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Recession-Proof Sales: Keeping Employees Motivated no Matter the Markets

Recession-Proof Sales: Keeping Employees Motivated no Matter the Markets

Call it a “trend,” but it seems like the hottest new fad in business outlets is to write about the it’s-possible-but-we’re-not-totally-sure-when-it-could-happen recession.

So are we headed that way? Should we be pulling all of our savings out of the markets, stuff it under our mattresses, and maybe move the rest over to bitcoin? Should your employees be more focused on stability and playing it safe?  

Who. Cares.

Well, maybe don’t say it exactly that way to them—or your financial advisor. But the sentiment remains. You can’t (and certainly shouldn’t) be using the fear of an economic downturn to keep your employees motivated.

It’s not sustainable, and it’s certainly not going to benefit anyone’s mental health.

In fact, a study by Oracle on the effects of recessions on sales organizations found “Recessions create tremendous uncertainty, and then the group fear mentality takes over. It’s often not just the fear of uncertainty that freezes … minds and budgets, it is the fear of swimming against peers and others who are cutting back.”

And it turns out that the companies who had a plan in place for continued growth and investment were the ones that really thrived.

So instead of running into the warm embrace of the Fear Monster, keep your focus on employee motivational strategies and sales incentive programs that can actually keep your employees engaged and at their best no matter how the markets are doing.

Easier said than done, right?

Playing to the (Internal) Competition

At the end of the day, your goal is always going to be boosting numbers, closing deals, and taking home the wins. So what better to way to hunker down on those goals than by spurring on some healthy competition? That is, competition where there’s room for everyone to thrive.

A digital sales board, in addition to being a great tool for accountability, gives your employees a concrete way to engage with their numbers—and more broadly, your whole teams’ effort.

When your employees can see their ranking against other employees, there’s a tangible sense not only that their efforts are making an impact, but also that impact is happening.

In good and bad times, we need reminders that there are always more wins to be had. And sometimes the best place that reminder can come from is another team member who hasn’t tapped out yet. It’s a great way of keeping employees motivated.

Remembering What Matters Most

Behind all of this is your concern for two things: your company, and your team. If one isn’t doing well, the other will inevitably suffer too.

But the inverse is true too: when one is thriving, it raises the other up along with it. You’re not always going to have record-breaking years. But you can control the long-term attitude and engagement of your team if you really lean in. You have to listen to their needs, develop goals that they can all get behind, and keep everyone focused on a growth-based mindset.

When you’ve got a team who truly understands their mission, and has the tools to carry it out, there’s no obstacle that’s too big to hold them back.  

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