Incentivizing Success – Strategies to Motivate Your Sales Team


Many companies use cash sales incentives to motivate their teams. But what if you want to do something more creative?

Salespeople want to be incentivized on their own terms. They want choice, flexibility, and quality time with their family. Here are some of the ways you can do just that.

1. Rewards

Even the most passionate salespeople occasionally need extra motivation to get out of bed and crush their goals. A pat on the back might do the trick sometimes, but finding unique ways to reward your team for their efforts can make all the difference.

Cash is always a crowd-pleaser, and offering salespeople bonuses for hitting or exceeding their targets can be a powerful incentive to keep them going. This is especially useful during slower times of the year when salespeople may need a bit more push to close deals.

Other types of monetary sales incentives include commissions, salary increases, and shares of company profits from each deal. These types of incentives can also be a great way to motivate salespeople to work hard, but they’re usually given in addition to a standard compensation plan.

A non-cash sales incentive can be just as effective at motivating your team, particularly if it’s something that your team members would want to have or use personally. For example, a gym membership or access to a popular fitness class can be a fantastic incentive that helps improve a rep’s health and well-being and provides them with a work-life balance.

For some high-performing salespeople, the most valuable incentive is a chance to learn or grow professionally. Providing them with opportunities like lunch with the CEO is a great way to show your appreciation and help them reach their career goals.

Choosing the right perks can be challenging, but plenty of creative and fun options are available. For example, a prime parking spot is a practical but luxurious reward that can help a rep save money on transportation and reduce stress. A set of noise-canceling headphones is another affordable and thoughtful option that can help a rep focus better.

2. Recognition

Anyone in sales knows it can be challenging to stay motivated day in and day out. The profession often leads to rejection, frustration, anger, and confusion, which can wear on employees. Even top performers can get demotivated. That’s why it’s important to find ways to recognize their accomplishments in a way that will boost morale and keep them focused on achieving set goals.

One of the best ways to do this is by giving them personal rewards in person. This type of recognition will make them feel like their supervisor notices their hard work and cares about their success. They can also be encouraged to learn new things that will help them perform better. Whether learning new sales skills, marketing strategies, grooming, or something else, an investment in their growth will pay off in the long run.

Another thing to remember is that people tend to prefer experiences versus material items. When an employee is rewarded with a trip or a fancy dinner, they will remember the experience and the positive behavior that led to it for years to come.

Finally, it’s important to recognize the core performers in a sales team. They are the ones who keep the company going, and they need to know that their efforts are appreciated. This can be done by highlighting them in meetings and publications and giving them written or verbal praise.

It’s also a good idea to help them map the path of their career trajectory. For instance, you can offer to send them to an industry conference or other leadership training classes. Seeing their long-term career progression will help them stay motivated to take risks and act boldly for the company.

3. Training

Having a clear understanding of what motivates your sales team is critical. A growing body of research shows that different types of salespeople require different motivations to make their numbers — for example, stars appear to be able to knock down any target and may stop working if they feel like a ceiling is being imposed, while laggards need more guidance and prodding (carrots as well as sticks).

One strategy that can help to motivate your sales team is training. This can include a range of options, from classroom-style training to online courses and virtual meetings. Training provides a way for employees to improve their skills, increasing confidence and leading to improved results.

Another great strategy to encourage your sales team is rewarding wins. This could be anything from an afternoon of golf to a nice dinner with the team, but it can also include sharing key performance metrics in company-wide meetings. Increasing transparency can help to build trust, which can help boost productivity and team morale.

If your sales team is feeling overwhelmed, try to find ways to reduce the workload. This can be done by scheduling time each week for one-on-one meetings with each rep to discuss what they’re struggling with and what steps you might take together to overcome these obstacles.

Finally, encourage your sales team to use setbacks as learning opportunities. This might be as simple as asking them to review the details of a deal that went bad or as complex as providing them with a course of action to take if they face similar challenges in the future. This can help them build trust in their abilities, which is key to motivating them to continue taking risks for the company.

4. Flexibility

With more people working remotely than ever before, it’s important to give your team the flexibility they need. Flexible work isn’t just a benefit that attracts and retains top talent, it’s also proven to increase productivity. A study found that employees with remote work options were 33% more likely to hit their quotas than those who did not have access to remote work.

If you’re not already offering a flexible work option, consider making it one of your sales incentive strategies. When you give your team the freedom to work when and how they want, they’ll be able to focus on their jobs without feeling distracted by other tasks or personal obligations.

Another great way to motivate your sales team is by giving them more freedom to choose their own rewards. Allowing them to choose a gift card or event tickets can be a fun way to reward their hard work. It’s also a great way to encourage a new culture of recognition within your company. You could even make it a policy to announce the winner of each month’s award in company meetings or via email.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that the best way to reward your team is by giving them opportunities to grow in their roles. Providing them with leadership opportunities will improve their resume and give them the confidence that they can step up to a more challenging role when the time comes. It’s an effective way to show that you care about your salespeople and are invested in their future career paths. It’s also a way to encourage a sense of unity and collaboration among your salespeople.

5. Recognition

In addition to incentives, salespeople are often motivated by the desire to be recognized for their achievements. This does not mean throwing a party every time they land a meeting but acknowledging even small accomplishments with written or verbal praise can boost morale. It also helps to emphasize that the company values its contributions.

Another way to recognize your team is by providing experiences they will remember rather than material goods. For example, if you have several high performers in your sales organization, consider sending them to industry conferences or leadership training courses that will allow them to expand their knowledge base and gain new skills, which will improve their performance in the long run.

Sometimes, your salespeople might feel distracted or demotivated because they don’t feel connected to the company’s mission. You may be able to identify the root cause of this problem by conducting a survey that asks your salespeople what is most important to them in their work and then find ways to align their daily activities with those goals.

One unique way to motivate your salespeople is by allowing them to choose their own incentives. In fact, an Aberdeen study found that companies that let their employees pick their own incentives saw 33% more salespeople hit quota and 23% higher team quota attainment rates. You should also incorporate recognition into your one-on-ones and feedback meetings so that you can ensure that all of your salespeople are being recognized in a way that will inspire them. In addition, make sure that you are recognizing your top performers as often as you are recognizing your laggards. This will help to prevent your best salespeople from fading away due to burnout.

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