Over the past 18 months, the global pandemic has changed the way we live—and the way we work. And while offices have been shut and salespeople have been working from home, sales leaders have had to find new methods for keeping their employees motivated and engaged. In the past, all team members, even remote employees, would check in at the team HQ from time to time to meet their colleagues and get to know the wider company culture.
Since Covid-19, team members have been working in isolation. This makes it difficult to keep up the camaraderie and smooth communication that we’d normally see. And it has also made it hard for sales leaders to track employee performance. These challenges compound globally. For context on the sales environment in the APAC region specifically, we sat down with Nuno Pereira, SalesScreen's VP of Sales, to glean insights.
Nuno is an entrepreneur who thrives on the challenge of driving the expansion of technology startups in Asia. Since 2013, Nuno has been a sales leader and consultant working for Singapore-based organizations on the implementation of organic and sustainable growth strategies. He is a passionate CrossFit fan because of the intensity and diversity it affords and the challenge to do better every day.
Here's what he had to say:
What are the major challenges that sales organizations face?
Probably the biggest challenges have been to do with the lack of visibility for sales managers around the activity of sales reps. Having everyone working from home has made it hard for managers to track sales targets and the performances of individual employees. It has also made it harder for sales leaders to coach team members, whether this is doing one-to-ones or having follow-up meetings.
Another challenge has been the lack of recognition for the efforts of teams and individual employees. When working online, the rest of the organization typically doesn’t have the same level of visibility on the sales team’s achievements, so there are no company-wide celebrations of these milestones.
Finally, and perhaps most crucially, there’s the eternal challenge of driving pipeline. While it’s obviously vital to have a clear understanding of the activities that drive pipeline, WFH makes transparency and accountability about the delivery of pipeline that much more difficult.
What can be better in the sales organization?
Firstly, sales competitions should be more fun, more diverse, and not just the same old version of the ‘SPIFF with the top 3 winners.’ One way to make things more engaging is to make the standings of a competition update in real-time, that way competitors can watch their progress, creating camaraderie and driving performance.
Gamification is a big part of the SalesScreen platform, helping to drive motivation and instant gratification for employees. This means offering incentives for a range of activities—from making calls to meeting schedules—not just when deals are being closed. Increasingly in the world of sales, every dollar counts.
As a sales leader, it’s vital that when you’re creating a competition you are mindful of any cultural differences, including religious beliefs and different languages, that may exist within your team. Being sensitive to these within the context of the competition and its incentives is crucial. And when people see themselves welcomed into inclusive company culture, they will be keen to participate in wider activities, including competitions.
Finally, it’s important to level the playfield to motivate everyone, not just the top sellers, so that the entire team wants to participate in ALL the competitions.
Why should ALL the sales reps compete?
Simply put: competition is part of the DNA of all sales organizations. But if the same top performers always win these competitions then it makes the rest of the team less incentivized. Offering a range of incentives(whether that’s a Nintendo Switch, a good bottle of wine, or an extra day off) will get every member of your team motivated to push themselves to deliver on their targets to win these prizes.
And if you use a gamification system where employees can collect digital tokens that can later be redeemed for prizes in a customized Reward Store, every team member will want to compete in all competitions to accumulate as many tokens as possible.
Can you give some examples of sales competitions in the APAC market?
As a sales leader, you should have the flexibility to run competitions within your sales teams, or extend these contests across different countries and markets, or eventually to the entire company. And SalesScreen recognizes the importance of being able to track metrics across the entire organization to help drive motivation and performance.
For instance, while running competitions, you can monitor key stats—like which country in APAC has been closing the most deals, which is getting the newest customers, which team is booking the most meetings, and which has the best conversion rate.
By gamifying these competitions, you can create friendly rivalries between different departments. By tracking who, say, contributed the most for a certain cause or who ran the longest distance on Strava, you can make the competitions fun and engaging.
Another example would be to launch a global challenge within your organization to achieve corporate goals, the style of competition is up to you and your imagination.
- Activity drives activity. And an increase in productivity will contribute positively to the top line.
- Behavior will model the company culture. If you have a positive atmosphere in your sales team, your sales culture will motivate all your sales reps.
- In this fast-paced world, offering your entire organization mobility and real-time access to the relevant data points is fundamental to the success of the business.
- Finally, have FUN…and PLAY THE GAME!!