A successful salesperson is a driven individual. The eagerness, willingness to seize opportunities, and stubborn persistence are what distinguish an excellent salesman from an average one in your workplace. These traits require fuel to keep the salespeople working at their highest level. This fuel is motivation and exists in many forms tied to incentives and rewards for a job well done.
Researchers have been analyzing the company's sales and pay data and conducting experiments involving actual salespeople for many years now. It cover's everything from wages, compensation to personality development to understand what motivates and pushes salespeople.
As a leader, you can only influence your team's sales performance in two dimensions: Their skill set, which is - what they can do, and their motivation - how repeatedly or passionately they do it.
Improving your team's skill set is a practical, step-wise objective process. By evaluating performance metrics, comparing them with previous records, you can diagnose what areas need improvement and act accordingly.
But motivation is far more complicated. Not only are there are many external factors that affect motivation, every person requires different incentives and motivational tactics. Quarterly performance and over-achievement bonuses help to keep salespeople engaged through the year.
The research also suggests that it is crucial to pay attention to the timing of bonus distribution. A reward that is given at the end of a period is more motivating than one given at the beginning. Managers should be careful in adjusting and setting quotas as per revenue gained every year.
It's a no-brainer that motivated sales teams to enjoy their work more and do their job better, resulting in a healthier bottom line. Happiness at work can be elusive, yet we can take numerous practical steps to encourage it.
These are some steps that you can take as a leader to keep motivating and pushing your sales team forward:
Public displays of appreciation
An essential determinant for happiness on the job is whether you feel appreciated for your work.
Appreciation is a cornerstone of any organizational strategy to encourage motivation at work. Show your sales staff that you care about them. You can take some of these steps:
- Just celebrating big milestones is not enough; celebrate the small ones
- Give specific compliments
- Tell employees you trust them, then back up your words by showing employees you trust them
- Have an open-door policy to encourage transparency and openness
- Every month have an appreciation day for employees who do not necessarily have that month's best sales.
- Give appreciation awards
Set a destination, not a path
We all love the feeling of ownership; it is essential to give employees a sense of ownership over their projects. This is by setting a goal for your salespeople but trust them to decide what and when work needs to be done to achieve the goal.
Transparency between employee and boss
A sense of ownership can be a huge motivation for your employee. Whenever a new project arises, the team leader should be given primary responsibility for it. Giving team members a chance to run the project builds a sense of ownership and team.
Routine comes with the cost of employees not being satisfied with their work. There is a trade-off for the goals of efficiency. It comes at the price of decreased employee happiness.
If there are monotonous daily tasks, it is best to identify them and automate them.
Automate to save time
Take control of your workday with these time-saving sales tactics that will focus your meetings and calls, and help you tackle admin tasks. Using CRM softwares like Deskera CRM, helps with automating many of the sales tasks and your sales team.
Money does bring happiness
Non-financial drivers are definitely crucial to employee happiness. However, a regular paycheck certainly motivates a large percentage of employees. The top factor that motivates employees and makes them happy is money and compensation.
Even if your team is earning well, there will be moments in people's careers when nothing matters to them more than the benefits your company provides.
Benefits such as wellness programs, healthcare insurance, child care assistance, healthcare, vacation time, nutrition counseling, vision insurance, employee discounts matter equally.
Positive workplace interactions play a key role in their satisfaction. Saying thank you and explaining why you are grateful goes a long way in improving employee perceptions of the workplace.
Some are afraid to mention to their colleagues that some meetings are simply a waste of time. Fewer but more structured meetings are the solution to this issue. He also says that it is essential for companies to encourage employees to have more downtime so they can network.
Keep expectations clear
Uncertainty at work, especially when it is related to what is expected of you, can be frustrating and demoralizing. It is essential to clearly communicate with your employees on what you expect of them. It would be best to check in with your direct reports. Is there a possibility that they are unclear of what is expecting of them?
Know thy sales team
Understanding the individuals in your team and their personality types will help you keep them happy and meet their needs. You should take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.
Keep a positive work culture
A workplace committed to encouraging happiness will not only lead to increased revenue and productivity. It also results in a dynamic culture where your coworkers will look forward to coming to work. Money talks. But a positive and happy culture keeps the sales team motivated.
Give work deeper meaning
True motivation comes from understanding the social purpose of your product or service and the impact it has on people and communities. What can help is when you collect customer reviews and stories on what they have achieved. Existing customer's story about how your product or service made their lives easier gives new customers faith in your product.
Make people feel valued
Most people need to find meaning in their work to feel motivated and to know that their work is valued by their company or boss. Praise and encouragement are a good start. Explaining how the work they have matters is a stronger finish. You can do this by:
- Inviting them to get involved in decision making
- Create flexible work arrangements
- Offer growth and advancement opportunities
- Compensate fairly and adequately
- Offer rewards beyond cash – time off, public recognition, opportunities to share, etc.
Emphasize collaboration before competition
Salespeople are usually competitive by nature. Sometimes too much competition with each other can actually create negative motivation. It can drive them to disregard or resent their colleagues.
Fostering collaboration above competition is better at keeping everyone motivated. The goal is to compete against competitors and not each other.
Encourage and recognize initiative
Always encourage salespeople to share ideas to grow business. Give them the opportunity to try their ideas. Reward idea generation to increase market share and find new customers.
Team building activities
Team-building activities generally generate excitement. Research proves that activities together actually work at improving morale and employee retention. Get the team to have fun, interact and naturally build skills.
Guide their career
To motivate salespeople, link their today's activities to tomorrow's career. Help them map the steps towards their career goals. A defined growth path helps salespeople have a vision on how to grow.
Salespeople are motivated if they are given a chance to learn more about their product, industry, services, products, customers, and other subjects that will help them do better at work and in life. Encourage them to learn more. Steer them to relevant webinars and podcasts. Give them books.
Be a committed strategic coach
Sales managers are usually salespeople's foremost coaches. The best way to motivate salespeople is by showing a commitment to coaching them. Spend time on praising, developing, and improving their skills.
Foster critical relationships
Bringing groups together to find better ways to communicate, collaborate on customer-focused projects more often, and celebrate group victories helps foster better relationships. Sales leaders need to help salespeople and other departments achieve higher morale by improving inter-department relations.
Manage with flexibility
To motivate salespeople, you need to manage them in a way that fits with his or her work style. Every human has different ideas on how they like to be managed. Talking to them one on one, understanding their values and basic needs for growth in life will help you have an individualized and personalized approach to manage them.
Salespeople have hectic jobs and lives. This can cause them to be burnt out. It can lead to a bad balance of nutrition, exercise, and sleep. It can cause even the best to lose motivation.
Sales leaders need to keep a watchful eye on their team member's health. Encourage them to take time to maintain mental health, exercise, and unwind in their favorite, healthy ways. Provide healthy food onsite and connect them with information about their on-the-go nutrition.
To summerize the steps we can take to motivate our sales team are:
- Show public displays of appreciation
- Set goals and a career path
- Increase transparency between employee and boss
- Enhance the efficiency of work
- Automate daily tasks to save time
- Motivate with money and compensation
- Providing benefits for employees
- Show gratitude to the team
- Fewer meetings
- Keep expectations clear
- Know your sales team members
- Keep a positive work culture
- Give work deeper meaning
- Make people feel valued
- Emphasize collaboration before competition
- Encourage and recognize initiative
- Encourage team building activities
- Guide their career growth
- Keep a learning Curve for growth
- Be a committed strategic coach
- Foster critical relationships within teams
- Manage your sales team by giving you flexibility
- Fuel them by taking care of their health