Picture your average college basketball player. He’s in the gym doing extra work, and while his intent is great, the maximum effort just isn’t there. A few minutes later his head coach strolls in. The player begins to work a little harder, focus a little more and increase his overall efforts. He wants to impress his coach and knows that anything but his best effort is unacceptable. This is an example of the Hawthorne effect.
This effect isn’t limited to basketball. It can be found everywhere around us, even in sales. The Hawthorne effect bases itself around the idea that people behave differently (in a productive way) when they know someone’s paying attention. This study has shown that the more involved the observer is, the more production they will get out of the people being observed.
So ask yourself: As a sales leader, am I involved enough?
Most of you are sitting there thinking, “I don’t want to get too involved.” And you’re right. Micromanaging your team’s every move could hurt their sales performance. So I guess the next question would be: How involved should you be?
Well, that’s what we’re here for! Here are 3 examples of healthy involvement:
3 Healthy Involvement Tips to Boost Sales Performance:
1. Have an active voice.
It’s important that your sales reps feel like you’re a part of the team. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to present your analysis. Engage yourself as a coach along the way. A few ways to put your voice out there:
- Send weekly email updates on sales performance
- Spotlight positive behaviors in team meetings
- Use one-on-ones to discuss pacing toward sales goals
- Send out helpful sales performance suggestions when you notice team trends
Engaging in these activities can change the dynamic of your office — not just because you are involved in the process that determines your success rate, but because sales performance should rise with your involvement.
2. Communicate rewards.
Pretty much every sales leader uses some sort of reward as a performance incentive, even just in the form of public recognition. But are you communicating your team’s rewards effectively?
Two key points when communicating rewards:
- Give shout-outs – Don’t let any reward go unnoticed. Consistently communicating rewards shows your team that you’re paying attention to their sales performance and allows peers to pay attention to each other’s performance. It also can tap into your team’s competitive nature to fuel motivation.
- Mix it up – Don’t reward the same thing all the time or with the same incentives. The spontaneity behind random rewards will keep your sales team on top of their game. In fact, research shows that when something’s unexpected it’s more rewarding. According to reward specialists at Tango Card: “Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure, is released in the brain when people experience unexpected rewards.” [Need sales incentive ideas? Download 102 of them.]
Reward communication shows attentiveness to sales performance. Remember the Hawthorne effect? You want that recognition of attentiveness. So for better sales performance, start talking.
3. Rely on sales leaderboards.
While effective speech is important, there are other ways to affect sales performance by showing involvement, one of them being technology.
With more and more sales technologies available today, you could be wondering where to start. I’ll keep it simple: Use a leaderboard. It’s easy and effective. Knowing how you’re doing personally is one thing, but when you bring relative performance to the forefront it can change your outlook.
Sales leaderboards not only are great for healthy competition, but also provide a certain level of visibility that’s perfect for the Hawthorne effect. Allowing everyone to see how they’re performing through a leaderboard provides them with multiple observers that can provide positive influence on behaviors.
Using sales leaderboards is the first step. Strategic placement comes next. Placing a leaderboard on a screen outside of the CEO’s office, or in the line of sight of another influencer, can give your team’s sales performance an extra push. Even if you and the CEO don’t look at the leaderboards everyday the idea that you might is enough to influence behavior according to the Hawthorne studies.
[Want more on this? Get our free eBook: “Setting Up Sales Leaderboards: Types and Tips.”]
In summary, emphasize the visibility of your sales team’s performance. But don’t do it from the shadows. You’re obviously a key influencer of sales performance. Optimize it by staying involved.