sales motivation

How To Motivate Your Sales Team

Get creative with contests, commissions and bonuses to inspire your team

Selling is tough —tough on ego, tough on energy levels. This explains why sales professionals are often some of a company’s best-paid employees. But even a high salary is usually not enough to combat steep competition, difficult customers and gloomy prospects.

If compensation was the main motivational factor, then your people would already be performing.  It is critical to identify what excites your people, whether it is cold hard cash, gifts, prestige, recognition or satisfaction. Knowing the driver is crucial. However, there seems to be a common factor amongst sales people. They want to be on top, and they want to be unique. They want to win.

Therefore, when motivating a sales team, you may want to keep the below in mind. 

Make commissions a driving force. To get the results you want, develop a creative commission structure. If you want to push a new product, offer a higher commission for that specific product. Make sure your sales staff are encouraged to land the big fish with proportionally big commissions and the tools to make such closes possible.

Build winning teams not individuals. Creating a sales team whereby there is an incentive for each individual to support, mentor and encourage the other members has proven valuable in many ways.

Build in peer pressure. This is a natural phenomena that you can use to your advantage. Sales people thrive on peer pressure. Publicly posting sales, margins and conversion rates is an excellent motivator.

Get the whole company to support the sale. Remember, the whole organization’s survival depends on the sales department’s success. Sales is everything. Announce competitions and campaigns to the whole firm. Encourage supporting departments, such as customer service, engineering and marketing, to be supportive of the sales team’s efforts.

Find out what makes them tick. How? Ask your sales team what they want. Try new things! Experiment with different bonuses and prizes. Yes, cash is king, though there are a lot more factors and influencers. Sometimes highly luxurious items that are typically not things one would purchase for themselves might be big winners. Other times, the less tangible works.

Keep it coming. The key to consistently and successfully motivating your sales staff is to build a strategy into the daily life of your sales professionals. Small yet frequent tokens of appreciation might include anything from a bottle of wine to a couple of hours of hours off on a Friday. 


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