If you’ve been working for more than 10 years as an employee in any industry — even if you’re an expert at what you do — there’s no doubt that you’ll have felt some lack of confidence at one point or another.
There are many reasons why this happens. Maybe your boss is not supportive enough. Or maybe you feel like your job isn’t challenging enough. Perhaps other people seem better suited to handle certain tasks.
And then there are always those times when you just want out because you don’t see any growth in your career. No matter where you find yourself falling short on confidence, a confident manager, a strong team, and performance management can help turn around your situation.
The Importance of Having a Confident Sales Team
Employees who lose their sense of confidence often leave companies due to poor performance, but they could also be leaving simply because they don’t believe in themselves.
A strong sales team is crucial to success, and you need high levels of worker morale and productivity. But without a good foundation, none of these elements are easily achieved. This is especially true in industries such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, tech, and any other profession where sales are involved.
“The best way to increase overall employee engagement is through increased self-efficacy,” says Patrick Moeschberger, CEO of JAM Solutions Group, Inc., an executive coaching firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. Self-efficacy refers to a person’s beliefs about his/her ability to perform specific behaviors.
Without a strong belief system, employees won’t take action, which can lead them down a path towards burnout instead of success. That said, having a positive mindset doesn’t mean being unrealistic.
It only requires focusing on actions over feelings, knowing your strengths, and keeping goals realistic while still pushing yourself to grow. To improve your self-efficacy, consider using these tips from Dr. James Kellaris, author of Peak Performance 2.0 and founder of Mindvalley:
- Focus on outcomes rather than rules. For example, avoid saying something along the lines of, “You shouldn’t talk to customers with a negative attitude.” Instead, say, “Be friendly and helpful whenever possible.”
- Avoid making assumptions. Avoid assuming someone knows what you think. Ask directly so that you get answers.
- Take responsibility for your thoughts. Recognize that you control 90 percent of your thinking, not your environment.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique and special and need to walk your own path.
To boost the confidence of your entire staff, start by helping each person understand where they stand based on performance and their skillsets. Then encourage them to set individualized goals, determine ways to achieve them, and celebrate milestones together.
This type of encouragement builds trust between managers and their teams, allowing supervisors to give feedback and guidance freely.
When workers know they aren’t going to face judgment or criticism, they become less stressed and happier. They also feel empowered to make decisions and pursue opportunities independently.
In addition to boosting employee morale, building confidence among individuals helps foster teamwork. With the right amount of camaraderie, every member of your company can excel at everything they do.
How to Tell If a Sales Rep Is Losing Confidence
Noticing signs that employees may be losing confidence can sometimes be difficult. Some telltale signs include frequent absences from work, declining numbers of calls made per day, low production, complaining about unfair treatment, and similar problems.
However, most of us tend to overlook these warning signals because we assume our colleagues know what they should be doing. We also don’t realize we might be undermining our team members’ abilities.
So, before jumping to conclusions, ask your reps to report back to you on their progress. Give them honest feedback on areas in which they need improvement and support them to reach their potential.
Also, watch for behavioral changes within the workplace itself. These changes typically occur gradually, so pay attention to whether your reps suddenly show different behavior patterns.
One thing you shouldn’t notice is a personality change. If anyone seems overly aggressive or irritable, it’s time to step in and figure out what’s causing it.
How Managers Can Help Sales Reps Regain Confidence
According to a study conducted by Gallup, 50% of Americans aren’t very happy with their jobs. Of that number, 70% attribute their unhappiness to stress. So, although happiness at work has never been easier thanks to technological advancements, the pressure is still there.
That’s why it’s important to provide your reps with training and tools to deal with pressures outside of the office. Consider setting aside a weekly plan for your employees to tackle projects, research new ideas, or otherwise stay productive after hours.
Even though staying busy during off-peak hours may not be well received initially, it allows your reps to focus on revenue-generating activities rather than spending time answering emails or filling out paperwork. Their most creative achievements and ideas may be designed at home on a remote basis.
Another option is to offer telecommuting options to your reps. Remotely accessible workplaces allow your team to work from home, reducing distractions and leading to higher output. While this does require hiring additional employees for tech support purposes, it saves your business both time and money in the end.
Finally, let your salespeople know you appreciate their efforts by rewarding them. Studies show that incentivizing sales representatives leads to greater profitability and improved efficiency. Treating your reps well shows appreciation for past achievements and encourages future successes.
Strong Teams Can Help Sales Reps Improve
A strong, motivated team makes it easy for reps to succeed. By providing clear direction and establishing measurable goals, leaders empower their team members to act autonomously. Once you establish successful practices, they can easily spread throughout the organization.
As long as leaders create the right conditions for teams to thrive, employees will naturally develop strong relationships and a willingness to take the initiative. This results in faster adaptation to changing market demands, which ultimately improves profits. On top of that, teams that share common values and interests form bonds stronger than anything else.
Ultimately, improving confidence comes down to recognizing that your sales reps deserve respect and recognition. From there, follow the steps above to strengthen your teams so they can carry out daily responsibilities effectively.
Would you like to find ways to make your organization stand out as a company that allows team members to grow and focus on goals? To draw and retain the best talent in your industry, contact us for a free consultation!
The eLeaP continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high caliber team members.