Sales team building activities can feel counter-productive.
That’s the first thought that can come to both leaders and employees when you mention a scheduled activity to do “team building”.
Even people who love their job will shiver at change. It’s to be expected, especially when you’ve never done anything like it.
If you start doing these things in a culture-building way, the team will catch up. Those who don’t, may not be the type to help you build your company—but that’s not our topic.
Our post today is to help founders and leaders go from doing no activities that build team morale to having a crew that gets as excited as children going on a field trip.
You remember those days, right?
Everyday school was good. But when it was different, you were actually excited.
It didn’t matter if you were going somewhere more “educational”, or just to the zoo. You wanted to be there.
Yes, we want people who love to come to work.
But that doesn’t mean you want an office full of people who wouldn’t enjoy a break from their day-to-day responsibilities.
(courtesy of Meme Guy)
Let’s take a look at the things you and your team can do to grow closer, appreciate work more, make the world a better place, and lead to a healthier sales team.
Here we go.
Easy Sales Team Building Activities
You don’t have to try on zip line gear to have a morale boosting sales team building activity in the office.
There are all kinds of things to try that serve as an introduction into the world of team building.
It’s surprisingly easy to set up an environment that will help moods and encourage the crew to interact with one another in a real-life way. In between sales calls or meetings, you can do something that builds others up.
Here are four ideas.
Encourage a Water-Cooler
80’s business culture both created and shunned the water-cooler phenomena.
A place where the latest gossip, television, and (eek!) politics were quietly discussed while getting a quick sip of water.
While this can be done in excess, a place for everyone to communicate about things other than projects should be encouraged—even digitally.
This really isn’t difficult. Provide a snack area, a place for conversation and BAM! It’ll happen naturally.
Here at LeadFuze, we use Slack (we know, who doesn’t). Even though most of us are in the office, we added a channel called “#water-cooler” (see screenshot). It’s a place where you can mention things about sports, recent funny news, and just about anything else.
Think about all of the bonding that happens through eating a meal. No, you don’t have to cater lunch in every day.
- Have you hit a goal, met a deadline? Get some grub delivered.
- Working late? Order take out.
- Introducing a new initiative/policy? Make it a nice meal.
- Haven’t eaten lunch as an office in a while? Do it today.
Pizza, sandwiches, catered meals. It can be as quick or as thoughtful as you’d like. The benefits of eating with associates speak for themselves.
There may be no greater “ugh” than the one that comes from co-workers who hear they’ll have to do “ice breakers” or play in an office game. If you even mention that something is “supposed to be fun”, everyone will think the worst.
How do you avoid this? It depends on attitude (of you and the team) and introduction.
In fact, here’s an epic post from SnackNation full of 87 games from businesses around the globe. But the biggest way to ensure success is the way you introduce the games.
There is a big difference between “hey guys we’re going to do some team building” as opposed to one morning everyone walking into an office set up for a ping pong tournament.
Contests (not sales related)
Sale quotas and even friendly competition is great, but not necessarily good for boosting morale and creating culture. However, there are contests that could generate camaraderie.
- Fantasy football/baseball/etc. for the sports fans.
- Tasteful costume contests (i.e. star wars, 80’s, monster).
- Healthy eating to encourage good habits.
Moderate Sales Team Building Activities
Ok. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, or have seen the success of the intro sales team building activities, you may be ready to venture into deeper waters.
While these sales team building activities still aren’t “hardcore” in nature, they may require outside of the office interaction among your team.
Here’re a few ideas.
Learn New Things
There are two primary venues to take when going about it—work-related or interest-based learning.
If you run a sales team, it could be morale-boosting to watch a cutting edge webinar in the field and then have an idea generation and discussion period to implement and plan strategies to increase qualified appointments and customer acquisition.
Or, you could do something unrelated to work, like buy everyone a Bonsai tree and have a class on how to take care of it.
Promoting health and wellness in the office is fast becoming a recruiting technique. Millennials want an employer that genuinely cares for them and organizations that need talent are scrambling to figure out how to prove their level of care.
Actively promoting health, and even paying/reimbursing for gym memberships could give you an edge on drawing the best help your way.
Eat Food (Again)
Ok, so you eat lunch in the office occasionally. That’s great!
However, taking it up a notch and going out to lunch/dinner with your staff is a bigger venture with a (potentially) bigger payout.
Rent out a room, acknowledge accomplishments, or have a brief recap of the previous quarter. But make sure you have fun.
Price doesn’t matter here (typically).
If you’re having an award ceremony something nicer may do, but why not reserve a BBQ joint and get messy? Or go to the park and grill some burgers (bring a frisby)?
Just leave the office and eat somewhere.
Give Stuff Out
We talked about an award ceremony, but you don’t need a reason to shower your team with gifts. Swag is something that tech and software companies love.
How many Volkswagens have you spotted with an Apple sticker?
Hoodies, headphones, or the traditional pens and stickers—give it away to your people.
Aggressive Sales Team Building Activities
Sometimes, you just gotta go for it.
In this case, you’re doing sales team building activities that will not only build morale, but could create memories and friendships between staffers.
While these will dip into the pocketbook, they will also help solidify and grow your culture to a level that few other organizations ever find.
Let’s go to the deep.
“Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.” — Tim Cook, Apple CEO
Do an Actual Activity
Interactive entertainment will likely grow into a frenzy over the next decade.
You know, those places that lock you in a room with a bunch of props until you figure out how to leave? It may or may not be your cup of tea, but it will make your introverted, yet intelligent people shine like the stars.
This example isn’t the only way to go and do team building.
You could clean up a road, serve food to the hungry, or visit a nursing home.
Take a Retreat
Ok, now you can try on the zip line gear.
Work retreats can be close to the office, or even far away. They can be a single day, or even an entire week.
The flexibility makes them a great option for small teams with low budgets all the way to execs who need to do some serious vision casting.
There are activities that make it memorable and the benefits will far outlast the stay and the financial commitment (with proper planning).
Go Learn Stuff (Conferences)
Instead of the staff sitting in uncomfortable chairs around a computer screen in the office for a webinar, you could take them all to a conference!
There really isn’t anything that can induce that “field trip” feeling than announcing that your organization is going to give everyone an adrenaline-pumping few days—airfare and accommodations included.
Go ahead, it’ll make them feel like kids on Christmas morning.
Bring in the Family
If you’re in the tech and software space, many of your employees may have young families.
This means that work, even though they may love it, isn’t their main priority.
Bringing together the career they have with the family that keeps them in that career can be powerful in creating the type of work environment that has little turnover and very high morale.
You don’t have to be fancy. You just have to make room.
The Benefits of High Morale
Those same millennials that are filling in more and more of your workforce are notoriously known for switching jobs a little faster than previous generations.
They keep looking for “work/life balance” like the wanderers in storybooks looking for the fountain of youth.
While you can’t provide that, you can prove that you genuinely want to keep those who add value to your organization. Not only because they do good work, but because you care.
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