Finding new ways to motivate your sales team can be challenging.
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You've got a great commission plan, but what else can you do to create a healthy selling environment for the sales reps in your business?
Financial incentives play a major role in motivating sales personnel. But commissions can't get the job done by themselves. In fact, only one out of three sales professionals views financial compensation as their sole motivation for selling. To reach the majority of salespeople, you need to dig deeper and tap into the factors that really excite sales teams.
The Personal Touch
Your sales team is comprised of individuals who have different needs and agendas. The incentives that motivate some of your team members might not motivate others. Successful sales managers make time to find out what motivates each person on their sales team. They go out of their way to build relationships through one-on-one interactions and accompanying them on sales at periodic intervals.
A personalized approach also gives managers the opportunity to solicit feedback from everyone on the sales team – not just the top sellers. When team members feel like their manager is listening to them, they usually work harder to achieve team goals.
Certain sales managers consciously create work environments characterized by fear and insecurity. Instead of encouraging their workers, these managers subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) communicate a "Sell or else" message to their employees. The end product of this management style is a team of reps who are so obsessed with job security that they can't focus on selling.
Managers need to clearly communicate their desire to see their employees succeed. Through personal interaction, successful managers dialogue with their reps about the individual's performance, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. If the individual needs to improve in a specific area, reps appreciate it when the manager connects him with the proper resources and training. If the individual isn't meeting sales goals, the manager can go over the company's financials or strategic plan and show the rep why his goals are an important part of the big picture. The bottom line is that the more you can do to reinforce individual team members, the more motivated they will be to sell.
Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done. So it makes sense that personal recognition is a motivating factor for most sales professionals. If your incentive program only recognizes the company's top-seller, you're missing opportunities to recognize everyone else who worked hard to achieve their goals.
Your objective should be to make the most of every opportunity to enhance each team member's self-esteem, particularly as they make headway toward reaching their goals. That begins by setting achievable goals and encouraging them when they reach important benchmarks. You might also want to consider multiplying the effectiveness of personal recognition by hosting company-wide events that celebrate individual benchmarks.