When a sales manager has a good working relationship with their team, they can enjoy a unique synergy of productivity together. These exemplary relationships don’t just happen overnight, either, but are often the result of dedication, consistency, sincerity and effective use of sales training solutions on the part of management in order to bring them and their team closer together.
So while motivating your sales team through camaraderie may be more art than science, knowing how to engage with them and recognize them in the right situations can help. Here are four tips for recognizing your sales team in ways that keep them going.
Make Feedback Immediate, Specific and Honest
“Great job” can be a rewarding compliment, but only if followed up by specifics.
A common example is floor staff at a retail store getting praised for a “great day in sales,” except they didn’t really do anything different except watch a higher number of people walk through the door. However, if the manager praises them on specifics like “good job cross-selling makeup items” or “you guys killed it in men’s wear this week!” then staff can forge mental connections between specific actions and the praise they got in return.
While sales teams aren’t retail clerks, the same principle applies in terms of delivering feedback that incentivizes behavior changes. Managers should also be sure to recognize accomplishments as close as they can to the related event, otherwise the feeling of a reward will be diminished and disconnected.
Help the Team Teach Each Other as a Sales Training Solution
Recognizing an employee should mean helping their peers to recognize their accomplishments, too. While sometimes this merits a rousing impromptu group meeting, other times praise can take a more subtle form during coaching.
For instance, a manager can be explaining a specific technique, then point to a team member who excels at it as a solid example. They may even ask the team member to take over for a moment and lead a demonstration. Teammates see concrete examples of commendable behavior, and the recognized team member can have their ego slightly boosted.
You also get the chance to take turns, recognizing the various strengths of individuals to communicate the importance of a well-rounded sales approach.
Take an Interest in Your Team’s Lives
No one likes a boss who prys, but at the same time they feel flattered by a boss who remembers details about their personal life. Something as simple as asking how a weekend trip went or how a child did at their big swim meet can make employees feel special and connected.
You may even take the time to get the group involved when someone does something like get married, have their first kid or finish well in a triathalon. After all, everyone loves an excuse for office cake!
Follow Up and Retain a Good Memory
Feedback works best when it is consistent and given in relation to a larger context. Otherwise, you telling someone they did a poor job on returning calls one week, but call them a master at it the next can seem confusing if not placed in the context of “you improved.”
Successive commendable behaviors may also deserve a more ample reward, such as simple praise for good weekly sales turning into a gift certificate to a local restaurant after a killer quarter. Sales people enjoy working with a boss who legitimately seems like they care, in the end, and they will often be motivated and guided by feedback when it is used effectively.
You can learn more about techniques like these when you take advantage of our sales training solutions that help you teach best practices while weeding out habits that hurt numbers.