So without further adieu:
11 WAYS TO MOTIVATE YOUR SALES TEAM
1. Use public recognition. Who doesn’t like having a moment in the spotlight? If one of your sales team members closes a huge account, yell it across the sales floor (so loud the C-suite can hear)! Or, if you’re not into that kind of thing, shoot an email to the sales team, or announce these successes at your sales team meetings. Remember, don’t just express that they made a sale—use the time as a learning thing.
2. Set incentives that match up with your marketing goals. We know, we know. Sales and marketing have always had a notorious rivalry. Well, here’s a newsflash: if you want to be successful with your sales team, the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to do that is by aligning goals with your marketing team. Sales and marketing working together can be amazing and is a fundamental tenet of our nine-step Revenue Performance Management (RPM) cycle.
3. Embrace leads saying “no.” Let’s face it: in an industry like sales, no one is going to hear “yes” from every lead. If a member of your sales team has been having low lead conversion rates lately, don’t turn up your nose. It may mean that individual also made the greatest effort or the most calls! Don’t make the environment one where your sales team is ashamed of the no’s—no means you asked and you tried. And remember, every “no” just means you are one call closer to the next “yes”!
4. Offer a fun, unique work environment. If your sales team is rolling their eyes every morning at the thought of having to endure another stale, boring day in the office, you’re doing something wrong. Sales environments are often fast-paced, so the office environment should be sunny, fun, and warm in nature. Play office games, do dance classes, offer “Xbox Fridays,” “Taco Lunch Tuesdays,” and “Competition Thursdays.” Every day should be exciting!
5. Set and track sales KPIs. From “Lead Time Response” to “Rate of Follow-Up Contact,” key performance indicators (KPIs) help the sales team understand if they’re hitting targets. (An analytical CRM system can help with this.) Not only should you set and track them, but you should also have regular meetings with your sales team about whether or not you are meeting goals. Bring everyone into the fold; it will help each team member feel accountable.
6. Get regular, consistent feedback. A big problem with many managers (be it in sales or another department) is that they aren’t interested in listening to what their team has to tell them. This is a fatal mistake. Your team is your most reliable source of information for how things are going on the sales floor. Set regular team and individual meetings, and ask for your team members’ feedback on a number of issues. Then, be sure you actually listen and value what they have to say. Making sure they are having a good experience on your team is an extremely important factor.
7. Don’t cap commissions. Putting a cap on commissions sends a clear message to your employees that says, “I want you to work hard, but I don’t really want to pay you past a certain level.” To be sure that the money is ending up where it needs to go, set your commission structure appropriately, and stick to it no matter what kind of commission someone is earning.
8. Show appreciation. It’s the little gestures that count. A handwritten card saying “Congrats!” (or even something as simple as giving a team member your full and total attention when they approach you) shows that you are willing to take the time to notice what they do, and are thankful for it. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple gesture of appreciation; it can go a long way.
9. Focus on factors other than sales. This is two-fold. First, make sure you take time to really see your team as people, not just salespeople. They are always dealing with a unique set of struggles or difficulties. Pay attention to how they seem to be doing in their lives; a small gesture like showing you care will go a long way in motivating them. Second, not everyone is always going to be hitting their sales numbers. But are they helping move a lead down the sales funnel, or helping the team succeed somehow? Just because they didn’t close a deal doesn’t mean they aren’t helping in some other way. Pay attention to those things.
10. Have top sales team members host internal seminars. This effectively allows you to up their rank if they are doing well. They can take a 30-minute time slot and demonstrate to the rest of the sales team what has been working for them, and how it can be applied throughout the entire sales team. This allows the sales team members to act as the next tier of sales leadership—it’s a huge ego boost.
11. Find out what drives each person. Incentives are always motivating, but not all incentives motivate everyone. Find out what excites each individual and what they want to work toward. For example, some people might like an extra day to spend with their kids, or others might like a company-paid dinner out or round of golf. Don’t set a generic bonus structure and think it will affect everyone the same way.