Sales managers often motivate their sales people with one off incentives and sales contests that award cash prizes. This is a tried and tested sales motivation strategy, and monetary rewards generally produce results.
Well … sort of.
The problem is that they don’t really motivate the entire sales force … only the top performers who are the ones most likely to win. And while it’s good to motivate your rock stars, the top line would be better served by getting everyone striving for the prize.
So if monetary prizes don’t do the trick, what does? Here are five more motivation tactics business owners and managers can use to fire up their entire team.
1. Provide coaching.
Firstly, “Coaching” and “Feedback” aren’t the same thing. While feedback (good or bad) is valuable for the employee, it’s rarely motivating. Coaching, on the other hand, can be really motivational provided it’s presented correctly. Instead of providing coaching to every employee like it’s no big deal, frame it in such a way that the employee understands its value.
For example, instead of simply saying “Let’s put some coaching time in your calendar,” position it as something specific to the individual: “I’d love to coach you in X area. You could test some different approaches on me and I can share a few insights I have. Together, we can figure out what works best for you. Would that be beneficial?”
Coaching gives sales people the opportunity to try out different sales techniques in a safe environment, and this can be extremely motivating. It also gives a strong message that different sales people find some sales techniques more valuable than others.
2. Use leadership.
First, encourage leaders in the company to donate their time and resources that you can then dangle as a prize. Second, extend leadership privileges to high-achieving reps. Try these out…
Your boss will do your calls. Try a sales contest where the prize or mid-way bonus is … you! You will work for the leading rep for a few hours doing whatever they direct you to … calls, demos, presentations, etc. Not only does this motivate your team, but it also shows you aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches. Plus, it can be fun.
The boss will take you out to lunch. Most sales people crave one-on-one time with a senior leader to share their thoughts and get an inside look into company strategy.
Present at the next sales meeting. Ask a high-performing sales person to present an innovative tactic or new approach at the next sales meeting. This kills three birds with one stone; you’re celebrating the sales person, their colleagues see that individuals who do well will earn prestige, and you can delegate some of the responsibility of leading the meeting.
3. Bring in clients.
Your clients possess incredible motivational power. Bring customers into the office or arrange conference calls so sales people can hear how the product they sell is changing someone’s life.
Invite customers to team meetings or events to chat with the sales team about how they’re using your offering, why they chose it over the competition, and what they liked and didn’t like about your sales process. Allow for some Q&A where the team can ask questions that will help them optimise their process or messaging.
Not only does this client face time reaffirm to sales people why they do what they do, but it also reminds them that it’s all about the customer. After spending some time with clients, they’ll be excited to get back on the phones and start selling.
4. Invest in training.
Help your sales people continue with their personal growth and learning. If there’s a class or course your sales person is interested in, give them the day off to attend. This will encourage them to keep learning and develop their personal and technical skills.
5. Provide additional opportunities.
If a sales person is performing particularly well, provide them with new opportunities. For example, you could give a high performing sales person a lead from a different region or territory to test their skills and keep them challenged.
Sales motivation doesn’t have to carry a price tag. The most motivating moments are literally priceless.