8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How to Motivate Your Sales Team

The following approaches providing reward and support can help you do more with less in the daily push to motivate your sales team.

Rhys Metler

A good compensation plan and periodic incentives can not motivate your sales team if these resources are not also supported by efforts that reward and support sales people on a more personal level. Verbal or public recognition are the most common forms of identifying when your sales team and individual sales people have made a positive contribution, but these recognitions alone will not provide the stimulus you need to really motivate your sales team. The following approaches providing reward and support can help you do more with less in the daily push to motivate your sales team.

Set Individual Goals for Improvement

When you need to motivate your sales team you need to motivate every sales person. This is not possible if the sales people who need the most motivation are not sure where to focus their energies because they are not sure where their sales hang-ups are. Work on a one-on-one basis with those who need motivation the most to pinpoint where their sales are struggling, and devise strategies to overcome the problems that are holding back their sales.

  • Are they generating or following up on enough leads to fill the sales pipeline?
  • Are they following a rubric to qualify prospects to avoid wasting selling time?
  • Are they managing their time to maximize selling opportunities?

Though there are many reasons that an individual may be falling short, if you know that the individual has what it takes to sell the above three issues are the most common problems that hold potential performers back. Work through these issues and you will find it becomes that much easier to motivate your sales team as all sales people will know what to do to get sales done.

Avoid the Order Taking Mentality

The order taking mentality can strike even top performers if a confluence of events makes repeat sales the norm. The sales person who falls into this pattern may not even be aware that he or she has fallen prey, since the sales are still coming in. The order taking mentality can make an appearance in your sales force if any of the following are true:

  • If your compensation plan places equal emphasis on orders to existing and new clients
  • If orders to existing clients have become the norm or the simpler solution due to market conditions in your industry
  • If sales people tend to work alone, rather than pursuing high-value team sales

The solution to motivate your sales team in these circumstances is to take away the mentality of taking orders and replace it with the thrill of making high-value, high-benefit sales. If necessary, adjust your compensation plan and make a return to encouraging collaboration towards ground-breaking sales to motivate your sales team while refreshing your team’s instincts.

Get Your Sales Team Focused on the Long Term

You can leverage small inspirations to motivate your sales team on a daily basis, not least by setting an example with your own positive attitude. However, if you want to motivate your sales team while reducing your organization’s reliance on quick fix incentives, you must get your sales team to focus on the long term. Lead your sales people to a way of thinking about the long term benefits of performance, such as:

  • How long term company performance will benefit their compensation, especially if stock options are (or may become in the future) part of the compensation plan
  • How their careers can grow with the business based on personal performance
  • Other ways that strong performance can be reinvested for later dividends

Sales people who are thinking about the long term have a better understanding of what needs to be done to support the business and their own careers, and a stronger appreciation of how their individual contributions will make a positive difference. Paired with other consistent plans to motivate your sales team, this long term focus will help your sales team meet and exceed targets time and again.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.