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Many of us remember how hard it was to stay motivated in the dark days of 2007-2009, never mind motivating our salespeople. Everyone was working harder than ever just to close the same (or less) amount of sales. It was exhausting across the entire building industry.
Now, the market is rebounding and maybe it seems like unnecessary “rah-rahhing” to focus on motivating salespeople. But when your staff isn't engaged and motivated, they will sell less. As a result, your customer service suffers and ultimately so will your gross profits.
Properly motivating your sales staff pays dividends no matter if you are a building products manufacturer, distributor or dealer.
People outside of sales may think it’s all about the money and commission. However, the best salespeople understand the sale is just a means of creating and cultivating relationships.
Relationships make the world go round – keeping your building products sales staff motivated means they will be engaged. The more engaged your employees are, the more likely they are to develop and maintain meaningful and successful relationships.
There are numerous studies that will tell you lack of engagement is a common issue in the workforce. Some suggest up to 70% of all employees are actively disengaged. This is a pretty sad statement in general. It is doubly worrisome if your profit margins depend on employee engagement with customers.
So, if your team might be a little blah, what can you do about it?
3 Easy Ways To Keep Your Sales Staff Motivated
First, find out why your staff is having issues. How do you find out why they struggle? The easiest way to find out is top secret.
Are you ready?
Sit down together in an open and non-judgmental meeting. Then, ask point blank what is hurting their success. The key is you have to listen. Don't comment or editorialize, or make excuses. Don't demean their feedback, no matter your feelings. Ask a lot of questions to make sure you understand fully.
Are you going to get a bit of whining? Yes. Will you hear from people who you know aren’t giving it their all? Absolutely.
The important part of this exercise is you are giving free reign to share. When everyone is done, ask for time to give their ideas thought. Then, follow up when you have had a chance to process the feedback. Take care of anything you know you can fix quickly.
This is a great way to let disengaged staff be heard. You can also ask the team to come up with solutions to some of the problems. Getting their support to fix issues will gain their trust and help them look past their own pain points.
Here are three other ways you can help motivate your staff:
Sales teams often have highly intense work environments and schedules. The building industry can be a tough place to work. There is a lot of potential for burn-out. So, smart employers will realize self-care should be not only accepted but prioritized.
You can set the tone by introducing wellness programs, and creating a healthier environment. Examples include regularly-scheduled breaks, firmer boundaries between work and free time, and even on-the-job relaxation practices.
Help your team figure out how to process stress in a healthy manner. You'll have much happier employees if they are relaxed and feel cared for.
Give Meaning to the Work
Employees with a sense of purpose are more creative. They have a higher level of focus and are more resilient. You'll have more motivated employees when their work means something.
Yes, you want to drive sales and dominate your market. But, your employees want to know why that is important – outside of making money. Make sure your teams know exactly why your products are better than your competitors. Help them understand why your practices are helping the environment.
Maybe you can team with a charity that has some correlation to your business. Bring meaning into all areas and demonstrate your business cares about more than money. Your employees will develop passion and become more dedicated.
Sales can be very cutthroat and kindness is often overlooked. Kindness in the workplace makes everything easier to handle. Also, being seen as a nice company to work with is a fantastic sales tool. Encourage kindness and mutual respect. Demonstrate your respect and admiration daily.
It costs you nothing to be nice.
When you take the time to get employee feedback, encourage self-care and kindness and give purpose, your sales staff can't help but be motivated and re-engaged. Your team and bottom line will reap the benefits.
The Building Gurus Difference
You’re probably wondering how we can deliver candidates that your in-house or current recruiting partner hasn’t been able to. Hiring great talent is a key part of your business, but it’s the reason we’re in business. We invest in tools, technology, and resources to ensure we’ve always got the best “inventory” of talent at our fingertips. Building world-class best practices and an employer brand that gets and keeps the attention of A-players is key to our success. When you hire us, you immediately benefit from the years we’ve spent building our brand and relationships with sales, managers, and leaders in the building products industry.
Here are just a few strategies we use to ensure we can deliver best-in-class building products sales, manager, and executive level talent fast:
Rikka’s articles appear in trade magazines like LBM Journal, ProSales, Remodeling, and more.
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We’ve been building relationships with building products professionals since 2001. We believe being real and communicating frequently is the key to powerful partnership. Our clients agree, which is why we have an over 96% client retention rate.
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