I’m honored to be able to speak with many logistics business owners and leaders. And the most common things that I hear today are related to cargo shortages and decreased prices. According to them, this situation is working negatively on sales personnel morale. Motivation is an ever-evolving topic; it’s essential during excellent and normal times, but during a recession is becoming a necessity. So now, many leaders are looking for ways to increase motivation or are even asking questions. Is this possible?
We will share some advice on how sales organization leaders can improve motivation.
What doesn’t work anymore?
There are motivational books and speakers telling success stories, sharing about others who have succeeded, and pointing out that everyone can make it. This strategy is also widely adopted by sales organizations, where leaders talk about employees who succeeded; some even have scoreboards showing the results of others. In our opinion, this is becoming less and less effective because (especially the younger generation employees) have changed and, together with them, changed their motivational triggers. Of course, they look at their idols for guidance, but many employees say, you know, you can talk as much as you want, but I will go my way.
From what we see today, the best results can be achieved when employees find the roots of motivation by themselves. Therefore, organizational leaders must help them by creating an environment where they can find motivation. We have also noticed that motivation plummets when sales reps start doing sales activities and do not get fast results or need help understanding what leads them to positive outcomes. Therefore, by focusing on daily tasks and providing guidance, sales organization leaders can improve faster than using any other method.
What could a sales leader do to help teams find motivation?
We will share with you a few things that you could pay attention to when helping your team to find motivation; the critical thing here is not to be pitchy but to take the role of a guide who points out important things and ask questions so that teams could find their answer on their own.
1st. Stipulating an in-depth understanding of your customer, company’s competitive advantages, and competitors.
When your team doesn’t understand and believe in your core advantages and does not have the necessary knowledge about customers’ and competitors’ strong and weak points, no motivational books or lectures will help. Yes, they can get a short-term boost, but when the daily routine kicks in, they will start feeling stuck, and demotivation will arise. Therefore, the first step for a leader is to provide insights on the above topics and do this constantly.
2nd. Stipulating understanding of the long-term tendencies of the market.
Humans are famous for their heuristics. One of the biases seen during a divorce which can be seen in a downside market, is that we tend to evaluate only the most recent things. When people get divorced, they usually assess the last few years, when the situation was terrible, and ignore the years when everything was perfect. Usually, sales teams during a recession start believing that this is over and nothing can be done here. Sales organization leaders need to cut this wrong belief, and the best thing is to pay attention to future tendencies, which will positively impact the logistics sector (F.E., Nearshoring, new growth sectors, etc.)
3rd. Walking through the sales process.
When sales teams do not clearly understand the logistics sales process and what they need to achieve at each step, which results are promising, ugly, and average, they start losing sight. And this usually negatively hurts morale. Moreover, if employees haven’t got this knowledge during good times, it worsens during the recession because it messes things up. If you haven’t walked your team through the sales process or haven’t created one, it’s the best time to do this immediately. And if you have, then now is the best time to advise your team on what changes during the recession.
4th. Focusing on possibilities.
Recession is not necessarily bad as it provides many opportunities for fast movers. Focusing on opportunities instead of challenges can prime your teams for the future. If you’d like to discover all the opportunities, you can read more here.
5th. Reflect more than usual.
Hearing from sales leaders that they do not have time, or find the answer yourself, or that Peter is doing excellent, you can do the same doesn’t build up motivation and trust. This needs to be eliminated. Sales leaders must become doctors that listen, provide guidance and boost morale. It’s vital at any time, but reflections must happen more often during a recession than during standard times.
We will end the article with the words of Winston Churchill – Never let a good crisis go to waste. This market stoppage is essential for any organization because now is the best time to improve processes and your teams. And, of course, now is the best time to look for new markets, add new services, and find new customers. Let’s not forget that; nevertheless, the margins are thin; those companies that will get the most significant momentum will be the winners and will get the possibility to earn more when times are great again.
About the author:
Thomas Ananjevas is a supply chain professional with 15 years of experience purchasing and selling Logistic services and building supply chains from scratch. He founded a consulting, training, and marketing company that works exclusively with the logistics industry. Thomas is helping logistics companies implement the necessary changes to ensure business growth and continuity. You can schedule a time to talk with Thomas about possible synergies by clicking here.