In a recent Gartner survey, 89% of salespeople reported feeling burned out and 54% were actively seeking alternative employment. Furthermore, nearly 70% felt that management doesn’t understand how to motivate them. These are worrying numbers for any organisation that is serious about retaining top sales talent.
Fortunately, the 2 key themes that prevent sellers performing at their best, a lack of development opportunities and a lack of empowerment, can be addressed.
It’s easy to say that sales leaders need to invest more time in supporting their teams when the average leader spends less than 10% of their time on developing their reports. But to be truly effective they first need to be able to accurately diagnose the problem, something that is unlikely to be the same for every member of the sales team.
At Bloojam, we look at a salesperson’s Drive through three lenses:
- Motivation; are they a self-starter, focused on achieving excellent outcomes, persistent in the face of setbacks and driven to solve client problems?
- Goal focus; do they have clarity about what they are trying to achieve, are they focused on the end goal and the actions required to successfully reach it?
- Self-belief; are they confident in their ability to positively influence a sale, do they show resilience when faced with setbacks and self-awareness of their own strengths and limitation?
Truly understanding what is impacting upon the Drive of your sales team, at an individual and collective level, allows sales leaders to provide much more targeted support and challenge to their teams. By facilitating more detailed discussion of the key causes, personal to them, of their burnout or demotivation, salespeople are much more likely to open up and engage with the conversation. As a result, the sales leader can respond to the needs of the individual rather than taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to re-energising their sales team.
That benefits the individual as they will feel that their manager truly understands their needs. It benefits the sales leader as the limited time they have with team members can be focused on the factors most likely to enhance performance. And it benefits the organisation as any subsequent training or support can be tailored to individual needs, thereby ensuring that training budget ROI is maximised.
Jim Bloomfield is a Director of Bloojam Consulting with 20 years’ experience of using business psychology to develop salespeople and leaders. He is a member of the Association of Business Psychology (ABP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS) and has successfully helped some of Britain’s best-known businesses exceed their sales goals.
Bloojam Consulting offers a range of robust recruitment and development tools and interventions, including the Acuity for Strategic Sales suite of psychometric assessment and development tools.