Share this article
Your sales team is the face of your company. Your sales force develops your most loyal clients and turns new prospects into clients.
But sales is hard!
The role challenges your representatives and Sales Managers’ confidence and can drain their energy.
How do you motivate your sales team and maintain its motivation to get the best results?
Different things motivate different people: money, recognition, or even fear of losing their job. Motivation is also a moving target. As a leader, it’s difficult to create an environment that will appeal to everyone, so it’s your job to find what motivates each employee. Motivation usually has two elements: fear and desire!
Restructure the compensation plan
The sales compensation plan is an important part of motivation as it relates to sales performance.
More often than not, you’ll see a compensation plan compiling all the concessions given over the years. In the end, this plan is more difficult for your sales force to understand than it is a motivational tool.
If that sound like your plan, it's better to take a step back and rewrite it from scratch. To begin this process, analyze the situation carefully so you can fix your compensation plan permanently!
Ask yourself some questions about your current compensation plan:
- Does your plan attract and retain top salespeople?
- Is your compensation plan aligned with the company’s strategies?
- Does your plan make your salespeople want more?
- Does your plan allow you to adapt to the changes in the motivation of your salespeople?
- Finally, does your compensation plan help you sustain steady growth?
If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, your compensation plan isn’t bringing out the best in your players.
Know every employee’s personal goals
In addition to reviewing your compensation plan, motivate your team by taking the time to learn more about their objectives. Money is not always an end in itself. More often than not, motivation comes from gifts, recognition, rewards, satisfaction in one’s job, and the most important source is usually the personal goals your representatives set for themselves.
Ask members of your sales team what they want. Ask them where they see themselves later in life and offer them incentives to help them achieve their goals. Offer daily recognition for their performance and the times they meet or exceed expectations, or do something as simple as mentioning a member’s success in front of the rest of the team during a meeting.
As CEO, VP, or Sales Manager, it's part of your role to show your team that you care about them and that you are attentive; this will help you keep your sales force motivated.
Replace the bottom 10%
Finally, if you’ve done everything you can to motivate your sales team and nothing has changed for some of them, it’s time to evaluate individual performances and dismiss the bottom 10%.
You can’t have salespeople who want to remain in a state of conditional commitment regarding success -- people who will only do what they are comfortable or in agreement with. You need salespeople who want to be the best; individuals who aim to become the next sales superstar and who are ready to do whatever it takes (legally and ethically) to get there.
You can usually discern those who want to succeed from those who are just looking for extra money in their pocket.
Naturally, in dismissing the least performing salespeople, there will be a positive impact on the motivation of those other salespeople who will want to excel, for fear of being the next ones to be dismissed.
In conclusion, you can motivate through fear and desire. Are your salespeople afraid of losing their jobs due to lack of performance (a little fear is always good)? Conversely, do they have the desire to be the best and feel appreciated and recognized?
As CEO, VP, or good Sales Manager, it is essential to understand the necessity of creating a working environment that meets your employees’ needs. You have to develop and maintain a company people want to be a part of.