This is not a sales incentive or compensation plan piece, we just want to speak about the simple good old trait all great sales managers have- the ability to motivate their team members even in the harshest of economic times, in simple terms, how to improve sales team motivation!
Sales Motivation, when done right has many benefits. Here are 5 top areas on our list:
- Improved sales (quite obvious to say the least)
- Reduce Turnover (your best people stay longer and produce for you)
- Impacts Customer satisfaction and Loyalty (Yes, Sales people is in the frontline for that too)
- Consistency in Quota and target achievement ( A motivated team will give you the numbers 80% of the time as they promised they would)
- Bolsters team-work & creativity
So how should a Sales Manager Do Sales Motivation Right?
- Be Genuine : This means giving genuine feedback and praise using the best of intentions. No manipulations- like telling someone s/he is doing well when s/he is not, and vice versa. The best sales managers understand the place and purpose of appropriate praise and motivation. It is always an accelerator of good behavior.
- Align the Motivation with your business goals & priorities : this is simple, but can be quite complicated in implementation. If you want to motivate people to make more sales calls, understand that the behaviors they need to exhibit is different from if you want them to just focus on closing sales. When launching a new product or entering into a new market, both require different routes and types of motivation.
- Recognize that Individual Sales People Are Unique : They come with different personalities, mindsets, and approaches to achieving the same task- bring in the numbers. The wise sales manager will have to take this into consideration as you plan the sales Motivation. What motivates some may not work for others.
- Use technology : Having a technology system, like ZOHO Motivator or Amazon Contest creator can simplify your ability to stimulate and regard the right winning behaviors.
- Motivate often : It was the great Zig Ziglar who said that a dose of Sales Motivation is like having your bath daily, and you need to have this everyday. So there is a place for frequency in Sales motivation because it wears out.
- Recognize the limitations of Sales Motivation : Sales Motivation can never be an alternative to skills, process or tools. In addition, there is a simple admission that sometimes a manager’s best efforts at sales motivation will, well…simply fail. Yes. That happens too, and for many reasons. Sometimes it is is as simple as having someone who is an unwilling horse, so even if dragged to the flowing stream of sales motivation, they will still not drink. At other times it could be as simple as recognizing that your A-star players may work better as self-motivators, they are able to wind-up their own springs and push themselves through the lows. When that’s the case, all you need to do as a sales manager is to get out of their way and get obstacles out of their way.
- Know that it is not all about carrots : Sticks do motivate too, so you may need to work towards a good balance here. Design your motivation program and routine to have elements of both, but sing the carrots to high heavens.
- Communicate! Communicate!! Communicate!! : A good motivation plan or program is powered by excellent communication. People need to have clarity about what they’ve done or need to do to to earn the object of motivation.
- Use Events : No matter the size of your sales team, an internal sales-focussed event done right delivers a lot of value for the sales manager. Whether it is a small team offsite meeting or a big national sales conference attended by your sales team from across all geographies, the effect of a break in the revenue routine on the psyche and engagement of sales people can be impactful. We recommend that you consider a sales kick-off meeting event to start the year.