Sales is the name of the game. It was then, and it is now.
Keeping your sales team motivated in a climate of increased competition couldn’t be any more important to your bottom line. But sales success isn’t the result of magic.
Here’s one simple fact you can take to the bank: You’ll need to constantly adapt and update your strategies. Otherwise, you may walk into the office to find your team twiddling their thumbs and looking for old friends on Facebook.
Getting strong results also takes more than finding a team with fantastic product knowledge and loads of charisma. These sales motivation tips will boost your bottom line—both today and in the future.
1. Hold a contest (yes, a contest)
Salespeople are competitive, and a good old-fashioned contest can really get those competitive juices flowing. Your team members will enjoy challenging themselves and seeing how they stack up against one another. Use this strategy wisely, and you’ll find you are bringing out the best in people.
Don’t worry too much about the prize; it’s more about the process. (Although a big prize will better drive results!) While it can be a little risky to have a more costly giveaway, you will quickly see a healthy return on the investment in the form of increased productivity. Think an iPad, time off, cash (money!), or a vacation package.
Don’t shy away from the proven power of a contest. Most sales professionals thrive in a fun and constantly competitive environment.
2. Pay cold, hard cash
Plain. Simple. Nothing opens up eyes more than dollar signs. Prizes are great, but so are performance-based cash incentives. If a sales person knows that there is a bonus and/or a raise in store when a particular sales goal is reached, you will see a greater effort across the board.
3. Give some recognition
According to a study by The Aberdeen Group, 67 percent of best of class organizations have a recognition program formally in place. Furthermore, companies with recognition programs are far more likely to retain their employees. Those with programs in place are 35 percent more likely to report low turnover levels.
Let your employees know hard work gets noticed and recorded. But here’s the deal: It doesn’t have to be hard. Highlight a top performer in your company newsletter, or recognize this person at the next group meeting. This approach can work not just for your top sales people but also for those who have made the biggest strides in the last month or quarter. A few minutes can go a heck of a long way here.
As the sales manager or leader, it is your job to be proactive about recognition.
You have tremendous power to encourage, recognize, and motivate. It only takes a moment to recognize someone for stellar performance.
4. Party! Celebrate!
Increase your sales team’s sense of community with periodic parties and celebrations of key events. Think of these events as an investment in your workforce. They build community and encourage people to truly feel like a team.
And I’m not talking about a bad catered lunch at the office. Stuffy, in-office work functions aren’t the answer, so pack up and head out. Take an afternoon off to hit a favorite restaurant for happy hour, or treat the team to a baseball game. Pro tip: Have the event during work hours, so your team truly feels treated and not just obligated to hang out with work people…after work.
5. Listen to feedback and do something with it
Listen. Listen. Listen. Then, when you are done listening, listen some more.
Your employees want to be heard. If you want your sales team to feel as though they have a future with your company, then you should take time out to listen to their feedback. Ask for input when you are making key decisions. Be open and share insights into your company so people feel that they are part of something meaningful. This can be over lunch or at a meeting. It’s your job, as a compassionate leader, to show interest and care what they have to say—whether personal or work-related.
Now for the hard work: Implement their feedback. There’s nothing more frustrating for employees than voicing concerns and seeing no action. Implementation will make your employees feel valued, which can only do good for the company’s bottom line.