29 May 2014

Lazy Salespeople? Never!

Employees slacking off

Lazy salespeople. They’ve been epitomized in movies and on TV time and time again. While their supervisor’s in the office, they’re attentive and hard-at-work: answering calls, responding to emails, and scheduling meetings. But what happens the second the boss steps out? Bedlam.

It’s funny—when it’s on TV. But when the situation plays out in real life, in your office, unmotivated, inactive employees don’t just waste time. They cost your company; in morale, in productivity, and, ultimately, in profit. So, what can you do about it? Here are four easy-to-implement tips from our sales team on keeping your sales team on track.

  1. Be Goal-Oriented

    Do your employees know what you expect from them? Offering autonomy is valuable only when you’ve set clear, measurable expectations of productivity and behavior. If you’re wondering where to start, here are a few goal-setting tips adapted from “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray:

    • Goals must align with the organization’s mission and strategy.
    • They must be clear and easy to understand.
    • They must be accepted and recognized as important by everyone who will have to implement them.
    • Progress towards goals must be measurable.
    • Goals must be framed in time, with clear beginning and ending points.
    • They should be supported by rewards.
    • They should be challenging, but achievable.

    Once you’ve set your goals, be sure to revisit and evaluate them annually (once a year, at least). Then, reward your employees for their success in achieving them!

  2. Reward Them

    At first, it may seem counterintuitive to reward mediocre employees, but consider what a reward actually is—an incentive to exceed the goals you’ve set. Give your employees something to work toward! Interestingly, studies show intrinsic motivation is as significant and effective as extrinsic. Sincere recognition for a job well done, when it’s given fairly and regularly, matters; it also keeps your employees focused on working toward the “big” rewards, like increased pay and promotion.

  3. Offer Training

    If you’re concerned about mediocre sales from employees, consider offering them additional training. One insight from a member of our sales team:

    “Sometimes I ask myself, ‘what are the things I don’t like to do as a salesperson?’ That usually tells me that task is something that I should do, because it is the weakest part of my professional development, and it needs work!”

    For example, a salesperson may hate asking for the sale or entering into the closing aspect of a selling process. That person could benefit from a training strategy that focuses on how many times he or she can get herself into the closing part of the sale to improve his or her game.

    Tools like call recording make training employees easy and effective. By recording real customer interactions and using them in training, your team members will gain valuable experience without feeling like they are risking potential profit. Be sure you record the training calls, too, and review them for rewards and to troubleshoot problematic areas with your employees.

  4. Audit Anonymously

    Even if you’re not in the office, you can have a handle of what’s going on. An internal audit—including subjects like work hours, employee interactions, and the office environment—could help you shed light on situations you may be unaware of.

    Another way to anonymously audit? Monitor the individual calls your sales team is making, and use that information to identify who is consistently making sales (or blowing them). You can do this from any location, and instead of just tracking how many calls come in from an advertising campaign, you’ll be able to track the actual revenue brought in from them.

Thinking these tips aren’t exclusively for employees in sales? You’re right! In fact, we think you’ll be able to take these tips and use them to improve every department in your office.

Ready to boost your close rates and volume? We can help! Get in touch today to see how we can help take your company to the next level.