Every successful business owner knows that the key to a successful and profitable business is a motivated sales team. The problem is finding the right strategy to motivate that team.
The best way to approach and motivate any sales team always begins with understanding each member and then implementing one of the following proven extrinsic or intrinsic strategies.
Who is your sales team?
Before we jump right into the different ways you can motivate your sales team, do you even know who your sales team is? If you want to effectively motivate your sales team, it’s important to understand who each member is, where they are from, and what they enjoy. You could consider this a more humanistic approach.
That being said, take the time to communicate and understand each sales team member. Hold meetings where, rather than discussing quotas and numbers, play icebreaker games, hold raffles, or have a sales team dinner at a local restaurant. Once you can establish who your sales team is and what they care about, it will make it that much easier to connect and motivate.
1 – Gratitude
In recent years, numerous positive psychology studies proclaimed gratitude as one of the best forms of motivation. We all like to be appreciated for the work that we do.
Imagine your sales team as seeds in a fresh pot of soil. Each time you show genuine appreciation for your sales team, it adds water and food to the seeds. In due time, the seeds will perform as predicted—and sometimes they’ll outperform, yielding a bumper crop.
Watch this video on a few statistics from Janice Kaplin’s book, the Gratitude Diaries:
In her book The Gratitude Diaries, Kaplin discusses numerous studies of different businesses that learned very quickly the power of gratitude. One of these businesses is none other than Campbell’s Soup. Then-CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Doug Conant, sent nearly 30,000 handwritten thank-you notes to workers in his company.
As a result, the once worst-performing company in the entire world quickly increased its profit and become one of the best-performing companies in the world.
Let’s take a look at a case study done by Harvard University:
If you seriously want to learn how to motivate your sales team, start with genuine gratitude.
2 – Team
There is something unstoppable about a group of individuals working together to accomplish a goal. A sales team is like a cog wheel: if your sales team is working together as a team, the cog wheel functions properly; however, if there is no team effort sense of team spirit, the cog wheels stutters, stops, and can even break. It is detrimental to your business if the wheel breaks and could potentially cause it to shut down.
In order to stimulate a TEAM environment, you must begin the process yourself. This begins with high quality and transparent communication, genuine interest in the well-being of each sales member, and taking the time to not only talk, but to listen.
From there, as your sales team is working, take the time to visit your team and encourage them as they accomplish each task. Maybe you can even join in and secure some leads or quotas. The goal is to create an environment where every single sales team member enjoys coming to work each and every day. Once you can do that, your team will work.
One great example of a company that understands the power of teamwork is none other than Twitter. If you want to learn more about how Twitter offers its team members free food, rooftop meetings, and unlimited vacations, check the article here: http://fortune.com/2014/08/22/twitter-tops-list-company-culture/.
3 – Gamification
Who doesn’t like some good ol’ competition? When it comes to developing a proven strategy to motivate your sales team, gamification could become your best friend.
Now, the thing with gamification is that it’s meant to create a competitive atmosphere to drive productivity levels. What is going to make gamification really work for your company is to have FUN with it.
You see, when it comes to fun competitions, no one will want to miss out or disappoint their team members. On top of it, wouldn’t you want to play a game while you work?
But do not implement a boring competition and expect your sales team to be remotely excited – they won’t be. Take the time to brainstorm different ideas that your sales team might enjoy. For example, if your sales team is always talking about cruises, maybe you could create a tropical competition and the winner gets a 5-day cruise for their family. While this is a mere example, you can get creative and take gamification in any direction.
4 – Opportunities
If you want to encourage and motivate your employees to work more productively, begin to introduce incentives. There are dozens upon dozens of ways that you can offer incentives to your sales team.
- Time off
- Gift cards
- Free vacation packages
- Free dinners
- Career advances
- Payroll increase
Some of these may not be as beneficial, desirable or useful as others to certain people. Therefore, it’s important to understand your sales team.
In fact, you should meet with your sales team regularly to discuss what opportunities they would like to see and what incentives would motivate them. You better believe that your sales team will have respect for you when they know that you are genuinely considering their opinions.
Understanding your sales team first
At the end of the day, the way you treat your sales team will reflect in your business’s performance and profit. Through implementing these proven ways to motivate your sales force, your team will be more productive than ever before.