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sales-team“If compensation were a sufficient motivator, your people would already be performing,”- Mark Palmer (Sales Consultant)

Selling is not an easy job. This could be the reason why sales professionals are often the highest paid people of a company. These people have to combat fierce competition, handle grumpy prospects, critical clients and fussy customers. At times even a big fat annual package is not enough to motivate them. Therefore, it is necessary to identify what motivates and excites the sales team to do their level best, be unique and be on the top at the same time.

Management consultant Doug Johnson, opines that its critical to find innovative ways to motivate the entire sales department and not just the top three or four people. You need to figure out a competitive program that allows the regular good salespeople to win at some level. If only top few people are recognized as star performers, it can demotivate the others who do good work to keep the sales team going strong but wish to stay behind the screen.

Strategies to keep your sales force motivated

Public recognition and also be specific about what you say- Sales personnel love recognition Compliment them for their contribution in front of their colleagues and team members. Similarly, if your salesperson who is in charge of a particular client account is handling it well and the client speaks high of that person, ask him to write a testimonial letter. The public recognition will be appreciated by the sales person.

While appreciating the performance of the sales team or a salesperson, you need to be specific so the words resonate. For instance, ” I observed that you have a knack to understand the psychology of the customer quickly” or ” I have noticed that you are unwilling to compromise on your integrity and work ethics while achieving your monthly targets.” When you are specific about you say, salespeople will be aware that you are observing their performances as well as appreciating their hard work.

Elevating to the position of a sales coach- A sales manager calls for a meeting at the beginning of the month as well as at the end of the month. Therefore, if one of the sales person has been giving excellent performance for past six-seven months, as a token of appreciation you should hand over the monthly sales meeting to him. This way you are not only giving him public recognition among his team members but also boosting his motivation. Here you are giving him an opportunity to share his sales expertise and best practices with his team. Thus elevating his position to the next level as a trainer, mentor and coach.

Give a gift- It’s a fact gifts in form of cash is most welcomed by many. A small business owner has to experiment with many gifting choices such as bonuses and prizes. For instance, highly luxurious gift item that many would be reluctant to self-purchase would be a big winner. Another, innovative gift would be allowing the star performer to telecommute once a week which will also resonate well among the sales personnel.

Mark Faust, business consultant, opines that star performers should be given a paid day off from work, that includes a golf course pass or pay lake where they fish. In short, a paid day to pursue their hobby and ensures that they are not stuck at home doing household chores.

Gamification- Building peer pressure to create competition within the team can be fun. It will make them competitive and motivate them to use their creativity to achieve and at times over-achieve. You can recognize their performance by putting their names on the office pin board, give out certificates, blazers, jackets with company logos or give the star performers annual membership coupon to an exclusive club.

Get the CEO or CFO recognize the performers- There is nothing like a praise coming from the top executive of the company. The sales team would appreciate it when their work is recognized by the chairman, CEO, CFO or COO of the firm. A simple congratulation phone call or a hand-written letter would do wonders to boost their morale.

You can talk to your sales team to find out what motivates and how you can help to go to the next level. What besides bigger check will motivate them to do better. On your part, make them feel valued, impart training to whenever required to boost their performance level.

Share your creative ideas with us in the comment section.

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