Motivating the Motivating Factor – Your Sales Team
By Maureen Kanwischer
Momentum Business Consulting
It’s the perennial question posed by business owners and managers: “How can I motivate my sales people?”
A commonly held principle is that the top 20 percent of sales performers will continue to be successful on their own accord. They will always be in the top 20 percent regardless of what reward programs are in place because they know that if they sell more, they will earn more money. But when do financial rewards stop being enough of a motivator? Businesses, especially small businesses, must continue to actively engage the entire sales force to increase your overall sales and continued success of your business.
The monetary values of incentives are often not the critical factor in motivating sales people. There are plenty of low cost, high result methods to motivate your sales team. Here are a few.
- Shine That Spotlight
Sales people, by nature, gravitate to the limelight. Often times the best motivation for a sales person is to publicly recognize their accomplishment, goal attainment or good work. The good news? Public recognition is FREE. Although not all sales people are motivated in the same way, one trait most sales people share is a vital need for recognition. It is very powerful to cite a salesperson for his or her achievement with a handshake from the CEO in front of the rest of the staff.
- Instant Gratification
Don’t delay when providing recognition. Be sure to provide your compliment right away; it will be more potent when delivered immediately rather than waiting for the quarterly sales meeting. When a sales person gets a win, put down the Blackberry, look him or her in the eye and recognize their achievement without delay.
- Teacher for a Day (or More)
Ask your stellar sales person to share their expertise with others on the sales team. This acknowledges that the individual has excelled enough that you want them to train the others on the team. It also motivates others on the team to succeed so they, too, can have a chance to share their expertise.
- The Long and Short of It
Sales goals are critical for both business management and as a motivational tool. Short term goals which are set and reviewed as they are achieved will provide a sense of accomplishment along the way to meeting the long term goals.
- There’s No “I” in “Team”
- Sales people will thrive when asked their opinion on a business matter and knowing managers are willing to listen and acknowledge their input. An environment that fosters salespeople (and all employees, for that matter) to share their ideas for improvement can promote loyalty and make them happy – two important qualities to keep those on the front line of your business with the finest attitudes and service.
If you decide to create an incentive program which rewards sales achievements with money or goods, be sure to keep the program simple. The goals should be a stretch, but should also be attainable. Make certain the rules of the game are not complex and contain no ambiguity. Successful incentive programs reward success immediately.
Recognizing and rewarding sales people is a constant effort – but one that costs little and provides substantial results. Be sure to recognize good work and share it publicly with a sense of urgency. And remember, there is no such thing as too much recognition.
Feel free to publish this article to your own site as long as you give credit: Maureen Kanwischer of Momemtum Business Consulting and link to my website: www.momentumbc.com. Thank you.