7 Proven Ways to Motivate Your Salespeople

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Is it hard for you to keep your sales reps motivated? 

  • Maybe they’re not scheduling enough meetings.
  • Or they don’t follow-up with current prospects. 
  • Perhaps they miss sales goals.

Here are seven ways to get people on your sales team to do what you want them to do.

1. Figure out the scope of the problem.

Are one or two reps in a funk or is your whole team lacking motivation?

The answer will help you figure out what kind of motivation issue you’re dealing with: individual or group.

Work one-on-one to resolve individual issues. Group motivation problems are more challenging to solve, but if you work — and communicate — openly with your team, you should be able to identify the root cause and resolve it together.

2. Build trust.

Many sales leaders turn to contests and other gimmicks to motivate their reps. 

The reality: Building trust is fundamental to getting people to take action. Trust beats tricks every time.

If salespeople don’t trust their leaders and genuinely believe they have their interests at heart, they won’t be willing to do their best work. In fact, in today’s wide-open employment market, they’re probably looking for jobs at companies that have a reputation for being trustworthy.

So, what can leaders do if they haven’t earned, or even worse, lost, employee trust? Start by having an open and honest conversation with individual reps or your team, depending on the scope of the problem. Ask about the challenges they face and barriers to achieving their goals. Stay open and honestly listen to their concerns

Don’t stop there. Reps will start trusting when their issues are resolved and leaders take meaningful action to make living their lives — and doing their jobs — better.

Tip: One of the biggest demoralizing factors for sales teams is chaos in the workplace. A sales enablement system like the one offered by Mobile Locker could help solve many of the issues faced by sales organizations.

3. Ask reps how they prefer to be managed.

Everyone’s personality is different. How individual reps are managed should reflect their personalities.

The mistake many leaders make is to take a hard-line approach to dealing with all their salespeople: setting inflexible goals, strictly monitoring them and taking reps to task when they don’t achieve them.

While this may work for some salespeople (often inexperienced newbies), it might be too strict and limiting for others (experienced, high-performing pros).

Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach for managing reps, ask these questions to figure out how best to handle each one:

  • What can I do to support you at work and in your home life?
  • How can I help you achieve your goals?
  • How often do you like to meet?
  • What kind of feedback do you want to receive?
  • How do you prefer to communicate: phone call, email or text message?

Also, make it clear that communication is a two-way street. Explain that you’re available to hear new ideas, learn about issues and receive feedback.

Tip: Mobile Locker’s sales enablement system makes it easy to gather rep feedback in real time, which can help prevent motivation issues.

4. Understand what reps care about.

A common misconception about salespeople: They’re motivated exclusively by money, success, and status.

In today’s diverse work world, that may not always be true. For many people, work-life balance, making social connections, life-long learning and other things are equally — or more — important.

Take time to understand what drives each of your reps. Find out what they want to accomplish in their personal and professional lives. It’s the only way to set goals they want to achieve and incentives that they’ll work hard to earn.

5. Set meaningful goals.

Once you understand what your salespeople care about, structure goals in ways that will get them to take action, including:

  • Sales contests
  • Quotas
  • Incremental improvements
  • Contribution to organizational goals
  • Traditional sales targets.

Mix and match goals based on what you know about your reps. Sales contests are great if you have a lot of alpha salespeople who are driven by competition and success. Setting goals based on incremental improvement is ideal for those who like to learn new things and demonstrate mastery of them. Showing how individual contributions ladder-up to company goals is great for people who care about collaborating.

Also, figure out the right mix of short- and long-term goals and rewards:

  • Daily: Use very short-term goals to get reps out of a funk. The reward should be relatively small but meaningful, like an Amazon or Starbucks gift card.
  • Weekly: This is a great time frame for education-related and skills-based goals. Set metrics for learning and improvement, then work with reps on a day-by-day plan that defines when learning should be completed and mastery of skills demonstrated. These goals deserve more significant rewards, such as a round of golf, tickets to a game or dinner out.
  • Monthly and quarterly: Longer-term goals are generally reserved for achieving bottom-line business results. Rewards should be high value, but avoid cash, because once it’s spent, it’s gone and forgotten. Things like televisions, gaming systems, and other electronic devices are better options because reps will remember what it took to earn them.

6. Provide education.

Many salespeople become frustrated when they don’t know how to sell a product or service. Frustration kills motivation because reps feel they can’t succeed.

Offering easy-to-access training on your overall sales process and individual products and services gives reps the information they need to sell more effectively. When they feel frustrated, they have the power to overcome barriers to closing deals. This will build confidence and increase motivation.

Tip: Mobile Locker’s sales enablement system makes it easy for reps to access sales training modules any place, any time.

7. Let reps pick their own rewards.

If salespeople are good at anything, it’s choosing their own rewards. After all, who better knows what they want and need?

Simply set a budget for different goal levels. Then let them pick something within budget that has meaning to them. Online corporate catalogs make it easy to manage and control this type of program.

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