A motivated sales team is a productive sales team. Improving motivation has long been a primary focus in the sales department because it translates into higher drive and increased revenue. But too often managers think monetary compensation is the ultimate motivator. For some, it is; however, many people are motivated through other means.
The first step in motivating a sales team is understanding that salespeople have different motivators, which has to be accounted for in your strategy. Motivation isn’t one-size-fits-all. The best comp plans utilize several strategies to motivate sales stars, core performers, and stragglers.
When you include a mix of motivators, your incentive plans will pay off.
One effective tool for sales motivation is a live leaderboard. Instead of noting gains on a whiteboard, you can use a real-time online system to show the sales team where everyone stands. Hoopla has taken this concept one step further by allowing complete customization. Managers can set goals and parameters while the sales team members create their own unique profiles that are displayed on monitors around the office.
Live leaderboards add a high level of transparency and let team members see where they stand at a glance. Have multiple offices? The online leaderboard can also sync data from multiple locations into one portal.
Bring in Motivational Speakers
What better way to get motivated than by listening to a motivational speaker? A good motivational speaker has a natural talent for lighting a fire in other people. They can provide an outside perspective that helps a sales team approach their goals in a new way. Hire a highly successful motivational speaker and they can serve as an example of what can be achieved. Their own struggles and successes are motivation for team members that may be struggling themselves or need inspiration to keep improving.
Listen to Their Ideas
Everyone likes to be heard. One big reason employees say they aren’t engaged at work is they feel like they are just a piece of the puzzle without a voice. It comes as no surprise that managers have the highest engagement levels because they are the ones calling the shots.
Simply listening to your sales team members and asking their opinion on matters can make a world of difference. Showing that you value their input will make employees feel like they are part of the bigger picture and contributing beyond making sales. They’ll feel like they’re making a difference in how the company operates, which is more impactful than hitting their numbers for the month.
Publically Reward Big Accomplishments
Getting recognition for hard work and achievements is a serious motivator. The opposite is also true. A good salesperson that is continuously making progress but not acknowledged may lose their motivation because they feel like no one is paying attention.
Public recognition and reward helps to reinforce that an employee’s hard work was worth it. It clearly shows that their efforts aren’t being overlooked and are appreciated. This is a powerful motivator because the employee experiences the achievement all over again. The ultimate public recognition is a promotion or advancement in the company, but there are many other smaller ways to recognize outstanding performance, such as a competition.
Competitions and Prizes
Many salespeople are highly competitive. Creating competition feeds into that natural inclination to win. The one caveat is competitions have to be structured so that more than just the superstar salespeople (who may already be highly motivated) win the prizes and recognition.
This can be done by offering different tiers of prizes for different performance levels. That way the core salespeople are still motivated to compete even if they believe a star salesperson will take home the top prize. And it’s important to offer prizes in lieu of cash. People put their own value on prizes, but cash has an undeniable monetary value. The lower tier prizes can be seen to offer the same level of value if they aren’t a direct comparison to the top tier prizes.
These five motivation-building strategies are good additions to any comp plan. But as noted already, motivators are unique to each employee and organization. Increasing motivation and productivity is a matter of finding solutions that fit your sales team.