How to Keep Your Sales Team Calm and Motivated During Difficult Times
Author: natasha lane
When the going gets tough, sales teams are often the ones to suffer first and suffer the most. After all, they are the ones who should be bringing in all that revenue, right?
Well, first of all, wrong, even during the best of times. And second of all, when times are hard across the globe, there’s nothing sales teams can do about it. They don’t all secretly own magic wands that can right all of the world’s wrongs overnight.
Let’s explore how you can keep your sales team motivated, calm, and focused during difficult times.
1. Speak about the situation openly
Often, the worst thing managers can do in a difficult situation is to not talk about it. While the difficulty might be obvious, not addressing it just provides fertile ground for uncertainty, rumor, and misinformation.
Talk to your sales team about how the current situation is affecting them, how it is impacting your company, and what you are doing to mitigate any damages. Ask them for their ideas and make sure you leave the lines of communication open for all concerns and questions.
2. Work on work-life balance
When things at work are bad, our stress tends to spill over into our private lives as well, and our work-life balance begins to suffer. Speak to your staff about the importance of getting the rest they need. Try to drive home the point that worrying and overthinking things won’t help either the situation or their mental health.
Lack of sleep affects our ability to make decisions, so reinforce its importance. Encourage your staff to eat healthy foods (you can provide a healthy meal or snacks at the office) and get some exercise (you can provide them with gym memberships or a workout facility at the office). Make sure they have enough time for their private lives outside of work, no matter how hectic things at the office get.
3. Provide additional training
If things have slowed down in your sales department and you are noticing a lot of “free time,” you can use that time to provide some additional training. This can not only help take your staff’s mind off the situation, but it can also actually help unearth a solution, if not for the current state of affairs, at least for all future snags and obstacles.
For example, you can organize inter-company workshops and have your team members teach each other what they are best at. You can also have an external speaker come in to do a talk, or you can just host brainstorming sessions, where your sales team can openly exchange ideas and thoughts without judgment.
4. Offer praise where it’s due
Just because things are not going as well as you are used to doesn’t mean someone will not do a great job, close a large account, or attract a very lucrative client. When this happens, even if the wins are a lot smaller and of a completely different nature than they used to be, make sure you offer praise where it’s due, and make your staff feel valued.
It’s easy to start to feel negative and like your job is in jeopardy when the company is going through a crisis. Offering something positive to focus on and providing the praise that has been earned is just a small way to take the edge off and ensure some good still penetrates the gloom.
5. Be the change you want to see in the world
In difficult times more than ever, your team will look to you for guidance and support. If you show up to work every day with a frown and an incredibly short temper, your team will hardly have any choice but to feel the same.
We are by no means advocating hiding the truth or pretending things are fine when they are not. All we’re saying is that you should focus on the positive (whatever that may be at the moment) and try to work out the best way to operate in the given climate. Don’t let yourself become prey to negativity and irritability. That won’t help you, and it certainly won’t help your sales team.
6. Accept the new normal
Any change, good or bad, is always a bit of a shock to the system. When things go from good to bad, it’s bound to take a toll on all of your employees.
Make sure you factor this in. Accept that emotions will be different, communication might suffer, people might be less focused and more distracted, and you can’t just expect everyone to go on as normal when the circumstances are far from it.
You don’t have to change the way you do your work (unless this would help you do a better job). Just embrace a bit of added empathy and try to find a way to work through all the emotions and cold-hard crises that will arise.
Going through a tough time is always a challenge and often incredibly demotivating. However, it can also be seen as a chance to learn something new, take the time to grow and improve the way you do things, and get to know your teams better. Depending on how you choose to look at it, any situation can instantly be made a little bit better if you’re able to lower the levels of stress and work on staying motivated.
Natasha is a growth hacker, lady of a keyboard, and one hell of a geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about business growth and digital marketing trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.
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