Just a few years ago, working from home was unusual for an inside sales team. Most business development representatives (and their managers) came to the office five days a week. Pizza parties, contests and ad hoc conversations were just some of the ways these valuable staff members built camaraderie and team culture.
Now, much of the business world is virtual—including business development activities, lead generation and sales calls. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become the accepted norm for B2B and medtech business development teams.
That means a complete shift in the ways that marketing departments and inside sales teams collaborate, communicate and engage with each other in a virtual environment.
Motivate your callers to achieve your sales goals
Keeping your outbound callers motivated is essential. The right energy, attitude and confidence are just as vital to success as hard skills like communication, listening and persuasion.
At medtech and B2B companies, business development representatives are responsible for a number of mission-critical activities:
- Identifying the right sales prospects and potential buyers for your company’s products and services
- Generating qualified leads and engaging these companies and decision-makers
- Keeping your sales pipeline filled so your organization can reach your sales and revenue goals
- Uncovering and sharing market intelligence that can fuel product enhancements, improve sales messaging and protect your company’s competitive advantage
Signs your business development team needs help
Achieving these objectives takes hard work—and lots of outbound sales calls. When a business development rep lacks motivation, results suffer.
Some of the ways to spot inside sales reps who could benefit from greater motivation include:
- Fewer daily outbound dials
- Lower rates of leads generated
- Less enthusiasm at internal team meetings
- Frustration or confusion with your sales processes
- Negative comments or attitudes
Everyone has good and bad days. However, organizations with a strong sales culture have more ways to help everyone flourish.
Ways to engage and motivate your virtual sales team
The outbound call center at Volkart May operates in a hybrid environment. Every day, we have teams of callers present in our Minnesota offices, and making lead generation and business development calls from their homes. We’ve worked hard to adapt our processes and culture so everyone on our team—working in-person or selling virtually—gets the support and motivation they deserve.
Here are a few of the ways our call center team motivates our virtual sales workforce.
Ongoing virtual chats
When you can’t pop across the hall or over the cubicle for a quick chat, a Slack or Teams channel can be the next best option. We keep multiple live chats running all day, each focused on a separate group of team members. We encourage questions, progress updates and celebrating small wins throughout the day.
Business development reps are goal-oriented individuals. After all, their jobs revolve around reaching daily objectives for call attempts, leads generated and other metrics. Small, fun contests throughout the day give callers the opportunity for rewards and competition that can inject fun and momentum into the day. Prizes and timeframes don’t have to be large. For example, a $5 coffee card for everyone who generates a qualified lead in the next 30 minutes.
Newer business development reps often struggle the most with motivation. It can be difficult to find your footing in a new organization—and even more daunting to share your concerns with more experienced and successful sales reps. That’s why at Volkart May, we pair each new caller with a sales mentor. Daily check-ins and one-on-one support are beneficial for both individuals.
One of the perks of our call center environment is the ability for business development callers to choose their own hours. Since we call coast-to-coast (and even internationally), there are many time zones available to reach B2B and medtech decision-makers. We even stay open late some evenings during peak periods. This motivates callers who want to invest more hours and take home a bigger paycheck.
Another motivational technique for virtual sales teams is ongoing refresher training. New and experienced callers alike participate in these sessions several times each year. It’s a way to share new tips and proven best practices, while reinforcing your sales culture.
Invest in engagement and incentives for your outbound callers
The right motivation improves momentum, confidence and results for virtual sales teams. But, it’s important to remember that every business development caller responds to different techniques. Make sure your marketing and sales teams infuse your culture with a variety of incentives and ways to engage together, and you’ll find greater motivation in no time.