How to stay motivated in the long term?
Critical issue in the working world, even more so for sales positions: Having to canvass prospects - Remaining enthusiastic in the face of dismissive customers - Closing Q2 targets only to start from scratch on day 1 of Q3 - etc.
⇒ Nothing natural about that!
To keep the enthusiasm of the first days, certain levers can be used. This is where companies with the means pull out the heavy artillery: sky-high salaries, large variable bonuses, extravagant team building, promises of rapid development, benefits of all kinds, etc.
There are multiple factors impacting motivation. Even if they vary according to the individual, there is a universal and largely underrated one: ongoing training.
The promise of a gradual and constant rise in skills. In a fast-moving profession like sales, this is particularly important.
Forget the myth of "the field is enough". Of course, practice remains an essential part of the job: say 80% to 90%. But you still have at least 10% of your time to allocate to training, to be spread over the agenda! This is all the more important for young teams (less than 2 years of XP).
Marginal cost, exponential results: Here's why training is so important, and how you can easily build it into your routines.
People want to do their job well. We all want to prove that we are up to scratch. As the great sales team leader Confucius said:
"The worker who wishes to do his job well must first sharpen his tools."
⇒ Learn to sharpen their tools!
Firstly, "continuous" training - i.e. spread over time - gives magical results in the long term. But that's not all! At the end of a good session, you can feel a real boost of motivation in the team. It's as if the whole team had caught a mushroom in Mario Kart! Fast and efficient.
On a more serious note, many studies show that training increases self-confidence in the long term and reduces stress. It gives you a feeling of being supported. When your company takes the time to invest in you, you feel invigorated: "They trust me. And when someone invests in you, you want to prove that you are worthy, that you can be trusted. By the way, this has a name: "the law of reciprocity".
On the other hand, an employee who feels that he or she is stagnating will not stay long... Prospects for advancement are an essential component of work, and training contributes greatly to this. Training = progress, and the feeling of progress is very comforting.
In short, it is as powerful as it is indispensable. And for training to pay off in the long run, the first step is to incorporate it into your routines.
Before you start, please note the following: Training sessions must be mandatory.
This is non-negotiable. No excuses. This is how it will become a habit.
Now, if you are leading the team, take 2 minutes to explain:
As in a customer meeting, we always start by laying out the context. This way, your teams will know where they are going and will feel involved.
At Modjo, for example, we are currently focusing on"How best to handle our objections". As the Modjo tool allows us to visualise and dissect our customer exchanges, here are 3 innovative ways to incorporate continuous training:
Every Friday morning, we hold a 1-hour coaching session, led by a top-performer, or myself. All Sales/BDRs are present:
Why? By studying excerpts from realnegotiations carried out internally, you are based on the problems you encounter on a daily basis. You get out of the " standard " trainings that work for everyone, and ultimately for no one.
The sales representatives are divided into teams of two, and 30 minutes are set aside to listen to each other' calls. Everyone comments and gives their opinion directly on the recording. Simple and effective.
Tips: Works very well as a challenge. Have each pair set a minimum number of comments/per call.
The idea is to isolate excerpts from calls, including the best answers to the objections we all encounter, and then to centralize these excerpts in an objection "library".
In concrete terms, count on two 30-minute sessions per week, usually at the end of the day. You can even go further by suggesting to your team that they replace their Netflix series with Modjo re-listenings! They'll love it.
Did you spend the first 15 years of your life at school without ever studying how your memory works?
Here is a key that I wish I had known when I was younger => The Ebbinghaus curve, or "memorization curve".
This is amemorization technique that consists of repeating a given piece of information over time. If you want to memorise a lesson effectively, for example, you will read it several times:
It's sad, but when you teach a concept, 80% of your team will have forgotten it within 6 months... This timeline helps to reinforce and revive these concepts. Schedule follow-ups, and train regularly. Session after session, you get closer to excellence. Do not give up until the skill is acquired.
I can only encourage you to implement ongoing training as soon as possible, and in your own way. Given the evolution rate in today's society and the multiplication of tools, I am certain that there will no longer be a company that does not train their employees within 5 years!
Beyond the obligation to participate, the training session must remain a moment of relaxation (hence the Friday morning slot, for example).
Finally, continuing education is increasingly popular with candidates, and is becoming a real differentiating factor when choosing a new employer . Put it forward during your recruitment ;)
We conclude with this beautiful quote from Benjamin Franklin:
"Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn.