No one wants their sales team to burn out, and the key to preventing this is to spot the signs early on. Here's what to watch out for in your sales team.
In modern business, it's rare to find brands that sell directly to customers. This is because direct sales teams require substantial expenditure in talent, training and technology.
The alternative is to engage channel partners, which need much lower levels of investment. However, the downside of using channel partners is that your competitors are engaging their services too - often, one channel partner will be selling multiple products, and there's no guarantee they're going to focus on your brand over the rest.
That's why it's important that you can tell which channel partners are meeting your business goals, and which ones might need a little extra boost.
How to tell which channel partnerships are working
Your channel partners will give you regular sales figures and other KPI measurements which you can review to assess the following:
Are there any partners that don't contribute significantly to revenue?
Is the cost of using the partner beginning to outweigh the returns?
Are there any partners where it's more difficult to launch new products and/or where new products aren't selling very well?
Is customer feedback worse from certain channel partners than others?
Are there any channel partners that you have difficulty communicating with? Are there any that don't return your calls, or you find it hard to supply with new product information or pricing strategies?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have an under-performing channel partner on your hands.
How can you help these channel partners improve?
When brands are reliant on channel partners to make sales, even one or two under-performing businesses could have a significant impact on your bottom line. So it's important that you help these channel partners succeed. Do this by:
1) Providing resources
The priority for channel partners is keeping their customers happy. They want to ensure they're giving prospects the most accurate information possible so that whatever product they sell is directly helping their customers. If you aren't giving them easy-to-use resources, your channel partners are never going to promote your products above your competitors'.
Sales come in natural peaks and troughs, and it's unlikely your reps are going to hit their revenue target every single month for the whole time they work at your organisation. Burnout, however, is a much more severe problem than not making target every once in a while. It can be a sign of a serious employee engagement issue, and also lead to high turnover.
With CSO Insights showing that average annual turnover for sales people is 20 per cent, you need to be able to spot the signs that burnout might be on the horizon before it's too late. What should you watch out for?
1) Your sales reps have stopped caring about professional development
This is one of the earliest signs of burnout. If, when talking to your sales reps, they've stopped showing interest in promotions, attending training or learning new skills, it tends to be an indicator that they've already checked out because they're not planning a future at your business.
To spot this sign early on, make sure you're holding regular one-to-ones and bringing up professional development to get an indicator of what your sales reps are planning next. Also check attendance for training sessions to see if there's been a drop in participation.
Motivation is important to any job, perhaps no more so than in sales.
2) They've lost hope that they'll ever hit target
Motivation is important to any job, perhaps no more so than in sales. When a sales rep loses encouragement, it really shows in the way they talk to customers, and their revenue targets suffer as a result. Eventually, they lose hope that they'll ever hit target again, and therefore give up altogether.
It's at this point of giving up that the sales rep has experienced true burnout, but the drop in motivation can be spotted a lot sooner than this. As soon as you notice a drop in an employees' positivity, or a difference in the way they are interacting with customers, it's time to take preventative action.
3) They are concentrating on the losses not the wins
Another sign that motivation may be waning is if your sales team start to concentrating only on the losses instead of the wins. For example, they might brush a big sale to a new client under the carpet, and take no responsibility in winning it. Instead, they focus all their attention on the sales that didn't go through, allowing it to impact their own motivation. Their negativity might also have a flow on effect for others in your sales team, so it's important to nip this kind of attitude in the bud as soon as possible.
What can you do to prevent sales team burnout?
If you notice any of the above occurring in your sales team, consider getting in touch with the team at Power2Motivate. We have years of experience running Sales Incentive Programmes that actually work. Whether you want to help your employees achieve their KPIs, maximise cross-selling opportunities or increase lead-referrals, Power2Motivate will be able to help. Each programme is completely tailored to your organisation's needs, and our global rewards gallery offers thousands of prizes to your sales team to make sure they receive incentives they really want.
To learn more, reach out today or request a demo.