While many people identify the sales development representative (SDR) role as an entry-level sales position, an SDR team is the foundation to sustainable business growth. Without a high-performing SDR team, you risk missing out on high-converting business opportunities with prospects that meet your lead qualifications.
If there’s one consistent aspect about working in the sales industry, it’s inconsistency. One month, your SDRs may meet all their sales quotas in the first few weeks. Then the next, it may feel like they’re pulling teeth to get a lead to agree to a sales appointment.
While it may seem like all hope is lost when sales are down, there are many ways to keep the momentum of your SDR team alive and thriving. By motivating your sales staff, you boost the emotional well-being of your SDRs and increase the likelihood of hitting your sales goals.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the best sales motivation techniques you and your sales managers should follow to keep your sales team hungry for success. To motivate your sales team, you must:
- Build Trust With Your SDR Team
- Ask Sales Reps How They Like To Be Managed
- Learn Their Professional and Personal Goals
- Help Them Set Short- and Long-Term Goals
- Understand What’s Getting in the Way of Reaching Their Sales Goals
- Allow Your Sales Reps To Pick Their Own Incentives
- Create Competitive Sales Contests
- Show Appreciation to Each Sales Team Member
- Present and Encourage Transparency
- Share the Bigger Picture With Your Sales Professionals
Like any business operation, trust is the glue that keeps a company together and working at total capacity. When you and your sales managers build trust with your SDR team on professional and personal levels, you’re more likely to have motivated sales professionals who want nothing more than to achieve success for your business. Additionally, they’ll be more motivated to grow in their own professional and personal skills as well.
To build trust with your SDR team, you and your sales managers must also be motivated to succeed. As a sales manager, it’s essential to find motivation in your work. If you’re passionate about your job and your role, it’ll more than likely reflect on your sales reps as well. An excellent way to find motivation and grow in your role is to find a company mentor or look up to another business professional who inspires you. By creating a mentorship with someone within your company, you increase the likelihood of being a mentor to your sales reps.
When building trust with your SDR team, you should get to know each of them personally and learn what motivates them at an individual level. Motivation is different for everyone, so you must understand those differences so you can apply the concepts to their everyday actions. Getting to know the sales reps personally helps them feel heard, respected, and inspired. As a result, they’re more likely to be motivated to hit their sales metrics.
Building trust with your SDR team isn’t a one-and-done action. It’s a continuous process that must be tended to day in and day out. As you continue to build trust with your team, you’re more likely to hit your goals when sales are down. As a company leader and a sales manager, you must listen to each sales rep and consider their ideas when they have suggestions for potential adjustments in the sales process.
As mentioned above, it’s vital to understand your sales reps inside and out. This includes understanding how they like to be managed and what motivates them to be better salespeople.
When onboarding and training new sales reps, it’s important to remember that everyone’s managing personalities are different. As a new member joins your SDR team, it’s vital to learn how they like to be managed so you know how to meet their needs.
Here are some questions to consider asking your SDRs when they come aboard your team:
- What is your learning style?
- How do you like to receive feedback?
- How often would you like to meet about your performance?
- What do you want to get out of this role?
- Are you motivated by positive or negative feedback?
- If there is an issue with your performance, do you want to be approached one-on-one, in person, or through another communication avenue?
- If you are concerned with my managing style, how would you like to approach me about it? Are you comfortable with confrontation? If not, how would you feel most comfortable giving me feedback?
By asking these questions, you and your sales managers have a better opportunity for transparency and building trust in one another. This ensures that each sales professional’s needs are met, motivating them to work and meet their sales goals.
How can you motivate a sales rep if you don’t know their professional and personal goals? The short answer is you can’t, which is why it’s essential to build trust with each sales rep and understand what drives them to succeed.
It’s important to remember that sales reps are human and aren’t always going to be running at 100%. Understanding a sales rep’s professional and personal goals enables you and your sales managers to understand them on a deeper level and help motivate them based on their values, overall building trust for a successful appointment setting program.
When you gain further understanding of their short- and long-term professional and personal goals, consider asking them the following questions:
- Do you feel motivated right now?
- If not, what is the reason you don’t feel motivated?
- What motivates you to achieve your long-term goals?
- What changes can you make to motivate yourself to achieve your goals?
- Will you communicate with me if you are not feeling motivated?
- How can I support you when you don’t feel motivated?
While we may think of these actions as complex, more often than not, it’s as simple as asking them how they’re feeling and why they do not feel as motivated as they could be. Asking sales reps about their professional and personal goals allows them to feel more connected with you and your sales managers and encourages them to trust you and achieve positive results for your business.
Setting goals is essential to feeling motivated and achieving long-term success. However, it’s crucial to set a variety of different goals, from short term to long term. Long-term goals should aim to help you know what you want to achieve in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, short-term goals should be centered around helping you and your SDR teams achieve their long-term goals.
For example, at Abstrakt Marketing Group, our client sales development reps strive to achieve the following daily metrics:
- 130 dials
- 10 companies cleansed
- 8 KDMs pitched
- 5 surveys completed
- 1 appointment set
By setting these goals, sales reps can take the large scope of their responsibilities and break them down to be feasible while fulfilling the lead generation needs of our clients.
Aside from metric-focused goals, it’s essential that, as a sales leader, you help your SDR team members achieve their own professional and personal goals. Salespeople are all motivated by different things: money, quota achievement, improvement, impact, and more. Before you start a rewards program to motivate your sales team, you must determine what it is that your SDRs are motivated by. This gives them a sense of purpose and allows them to work toward something they want to achieve.
If you want to motivate your sales team when sales are down, it’s essential that you pinpoint the underlying issue of why they’re not achieving their sales goals. First, you need to evaluate the SDR team as a whole. Is everyone struggling to meet quotas or is it a specific group of people?
Then, you need to evaluate individual motivation. What are specific SDRs encountering with leads in the sales pipeline? Take time to sit down, talk with them, and examine where there may be red flags in their performance. By speaking with them one-on-one, you have greater insight into their process and determine where they may disconnect.
Since sales reps are the ones rewarded for their sales efforts, it’s crucial that you let them choose their own incentives. Allowing them to select their incentives will motivate them to work harder to achieve their sales goals.
Sales incentives can vary from rep to rep and team to team. There are various incentives you can choose from for your sales reps, including money, gift cards, additional paid time off, team outings, and more. Before you decide on an incentive for them, ask them what they’re motivated by and what they’d be willing to work toward.
If sales reps are motivated by anything, it’s a friendly competition between their coworkers. To be a great sales rep, it’s vital that they have a competitive edge and are always looking to be the best in their role. Creating competitive sales contests increases competition between sales reps to help them achieve their goals. If they’re outworked by their coworkers, they’re more likely to work harder to stand out among the other sales reps.
To make friendly sales contests effective, it’s essential to:
- Make them short-term. If a contest is prolonged for an extended period of time, it’s more than likely to lose momentum. When creating sales contests, consider making them day- or week-long competitions.
- Keep it simple. If a sales contest is too complex, it may be hard to digest by many sales reps. It’s important to keep it simple and easy to understand for everyone involved.
- Announce the winners of the contests. We all know it—salespeople love winning. And more importantly, they love being recognized by others as winners. When a sales rep wins a contest, it’s important to announce the winner so other sales reps can be more motivated to win the next competition.
- Make it engaging for the whole team. A sales contest should include every member of the sales team. If it only focuses on a specific group within the sales team, it’s not only unfair, but it also doesn’t encourage other salespeople to work harder.
- Switch it up. Too much of the same is boring, tedious, and loses momentum quickly. When creating sales contests, switch it up and keep it engaging, so sales reps stay on their toes at all times.
Sales contests are an excellent way to motivate sales reps and a great way to highlight the value of teamwork and collaboration. Creating friendly competitions between sales reps encourages them to feed off of one another and work harder to get more sales appointments and close deals. These contests are also a way for sales reps to learn from one another, potentially creating a mentorship from one sales rep to another.
Let’s face it—everyone loves when they’re appreciated. No matter how small or big the win, each accomplishment deserves to be acknowledged. To motivate your sales team, remember to show appreciation to every person so they know how much they’re valued for the work they put in.
Sales is a challenging role, and it’s easy to get discouraged when things aren’t going as well as you’d like them to. When your sales reps are acknowledged for their accomplishments, they’re more than likely to be more motivated to keep up the good work.
There are many ways you can show appreciation to your sales team. However, you should consider how your sales reps like to be recognized for their accomplishments. It could range from shouting them out during team huddles or sending an organization-wide message on your company communication channels, like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
When pairing appreciation efforts with sales contests, it’s important to keep track of each win. If you have sales contests and keep track of each daily or weekly success, the winner could be entered to receive a larger reward based on their accomplishments.
In today’s business world, transparency means everything to employees. If you’re transparent with them about your business’s day-to-day operations, they’re more likely to be transparent with you about their wants, needs, and potential issues. Presenting transparency goes along with building trust with your employees. The more transparent they are with you, the more likely they are to trust you and your business.
A common way sales teams present transparency is by having a whiteboard or report with everyone’s sales metrics. This allows everyone to see if they’re meeting their sales quotas. If everyone has complete transparency into everyone’s actions, they’re more likely to be motivated to reach the same standards as their coworkers.
If you want to take this technique a step further, consider going beyond the sales metrics. Take the goals set by your sales executives and analyze the data in qualitative measures. To do this, consider presenting the metrics on an impact-based scale. Rather than focusing on the numbers, have them focus on the long-term impact they’ll have on your business.
Unfortunately, a career is simply just an activity that pays the bills for many people. If you want to really motivate your sales team, help change their perspective on their career, role, and the company so they understand the sales operations on a more interpersonal level.
You can share the bigger picture by focusing less on the metrics and goals you have to hit and focusing more on the positive impact that comes from it. When you share your company’s mission, vision, and values and how it applies to your sales team’s lives, you have the opportunity to help them look at their role in another light rather than simply a daily activity that makes them money.
Let’s put it this way—the more sales appointments you generate, the more of an opportunity your business has to close deals. The more deals you close, the more revenue you’re generating for your business. The more revenue you generate for your business, the more money your company will give you to obtain a higher quality of life. Additionally, they can employ more people, which will positively affect your team’s personal and professional well-being.
Sharing employee and company case studies and success stories is a greater opportunity to share the deeper meaning of your work. Case studies are a great way to add an empathetic feel to the purpose of your work and your business. Sharing case studies gives you the opportunity to appeal to a worker’s emotions and enable them to feel motivated by the work they’re doing to grow personally and professionally.
Motivating sales teams day in and day out is no easy task. It’s easier to reach sales goals in some months than others, but there are a variety of ways to motivate your sales teams when sales are down. Overall, when you’re looking to motivate your sales team, it’s vital to ask each rep what motivates them and how you can support them in times when they’re not as motivated as they’d like to be.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we motivate our sales development reps through daily team huddles, weekly raffle opportunities, monthly bonuses, and so much more. We believe that to achieve success, sales reps must be motivated to grow both personally and professionally. If you need a motivated sales team to help you grow your business, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt Marketing Group!