Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Inside Sales Managers: 4 Ways to Motivate Your Team

Posted by Chris Snell

Sales Managers MotivateYou'd think that in today's economy, a steady paycheck would be enough motivation to get the best out of people, right?  Not always the case, nor should it be.  Part of any manager's role is to make the people around them better.  Whether it's mentoring someone to take over your role when you ascend the corporate ladder, or taking a rep with just enough potential under your wing, ultimately, the job of a manager is to improve his or her team.  The Sales Manager is always looking for better performance from a team, and in order to get that, you've got to give a little.  Here are four things you, as a Sales Manager, need to give your team if you want to get more production out of them:

1.  Give them goals that aren't impossible to reach - You remember what it felt like at 12 years old, when you realized that "dunking" a basketball was an offensive point scoring option, yet you couldn't do it?  That's what having impossible sales goals are like.  CSO Insights, in their 2010 Telemarketing/Inside Sales Optimization report, cites that 47% of inside reps did not meet their quota last year, yet during a webinar with Gerhard Gschwandtner, Jim Dickie (Managing Partner at CSO Insights), shared that 86% of companies are raising their sales quotas.  If we have reps that aren't hitting their current goals, and management is continually raising them, at some point something has to give.  Putting goals that make our reps stretch, not snap, is one way Sales Manager can motivate their teams.  They'll feel supported, and a supported rep is a productive rep.

2.  Give them constructive criticism - There's a difference between criticism and constructive criticism.  If you're a sales manager and you want to motivate your team, make sure that when you're correcting behavior or when you're giving feedback, you do so out of good intentions.  All too often people, who are not skilled at giving constructive criticism, do more damage than good.  You don't want to lose sales reps that may have great potential because they aren't there now, and you've just torn them a new one because of x, y, and z.  Give feedback constructively so that reps can learn, move on, and produce more.  Start with something they're doing right, what they're lacking or where they need improvement, and something else that they do right, like a criticism sandwhich.  Believe me, it works!

3.  Give them opportunities to improve their skills - Whether it's training or seminars, or bringing speakers to them, if you give your sales reps a chance to improve their skills, they're going to be more motivated.  On top of that, if you can put them in front of someone they respect, that's even better.  Again, you're giving something to get something.  You're giving your team valuable insight and a chance to hone their craft, and from that you're going to gain more effective sales reps.  This is an area that many sales managers can improve upon.  Even if all you do is put together a lunch-and-learn series, do something for your team in terms of skills development.

4.  Give them SPIFF's they're excited about - Remember, not every one of your reps is motivated by money.  Sure, we all need it, but when it comes to a SPIFF, sometimes it's good to make the prizes different.  Whether it's time off, a trip, or a Nintendo Wii, put the effort in to figure out what it is that gets your reps excited.  If you can dial in to what your reps hold dear, and then put that in front of them on top of their commission, the team is going to have fun and perform.

What are some ways that you keep your teams motivated?

Photo Credit:  Brother O'Mara via Flickr

Tags: sales, inside sales, sales managers, managing, team improvement

5 Outbound Calling Best Practices

Posted by Michael Damphousse

5 Ooutbound Calling Best Practices

Dialing the phone all day is a task.  I have one guy who calls it panning for gold. He'll say he just swished the phone 20 times, found 4 shiny objects and none were gold.  Then an hour later he'll yell "Eureka!" when he does successfully set an appointment.

I presented these 5 Outbound Calling Best Practices years ago at a Boston Chapter meeting of AA-ISP  (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals), and they are still relevant today (with an update on the tech tools).

These 5 points may get more Eureka's out of your outbound marketing efforts:

  • List Hygiene - Keep lists clean and ready at all times for prime calling.  Track things like Time Zone, Direct Dials, Admin Names, Dialing Tips (press 0 for the operator), etc.  Validate lists prior to dialing. Remove bad contacts, or research and replace them. Don't dial until the list can be worked top-to-bottom in one sweep without a struggle.
  • Functional Tools - Fill the toolbox with tools, and know how to use them: LinkedIn, Google Alerts and Google Search, LeadIQ, Zoominfo, Discoverorg, others...  Use them to work smarter. If you find they get in the way when you are in power-dial mode, clean the desktop (next tip).
  • Clean Desktop - When it's prime time to dial, cluttered desktops and browsers can bring things to a grinding halt: Slack, Email, Browser Windows, etc. (that means Facebook and ESPN too). Close everything that is not pertinent to dialing.
  • Don't Dial - Still dialing with fingers on a number pad?  Don't. Get a click-to-dial, power-dialer or predictive dialer.  Or get on steriods with ConnectAndSell. The productivity increases are phenomenal.
  • Prime Time - Don't be power dialing at 10:20 am.  This is the most common time of day for prospects to be in a meeting.  They are more likely to be at their desks and willing to talk in the early morning, at the top of the hour (from 10 minutes to the hour until 5 minutes after, they are between meetings), at lunch, in the late afternoon, in the early evening, on Monday holidays.  Check out the article I wrote, Take 3 Hour Lunches, which discusses the day in detail and backs it up with data.

Just the tip of the iceberg here.  What outbound calling tips can you offer?  If they are tip-worthy, I'll add them to the growing list of lead gen tips.

 


 

 

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, outbound marketing, inside sales, cold calling, lead gen, sales2.0, tips, outbound