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How to Create a Happy Sales Team

When your sales team loves their job, they are going to thrive. You want to create a work environment that puts a huge smile on your team members faces, because they know that the time they are spending as a member of your team is potentially the highlight of their professional journey. A happy sales team is an efficient sales team. We did some research into how to keep your employees satisfied.

Here is what we learned:

1. Think about happiness often

If you frequently think about the happiness of your team, you’re likely going to be coming up with ways to continue improving happiness level.

However, it’s important that you don’t obsess over the pursuit of happiness. According to a study by Yale psychologist June Gruber, there can actually be a dark side to happiness. Meaning, that when you fail to meet increased expectations for happiness, you can actually become unhappy. The study explained: “the pursuit of happiness may lead to maladaptive outcomes because it sets people up for disappointment.”

This study is a great reminder that you should remember to think about happiness often, but don’t obsess over it.

2. Consider what type of team you want to build

You need to think about the type of team that you want to build and build your culture of happiness and motivation around that.

Below are some popular types of teams:

  • The Open Team: This type of team is willing to try out new experiences and take risks. An open team is often more willing to make decisions that are bigger risks but have greater potential upside.
  • The Extroverted Team: This type of team is based around the idea of creating a culture where team members draw energy from each other. This is a highly social and thoughtful type of team.
  • The Agreeable Team: This team type is often more compassionate, which means there’s a lot of agreeing happening between team members. This means that this type of team is likely to be less willing to take risks and will make decisions on the safer side.

Once you have a clear idea of the type of team you want to build, it will become a lot easier to build a happy team. It will become easier to build a happy team when you know what type of team you want to build because a clear team vision will allow you to build a cohesive relationship between all team members. The more cohesive and rallied behind a unified vision that a team is, the happy everybody will be.

3. Be an actionable leader

If you’re a leader, you shouldn’t just be leading. You should also be doing too.

A great leader leads by example, so leaders that just sit back and direct often make team members feel belittled or disconnected from the leader. A strong leader knows what he or she needs to be doing because people will follow a leader based on the quality of his or her actions, rather than the leader simply declaring, “I am the leader!”

When there is a strong leader who is leading by example, a team will be happier. And a happy team means more motivation to drive sales forward and here sales enablement can help you.

4. Give employees both freedom and responsibility

Empower your employees to make decisions. When employees, not just leadership, are involved with decision making they instantly feel happier.

In Dennis Bakke’s book, The Decision Maker, he shares an interaction between an employee in HR, named Angela, and the CEO of her company:

“You’ve got the responsibility, but you’ve also got the freedom. Think through these questions. Figure out what you think will work best. Do whatever you need to. If you want to connect with other people who are thinking about this, get advice from other businesses, you let me know. Whatever research you need to do, we’ll make it happen. And then come to me with your decisions about how to handle human resources going forward.”

“So you can sign off on them?” Angela challenged.

Tom shook his head. “Nope,” he said. “So I understand what’s happening in the business.”

This is a simple interaction, but it helps remind us that when employees have the ability to make meaningful choices, they’re going to ultimately be much happier and willing to contribute to the company.

5. Establish team values

Every good team has strong values.

Emphasizing values to team members will help define the path at which ideas come to life; shaping how the team operates and moves a business forward.

To make your sales team as happy as possible, pick out the simple values that matter the most to your organization. Think about factors such as positivity, creativity, and other cultural values that you know will help enhance the growth of your company.

If you’ve done a good job hiring, your team will quickly be able to rally around your team values.

The ability to rally around a shared set of values will make a team more cohesive and a cohesive team will be happiest working together (which means the success of the team will propel further, faster!).

6. Hire the right people

Hiring the right people is easier said than done. But, if you’re not doing a good job hiring, you’re likely building an unhappy team that won’t work well together.

In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins compares the hiring (and firing) process to putting people on a bus:

“If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”

This quote is a great reminder as to how important it is to build the right team, by hiring the right people.

To hire the right people that allow you to build a happy sales team, you should have a very disciplined hiring process. If there’s any doubt in your mind over a person you’re considering hiring, they probably aren’t a good fit. On the reverse side, if you hire somebody and quickly determine they are a bad fit, it’s smart that you let this person go quickly. It’s smart to let this person go because when you keep people around who aren’t a good culture fit, it can be detrimental to the company and destroy any shot you have at making a team that works together effectively and is happy.

Do you have a happy sales team?

Before looking at ways that you can improve the happiness of your sales team, you should step back and think about if they’re already happy. If your team is happy, think about why they are happy and maintain that; rather than trying to push the level of happiness forward even more.

If you have determined some items that you think make your sales team happy, we’d love to hear them. Let us know what’s making your team so happy in the comments.