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Boosting Sales Morale and Engagement: A Comprehensive Approach to Driving Real Results

Written by
David Kelly

Maintaining a motivated and engaged sales team is paramount to the success of many businesses, but it’s a challenge that can often go overlooked.

Studies have shown that an underperforming team can cost the business an average of $15.5 million per year. This translates to a potential 20% decline in revenue for some businesses, considering the average sales team generates 77% of a company’s revenue.

Boosting morale and overall engagement is not just the responsibility of sales leaders though; it’s a shared responsibility that should involve the entire organisation.

HR teams, for example, play a crucial role in recruiting, training and developing high-performing sales teams and it should be a business-wide priority to ensure that your sales teams are supported.

This can be especially difficult when teams are based in different locations, but there are strategies you can implement to ensure your sales teams are engaged and drive results.

Identifying low engagement and morale

Burnout and stress are quite prevalent among sales professionals which significantly impacts their well-being and productivity.

In fact, 46% of sales professionals experience moderate-to-severe burnout, and it’s no surprise… 

Sales professionals work in very high-pressure environments where they are required to meet quotas, close deals and outperform their colleagues. They’re often required to work long hours, work away from home, deal with difficult clients, face a lot of rejection, and can often be unsupported or unrecognised for their efforts, which results in a lot of psychological burden. 

Look out for:  

  • Sudden drops in performance: If your team was previously really successful and you’re suddenly missing targets, you might assume that it has something to do with the current market, but it’s better to look at all the funnel data.
  • Longer sales cycles: Demotivated people tend to procrastinate and put off even simple tasks like updating your CRM. If your team is taking longer to work through your sales process, you’re probably dealing with an unmotivated team.
  • Negative talk: If teams or individuals are generally negative about the job or company, it can begin to infiltrate the rest of your team; resulting in an air of doom and gloom. Whilst sales is a stressful role, it can also be fun. If you see a drop in laughter and conversation and an increase in negative talk, it’s time to step in.
  • Increased absenteeism: Burnout or disengagement usually results in increased sick days, missing meetings, or even an upturn in employee turnover. Be sure to keep an eye on this as it’s usually a telling sign of what’s to come. 
  • Decreased participation: Review presenteeism and engagement at your sales meetings or collaborative projects. Is there an individual who was once always willing to offer up ideas, but they’re suddenly distant? They’ve likely become disengaged.
  • Poor customer feedback: Are your customers starting to complain about lack of responses, or leaving poor ratings? When your sales team isn’t feeling their best, they’re more likely to overlook details, make mistakes, or generally be a bit slower to action tasks. This can often be reflected in your customer feedback and can impact your brand.  

Strategies for success

Set clear goals

Clear goals are crucial for your team’s success. They provide direction, motivation, and a sense of purpose which allow sales reps to stay focused.  

To set effective goals, align them with business objectives, use a SMART framework, and involve them in the process.  

Once you’ve set those goals, communicate regularly.  

Recognise achievements

Research consistently shows that acknowledging and celebrating achievements has a direct impact on employee morale, performance, and retention – all crucial factors in a competitive sales environment.  

In fact, employees who receive regular recognition are 63% more likely to be engaged in their work. When it comes to sales, companies that use a strong recognition program experience a 23% increase in revenue per employee 

Investing in recognition doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be as simple as sharing a public ‘high five’ on an internal platform, or a team lunch to celebrate a big win.  

Consider using tools like kudos leaderboards to gamify wins, and create a bit of healthy competition along the way.   

Accessible sales enablement

Imagine this: you’re on a sales call, pitching the perfect solution to a client’s pain point, but everything comes to a halt.  

You can’t find that crucial case study that’s buried in a folder in the depths of your company’s intranet.  

Suddenly the call has transformed into a frantic search; impacting both your lead and your sanity.  

This accessibility nightmare is all too real for many sales teams. According to McKinsey & Company, 40% of salespeople report wasting up to 20% of their time just searching for necessary information. That’s a significant amount of time that could just be spent cultivating relationships, building proposals, and closing deals.  

Adopt tools that streamline all your sales resources.  HulerHub, for example, allows teams to create content collections that can be specific to product lines or customer segments.  

By streamlining access to resources, you’ll boost productivity, enhance the client experience, and unlock the true potential of your sales team, resulting in a possible 21% boost in sales rates 

Promote work-life balance

Beneath the hidden surface of victory laps and commission, lurks an often-hidden enemy of sales teams: burnout.  

With success comes a relentless pursuit of targets and quotas, which means that your sales teams are particularly vulnerable to pressures that can tip the scales from ambition to exhaustion.  

