for your team to feel discouraged and disappointed. But as a manager, you can turn things around this month by keeping your sales reps motivated and focused. Here are a few ways to drive your team to succeed, even when sales are down.
The easiest way to motivate your reps is with an unexpected sales contest to create friendly competition on the team and have some fun. Push your Sales Development Reps to make more dials by offering cash to the person with the most connects at the end of the day. Help motivate your closers by offering to buy dinner for the rep who completes the most demos in a week. It can be a short-term or long-term goal, but it will definitely help raise your team’s spirits and get the creativity flowing.
If you missed your goal last month, you have to dig into the metrics and try to find out what went wrong and why. The key here is to identify one specific thing your team can improve on – whether it’s your Sales Development Rep’s activity levels or your team’s overall sales cycle length. Find something to work on and make that metric the focus for the next month. Don’t just mention it a few times, but really drive your team to better their performance by tying it back to the sales contest you created.
Training and Coaching
In addition to focusing on improving on that one metric, your team should also do an intense round of sales coaching, group training, and role play. Do a film review session, discussing one of the big deals that didn’t close last month and try to diagnose what went wrong. Use that information to identify a new skill your reps should learn, and practice that skill through a number of role play sessions. This type of practical training will help re-focus your team to get the results you need.
It’s disappointing for everyone when you miss a big goal like a monthly sales target. One way to improve morale across your team is to celebrate other small wins as you focus on a new goal. Did your team connect with a previously uninterested prospect? Did you close a deal with an exciting, big-name company? Did a brand new rep close their first deal? These are ways you can celebrate something positive, and take everyone’s mind off the underlying disappointment. There’s always something to celebrate on your sales team.
It’s not the end of the world when your team misses one month’s sales numbers. However, you don’t want to risk one bad month turning into two or three more. As a manager, you can do a lot to help motivate your team even under tough circumstances. Stay positive, work hard on improving key metrics, and train your team on the skills they need to succeed. By keeping your team motivated, you’ll start to see your sales numbers turn around.