Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Motivating salespeople, part of Sales Management Foundations.
- For most people, the idea of being a salesperson is a scary proposition. But believe me, sales is a rewarding and exciting career. I've seen many former corporate colleagues of mine, as well as my students, go into the sales profession and they never come out, they like it that much. But the hardest part of the job is how to stay motivated, and that's where you, the sales manager, come in. Creating competency means hiring and training great salespeople, but it also means keeping them motivated.
Now, why motivate? It creates enthusiasm for the job, and reduces job turnover. Motivated reps are more productive, and more confident in their ability to accomplish the sales task. Motivated reps get less frustrated, and they stay on track to get the job done. The most successful sales managers use a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to motivate salespeople. Intrinsic rewards include giving reps autonomy and freedom to do their jobs, reminding them that they're selling interesting and useful products that help their customers, and giving them a sense that the company is loyal to them.
Extrinsic rewards can be both financial and non-financial, and these include salary and bonuses, sales awards like rings and plaques, special titles like Senior Sales Rep, and just a good old pat on the back. Sales reps are very motivated by recognition as it reinforces their choice to work hard. Sometimes the lack of recognition can be just as powerful when a rep sees his colleagues winning sales awards and he hasn't.
Schedule regular events to recognize successful reps in front of others. Arrange to have the senior leaders in your company, especially the CEO, take the time to visit with the top reps and thank them. Reps want to feel useful, important, and worthwhile, so get them involved in things like your training programs. Invite them to important sales planning meetings, have them mentor newly hired sales reps, or perhaps ask them to be part of a sales advisory council for your company.
Another great way to motivate sales reps is to conduct sales contests. These are short-term incentive programs that award prizes to reps that achieve specific sales targets. A contest should have a clear purpose, and they're usually designed to have the sales team do something they're not doing now. Perhaps something outside of the sales task, but important to the company. These might include getting new accounts, selling certain products, or gathering specific types of information from the market.
For many reps, the best motivation of all comes from customer feedback. It's very powerful because it reminds the rep of the direct impact of his or her efforts. Now here's a tip, next time you have a sales award meeting, invite the winning rep's customer to the event to say a few words about the rep, and to personally hand over the award. Now that will put a smile on the rep's face for sure. Oh, and there's another important benefit to motivating your sales reps.
If you've selected and trained talented salespeople, keeping them motivated is the best way to assure your success.
- Acquiring talent
- Motivating your salespeople
- Forecasting sales performance
- Setting quotas
- Evaluating and compensating salespeople