“A big business starts small.”
While this quote is the key to a good marketing strategy, we all know that motivation goes beyond a photo mug, inspirational videos and a poster on the wall. As a leader who is on the verge of creating a successful direct selling business, you need to constantly motivate and back your team of professionals. Remember, only you can influence their performance by helping them build on their existing skills and nudging them to learn new talents to better their career.
Here are key strategies to keep your team motivated and driven:
1. Make them feel valued: The key to a happy team is one that feels valued and important. Especially in direct selling where teams are so closely connected. Several studies have proven that while salespeople and marketing professionals need to find meaning in their work, they need to feel their work is valued by their boss and company to stay motivated. Here’s how you can go about doing this - involve them during decision-making, recognise and praise them when it’s due, offer them incentives and career advancement opportunities, bring in flexible timings, compensate them fairly.
2. Build trust within the team: Trust is the foundation of any business or initiative that involves a larger team. If your colleagues and subordinates don’t respect you or trust you, it isn’t going to work and they will be left feeling demotivated. As Dharmesh Shah writes (blog.hubspot.com), when salespeople are unmotivated, you won’t be able to re-inspire them unless you have an open and honest conversation about their challenges and goals - something that simply won’t happen without trust. The ideal way to build and maintain trust is by being transparent, direct and having open conversations with the team.
3. Celebrate the small wins: It’s not always a big milestone or x number of new clients that need to be celebrated. Keep your focus on the small stepping stones too. Employee morale is boosted every time small accomplishments are recognised and appreciated publicly. For example, your latest recruit brings in two clients on his first day - it may seem insignificant but is a huge win for him/her. Recognising it will go a long way in improving performance and encouraging the recruit to do better.
4. Set definitive goals: It always helps if you set clear and concise goals at the beginning. Preferably broken down into daily, weekly and monthly goals. We all know that no two individuals are alike and this applies in direct selling too: what motivates one needn’t necessarily boost the other’s performance. Daily goals could include short tasks such as calling ten people from the client sheet, following up with two prospective clients a day, etc. Weekly tasks could include more detailed tasks that have a slightly higher reward and monthly goals involve top-of-the-chart tasks that have a higher rating and incentive linked to them.
5. Build relationships: It’s important to build strong and reliable relationships within the team. What’s also important is realising when things go wrong and identifying the sore points. A few oft-ignored factors that demotivate the team include backbiting, poor communication, no recognition, poorly set goals, favouritism, among others. So always create and sustain healthy relationships to help the team achieve a higher morale. Bring the team members together for short exercises and ice breaker sessions to help them communicate and collaborate better.
6. Public recognition: Never underestimate the value public recognition holds! Try it once and you will see the wonders it does to boost the team’s morale. So how do you recognise them publicly? Host team events, even if they are virtual, and mention the performers and say a few words about them. You could also post messages on a Whatsapp group, send out an email to the entire team or even post on social media. Congratulate them for their contribution or something they may have accomplished. Do this every chance you get!
7. Create fun challenges: We know it has been tough for team leaders since the pandemic struck, what with virtual team meetings and sales calls going online too. But there are still ways you can adopt to keep the team driven during challenging times. A few suggestions include a virtual game night, fun incentives, a non-work call, a sudden day or a few hours off perhaps, sending in lunch to their homes, etc. The options are endless if you have the will to do it right!
So get cracking with your team management strategies by following these seven tried and tested methods to keep them motivated and inspired.