Call, Sell, Repeat? How to Break the Familiar Sales Feeling

Korina OrtizLast updated on March 28, 2024
5 min

Ready to build better conversations?

Simple to set up. Easy to use. Powerful integrations.

Get started

Ready to build better conversations?

Simple to set up. Easy to use. Powerful integrations.

Get started

There’s a lot to love about working in sales. For one thing, there’s the control you have over your future. So whatever you want to get out of your job—earning a lot of money, progressing into leadership, making great connections—you can make it happen. But, let’s be honest, every job has its ups and downs—sales is no different.

I’ve worked in sales for more than 20 years, leading teams at PerkinElmer, EMC, HubSpot, BioRender, and now Aircall. And one negative that’s stood out for me is the repetition. Any sales rep can attest to that feeling you get when you have a goal, you're chasing that target, you hit your quota, and come quarter-end, you have to do it all over again.

It turns out I’m not alone in this frustration. My colleague, and Sales Director for the UK & Ireland, James Mensforth shares my pain. He says how “there’s a degree of repetition in sales. By definition, the number resets at some point, and you've got to go again. My team had a great 2023, but as soon as January rolls round, everything goes back to zero.”

I often compare this sense of sales repetition to when my daughter plays with her Lego. She builds something, just to take it apart again. If you work so hard—why not just leave it there? While for her, this is part of the fun, this sense of repetition can become a grind at work—but it doesn’t have to.

The dangers of selling on repeat

There’s no typical salesperson. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with introverts and extroverts, analysers and controllers. And they’ve all been great at their jobs. The rise of sales automation has helped bring these differences and personalities to the surface of customer calls. But one commonly shared Kryptonite risks this: demotivation by repetition.

Sales teams need to be on their A-game, and while our roles are as much about repetition, there needs to be grit, hunger, curiosity, and creativity on the sales floor, too. Those are the ingredients you need to ensure the conversations your reps are having, and your customers are getting, are as meaningful as possible.

Meanwhile, without tackling the sense of quarter-end déjà vu, your sales team risks:

  • A lack of hunger

  • A drop in human-to-human connections

  • A shortage of employee engagement

  • Employee churn

With this in mind, below I explore several ways sales leaders can keep groundhog day at bay.

How to stop sales getting stale

To find out the best ways of keeping sales fresh and approaching each quarter with hunger and determination, I spoke to James again and Senior Director of Global Business Development, Sean Hayes. Together, with my own personal experience, we’ve come up with some tips to help you as we head into Q2.

Face up to the difficult aspects of the job

We know that despite the positives, sales can be tough. And this transparency is something Sean says we need to embody. Particularly when it comes to hitting the quarterly reset button:

“I think if you put the blinkers on, you try just to pretend everything's rosy, then your team and individuals will feel that you're disconnected from reality. So when you face up to the difficult aspects of the job, you're in a better position to equip your team to handle these aspects as well.”

Sean is right on the money here, and the last thing you want in an interconnected sales team is blinkers. Being open and communicative about the challenges you face can make a huge difference. It can lead to new ways to enhance performance. And give your team a sense of overcoming challenges and reaping rewards—instead of the same old sales treadmill.

Action: Host a department town hall session, or ask your team to fill in an anonymous SurveyMonkey to normalise the challenges and frustrations you collectively face. 

Harness the power of one-to-ones

A great route to making every quarter, or even every day, different is understanding that every person on your team is also different. This is one tactic taken by James:

“The older understanding of salespeople being coin-operated is not real. It's about what you’re doing in your one-to-ones, what you're doing in your day-to-day rhythm, and understanding the team well. It’s about having a good enough relationship to provide honest feedback, and receive it.”

Opening up this two-way street is crucial to having a high-performing sales team. And if you’re ramping up the motivation at quarter-end, you need to remember that motivation doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. So, get to know your team and understand what’s in it for them. From there, it’s about being able to align the quarterly vision to those personal goals.

Action: Establish quarterly goals for individuals, as well as teams. Make this a part of your coaching setup and remember there’s no right or wrong when it comes to motivation, 

Hit the right note

There’s no doubt that sales leaders should be investing time in coaching and upskilling. But there are other ways of connecting to your team and driving motivation. Music is one of them, with Spotify reporting that 37% of people see music as a key driver to success during productivity moments, while 87% say they use music to help switch off and relax. 

Whether you want to get your team quarter-ready, celebrate the results you fought hard to achieve, or put in some chill time to take a break from calls—the right playlist can be the difference. Aircall has even put together a playlist for your sales team, filled with track suggestions by Aircall’s sales leaders, including me.

Action: Use Aircall’s own playlist as a template for your team, and begin to add in choices from each rep. This can be a great way to keep things light, and involve remote workers too.

Making the quarter more creative

If you’re looking for more sales leader insights, then look no further than my daughter. The reason she keeps going back to those Lego bricks isn’t because she has to—but because she wants to keep trying new things. She wants to create something new and embrace the creativity that comes with starting from scratch.

This is the mentality I look to bring to my sales team when quarter-end rolls around. Today, sales teams need to stay more competitive than ever. But instead of increasing the pressure and underlining the numbers, we should find new ways of boosting motivation that lean into individuality, transparency, and, yes, even pump-up playlists featuring DJ Khaled.

To find out how Aircall can support your team at quarter-end and beyond, get in touch with our team to arrange a demo.

Published on March 28, 2024.

Ready to build better conversations?

Aircall runs on the device you're using right now.