The Importance of Morale
IT marketing is a cutthroat game where personal feelings do not play into business decisions. No one’s going to buy from your MSP because it will make your salespeople “feel good.” They’re going to buy based on shifting factors which may or may not be legitimate. Oftentimes, clients buy not based on service, but on the perception of quality. They perceive that a given provider will yield a certain level of quality based on their market saturation. If there are content articles, blog posts, news briefs, commercials, radio spots, billboards, testimonials, and the like, the customer is trusting in those rather than actual experience of service. So as a salesperson, sometimes you’re going to encounter situations where:
- You’ve actually done a great job selling the product.
- The product you’re selling in an IT sense is better than the competition.
- In the long run your product will end up yielding the client more value.
- You’ve built rapport with your client.
- You’ve met clients multiple times for lunches, dinners, and consultations.
- You’ve met clients in other areas of business non-traditional publicly, but essential.
…and yet they still go with your competitors.
It’s times like these when you need a Good Will Hunting moment. You need your company’s equivalent of Robin Williams to approach your company’s Matt Damon salesperson (the character of Will in the film). This individual needs to look at your “good-willed” seller, and calmly say “It’s not your fault.”
Now in the film, Robin does this at intervals. He says it calmly, and continues to repeat it as Will has a breakdown, and eventually through repetition, this begins to help the young man into a breakthrough which allows him to quit blaming himself for what had happened in his past.
Maybe you are the man or woman on the IT marketing team of your company who is the perfect individual to help salespeople realize: it is not their fault. Especially when you’ve got a top-tier seller getting down on themselves, you need to help get their head back in the game. Selling is tough. It’s continual rejection with statistically minimal acceptance. You get twenty refusals for every “yes,” and you usually end up working three times as hard on the “no” clients. This can get very disheartening after a while.
As a salesperson, you begin to forget your successes. It’s rather like having an illness, if you stop and think about it. When you’re sick, you feel like you’ve always been sick, almost as though there never was a time when you weren’t sick. But you know this isn’t true. You haven’t had a head cold your whole life! The truth is, when we’re in the circumstantial reality of “the now,” it can be hard to realize that there was a “then,” and there is a “will be.”
To help get over this, be the Robin Williams to your salesperson’s Will, and tell them it wasn’t their fault. Help buffer up their confidence. But also help them to remember their previous successes. Rejection erodes at a person in a mental and even, some would say, metaphysical way. But praise additionally can make a person strong— when properly applied, and in the right doses. You don’t want to praise someone who doesn’t deserve it, because then they get a false idea which is toxic to everybody.
The Bigger Picture
Salespeople need to know it’s not so much about their personal arc in relation to the company— especially if they’re good salespeople. They need to know that it’s the bigger picture, and in the bigger picture, success is facilitated by multiple clients; several of which that salesperson likely sourced.
Encouragement additionally facilitates a feeling of security on the job. The more secure an employee feels about their work, the more confidently they can go about accomplishing their daily duties. There is such a thing as self-fulfilling prophecy. Especially in sales, the more confidence a person has as they approach their work, the more likely they are to close deals with diverse clients. You want their confidence high; you don’t want them worried about that which they can’t control. Your IT marketing team needs to help salespeople remember the bigger picture.