A 2020 study by the Sales Management Association revealed a staggering 70% of salespeople experience burnout at least once in their careers. With reports of sales having the highest rate of burnout across all professions 

Building a balanced sales environment doesn’t require magic, just a few actionable steps:  

  • Set clear expectations and boundaries: Encourage realistic goals, flexible schedules, and responsible disconnection.
  • Offer well-being resources: Provide access to mental health support, stress management programs, and healthy lifestyle initiatives.
  • Lead by example: Senior management should prioritise their well-being and model healthy work-life balance and habits.  
  • Remember, a happy and healthy sales team, is a high-performing sales team that will lead to a strong competitive edge.  

    Utilise technology to unite your teams

    With the rise of distributed workforces, comes a geographic disconnect that is creating several challenges for organisations, globally.  

    But how do you maintain unity, foster inclusion and fuel a collaborative spirit when your sales teams are in different locations?  

    The answer often lies in harnessing the power of technology.  

    Studies show that stronger employee relationships lead to a 50% increase in sales calls made and a 35% increase in revenue per employee.  

    Beyond the core business metrics, technology can help you foster inclusivity and celebrate diversity across your team:  

    • Virtual platforms open doors to global talent, ensuring diverse perspectives and experiences that enrich every sale.
    • Communication tools can break down communication barriers, allowing everyone to share ideas and celebrate wins, regardless of time zone or location.
    • Platforms like Slack enable real-time collaboration, where colleagues across continents can brainstorm, strategise, and cheer each other on; creating a united global sales force.  

    Technology’s role can go even deeper though… 

    Implementing strategies like DEI surveys, takeover days, or pulse checks through employee experience platforms can help you celebrate achievements across borders.  

    There’s also tools out there like Donut or Lunchclub that can randomly pair colleagues for virtual coffee breaks; helping to foster personal connections and break down cultural barriers.  

    By leveraging technology to bridge the physical gap, you foster a culture of engagement, celebrate inclusivity, and unlock the full potential of your diverse talent. 

    Ensure continuous development  

    Staying ahead is crucial when it comes to sales. It’s not just about exceeding quotas and closing deals. A thriving sales team needs more than just hustle; it needs constant growth and development.  

    70% of employees who are offered learning and development opportunities are more engaged in their work, which translates to a 21% increase in profitability – that’s not just pocket change, that’s a game-changer.  

    But it’s not just about ticking boxes and attending mandatory training. It’s about fuelling your team’s passion for growth and giving them the tools they need to conquer the ever-evolving sales landscape.  

    This might include:  

    • Micro-learning: Ditch the lengthy seminars and swap them for bite-size learning modules, online courses, and practical workshops. Short bursts of focused learning fit seamlessly into busy schedules and keep momentum high.
    • Skill-building tools: Give your team access to cutting-edge sales technology, data analysis platforms, and communication training. Remember, make it easily accessible and relevant.
    • Mentorship: Pair experienced reps with new hires, create peer-to-peer learning initiatives, and encourage knowledge sharing throughout the team. There are great tools out there that use algorithms to pair mentors and mentees based on their skill sets and career goals.  

    Use skills for the greater good

    Last, but not least, consider utilising your sales teams’ skills for the greater good.  

    Sales professionals are often masters of communication, persuasion, and relationship building which can all be used outside of the business world.  

    For example, create opportunities for your sales team to volunteer their skills to a charity. Activities like this can bring unexpected benefits, not just for the cause, but for your team itself.  

    This might involve using their negotiation skills to help with a fundraising campaign, or using their storytelling abilities to craft a compelling pitch that resonates with donors.   

    Engaging their skills for the greater good allows your team to break free from the ‘always selling’ mould; helping them to reignite their purpose whilst fostering a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.  

    Not convinced? a 2020 study by the University of California found that employees that volunteered reported higher levels of job satisfaction and organisational commitment.  

    Don’t wait, ignite!

    Investing in strategies to boost overall engagement and morale across your sales team is a great strategic decision with exponential results.  

    But if you’re struggling to know where to begin, start small.  

    One impactful step might be to look at technology.  

    For example, adopting a platform that gathers all of your sales resources, from sales assets, learning modules, and recognition under one roof could be a great step.  

    A unified employee experience platform like this can be especially useful for remote teams, and can provide invaluable analytics to better understand engagement levels and reveal some golden nuggets to help optimise your strategy.  

    And remember, this success isn’t just confined to your sales team. The ripple effect can extend to other departments across your organisation.  

    If this is something you’d like to explore in more detail, reach out to one of the team today. 

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