Morale Building of Sales Force

Reasons for poor morale:

1. A variety of factors may contribute to poor morale of sales men.
2. The sales territories might not be properly designed with the result that unequal burden is cast on salesman.
3. Some salesmen might be given territories with very little potential, with result that they can never feel the pride of achievement
4. The compensation plan may be faulty.
5. Performance evaluation is not done with fairness and objectivity.
6. Unfair treatment in rewards, transfers and promotions.
7. The organization is immersed in vexatious rules, regulations and restrictions.
8. Whatever be the reason, poor morale of sales force will seriously affect sales performance. It will also affect customer service, channel relations and public relations of the firm.

Symptoms of poor morale:

1. Minor complaints get magnified.
2. Unionism suddenly shows its head.
3. Anti-management attitude, vocal criticism of company policies – strong retaliation at every suggestion of management and viewing the company as an adversary may become common.

Symptoms of good morale:

1. When salesmen show pride, loyalty and enthusiasm about the company, its products, the sales organization and its policies, it means that the sales force morale is high.

Ways of morale building:

Basically, sales force morale depends on the organizational climate. For morale to be good the organizational climate be good and the firm should follow principles of management.

Good sales force morale results the organization gives the right treatment to the salesmen. The organization should also give them proper responsibility and authority.

Fair play builds up morale. Sales managers and top management must practice fair play towards salesmen.

Management must have proper appreciation of the unique environment in which salesmen work. Salesmen are loners on the job working all by themselves. The psychological comfort of working in a group is denied to them in their day-to-day work. They travel all the time, living away from their families. They lead a life that is different from that of the factory workers or office staff. Special efforts, therefore, are needed on the part of the sales manger to make the salesmen feel a sense of belonging to the company. Sense of belonging promotes morale.

The sales executive should strongly support his salesmen whenever they deserve it. His mean should view him as a dependable boss.

Good communication promotes morale effective communication is a key ingredient in morale building. In many firms, salesmen do not know what the management is trying to do and the reasons behind its actions; and the management does not know what the salesmen think and feel about various policies, decisions and actions. Effective communications is the answer.

To a large extent, sales force morale depends on how the organization looks at the selling job and the sales force.

Morale building is a continuous job. Morale building should start right at the recruitment stage; during induction, it should be carefully built up; and as the salesmen grow on the job, morale building should continue; proper avenues must be created for them to achieve their full potential.

By ensuring good morale, sales managers can convert a high potential salesman into a high performing salesman and an average potential salesman into a above average performer.

Sales Force Motivation Mix:

1. Compensation plan:
Financial compensation
Non-financial compensation
2. Recognition:
Awards such as pins, trophies, certificates etc
Praise and encouragement
Job enrichment
3. Promotions
4. Proper performance evaluation
5. Good sales coaching
6. Good supervision (in person, by mail, by telephone)
7. Sales meetings and conventions
8. Sales contests
9. Training programs (indication and continuation)
10. Sales planning elements:
Good forecasting
Good budgeting
Fair quotas
Fair territories
11. General management elements:
Organizational structure and climate
Management’s leadership style
12. Sensible management.