How to motivate your sales team?

How to motivate your sales team?

If sales force motivation were easy everybody would be doing it and doing it well. Every company that needs a sales manager has one but how good are they? Managing sales representatives (reps) is a lot harder than managing staff in other departments because the level of immediacy required is continuous, i.e. every day something is happening in business, or there should be, that needs your assistance, support or coaching. In my experience, very few sales managers get top marks because it is an incessantly demanding job.

How to motivate? Just as you employ people to utilise their people skills to sell your product or service to your customers, you need to use the same tactics to motivate (sell the need to sell) your sales team. What am I talking about???

Do you use the same process to sell Product X to every customer? I hope not as every customer is different and you will experience greater success if you vary your sales process according to your customer’s personalities and buying processes. CLICK HERE Likewise, you know where I am going now I am sure, every sales team member needs to be understood by their manager and motivated accordingly.

Reps vary in their motivational requirements, and of course these needs are not only variable between reps, but within reps depending on their current status in terms of emotional state and their security stemming from their sales for the year to date. Some prefer to be in contact for a reassuring chat every couple of days, others prefer to be left alone, some are motivated by cash incentives, some by a reward that pleases their partner, e.g. a trip for two, and others by receiving some praise, a pat on the back or compliments or thanks directly from their manager. Many prefer a combination of these. It is of particular importance to be supportive of your sales team when the numbers are down. If morale is down the likelihood of finding, let alone closing a deal, can also drop.

Of course, we can’t say “Well done” to one rep for selling a million dollar machine and give another rep a $10,000 bonus. Both would receive a bonus and praise, but attention to detail re the different needs of some can mean the difference in motivating your sales team as effectively as possible. Although you may believe e.g. praise is easy or worth little, it is important to recognise its importance for some of your staff and behave accordingly.

The rep that does not need managing and prefers not to be reporting all the time but selling instead is a manager’s nightmare. He may be selling well but a manager’s job is to know what all his staff team are doing and the challenges they are up against. Market knowledge is important for the entire sales team. There needs to be a compromise here; hopefully, both rep and manager will have their needs satisfied.  A commitment needs to be made for the good of the sales team and a possible compromise is a promise to meet with this person less often as long as it meets the manager’s requirements?

Management, like selling, requires work with a range of variable “clients” but when done well brings in much larger sales.