How To Motivate Your Sales Team

Getting the most out of your sales team is the goal of every manager – or at least, it should be! For some it comes naturally, but for others, learning how to motivate your sales team is something that has to be worked on and honed over time.

It would be easy to think that all sales people are motivated by money. After all, it is not unusual for a sales person to risk a more stable salary, in favour of performance related bonuses or other rewards. However, it can be argued that whilst a sales person may accept a role based on compensation, it is not the reason they remain or achieve at a high level. There must be a series of motivating factors – some of which are highlighted throughout the post below:

THE IMPORTANCE OF MOTIVATION IN A SALES ENVIRONMENT

It has been said that sales are the life blood of any organisation. Without the income and revenue generated by consistent sales, a company will fail to achieve the growth required to survive in today’s economy. By working together to increase brand awareness and drive sales forward, the sales team can exponentially grow revenue and play a crucial role in ensuring a business’ success.

TYPES OF MOTIVATION

There are two types of motivation to consider:

  • Extrinsic: Extrinsic motivation refers to behaviours that are influenced by external rewards, such as bonuses or compensation. They are the easiest to achieve and most commonly used within a work environment, but are not long lasting.
  • Intrinsic: Intrinsic motivation refers to factors which internally motivate someone. For instance, a clear sense of purpose towards a cause you care about.

Different types of motivation benefit people in unique ways. Whilst there is a time and place that is most suited to each type, both are needed to successfully motivate your sales team.

HOW DO I LEVERAGE THIS INTO THE WORKPLACE?

To create a unified, cohesive and truly motivated team, you need to discover what really drives them. Conduct one to one sessions with your team to find out more about what their motives are. By leveraging individual motivations in your coaching strategies and incentives plans you show your team that your willing to put in an effort to thank them for their hard work.

WHAT TYPE OF QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK?

Aask questions that discuss each team members values, goals and motivations. keep the questions simple and just listen. Let them answer and try not to guide them.

  • Reputation – What type of sales person do you want to be known as?
  • Dynamics – What type of team dynamic would you like to see?
  • Enjoyment – What makes sales enjoyable for you?
  • Aims – What are your personal and professional goals?
  • Future – What position would you like to be in 5 years time?
  • Importance – What is the most important thing in your life? How do we help you achieve more of it?
  • Motivates – What inwardly motivates you?
  • Help – How can we help you achieve satisfaction beyond salary and bonuses?

NOW I KNOW WHAT MOTIVATES MY TEAM, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Now you need to implement them into your teams working environment. Here are several employee motivation ideas you can implement in your workplace to support productivity and job satisfaction:

IMPLEMENT A REWARDS SYSTEM

Depending on your position and budget, you may adopt one or even several types of reward system, with compensation, recognition, benefits and appreciation all being viable options. Recognition and appreciation are the fastest and most cost-effective rewards you can adopt.

For example, you might send a personal thank you note or email to an employee who has performed especially well or has received positive feedback from a client or colleague. For a great group effort, you might consider offering a team to lunch to celebrate and recognize their efforts when they achieve certain goals on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis.

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KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN

Communication is a key component of employee motivation. It allows individuals to know exactly how they are performing against expectations. It also removes ambiguity about goals, priorities, how to complete tasks and how to work together.

  • Touch points: Scheduling one to one touch points with each team member allows for updates and concerns to be discussed. These can be suited to each individuals needs and be conducted weekly, monthly or quarterly.
  • Office hours: Have a block of time set aside once a week where employees can come to you with questions, ideas or complaints. These are a way for your employees to feel comfortable talking to you in private without having to schedule extra time with you.
  • Feedback: Ask for feedback regarding your role as a supervisor, how the team is functioning and how the team works with other groups. You might consider building this into performance reviews on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Having a clear path of progression is essential for lasting career motivation. There are many different options that provide career advancement:

  • Online or in-person training
  • Third party professional workshops
  • Mentorship or career shadowing programs
  • Performance reviews
  • Development stipends for resources (books, audio books, podcasts etc)
  • Attendance at relevant conferences

It is important to nurture your teams potential and clearly communicate all the resources your team has at their disposal. Employees who feel like they have the opportunity to move forward in their careers are typically more motivated.

PICK WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR TEAM

Managers have a wide variety of responsibilities and different types of workplace require different motivation techniques, which is why it is important to select a strategy that works for your team.

If you learn what motivates your team, you can offer them incentives that far outweigh cash or bonusesallowing you to recruit, hire, and retain your top talent. It takes time and effort, but it may be the most important conversations that you have as a manager.

Further Reading

Sales Leaders – More Effective Hiring

A Guide For Sales People – How To Deal With Difficult Customer

Copeland are UK automotive industry recruiters who find you industry expert candidates and reduce hiring times – focusing on quality over quantity. 

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