When you motivate your sales team, you have to keep in mind that you're working with a very diverse group of people who respond to various types of motivation differently. You need to motivate the stars of your team without discouraging the rest of the group. You also need to realize which of your employees respond to different reward strategies, such as greater compensation in the form of bonuses or prizes versus emotional compensation, such as hitting a target or enjoying the company of the rest of the team.
Many salespeople respond emotionally to the concept of hitting targets. While this is key to motivating all types of salespeople, many respond specifically to tiered targets. Some salespeople love to push themselves to meet not just the goal that everyone is meeting, but the goal that some people can't hit. You may find that your most solid salespeople, whom you consider the core of your team, are most responsive to this type of motivation.
Your very best salespeople are likely to be motivated by prizes. However, you don't want to create a situation where the same people are winning the prizes all the time. While this may motivate your top tiers, the bulk of your sales team is likely to find it demotivating. Instead, offer prizes at various tiers, making sure that the prizes are different enough for your true sales stars to feel appreciated when they win them.
Many people are motivated by the approval of their peers. On a sales team, this can manifest in a couple of different ways. You probably have employees who are people-pleasers. They want to please you as the boss, of course, but they also want to maintain peace and friendly cooperation among the sales team. Appeal to their sense of camaraderie by making them team leaders and emphasizing how their success will be appreciated by everyone around them.
Salespeople are motivated when they sense that they are being paid fairly for the effort they're putting into their work. One of the best methods to accomplish a sense of equity is to pay people the same amount in salary, but to look for performance-based rewards that can be added to the base pay. Bonuses, stock options and profit-sharing plans are all the types of rewards that can provide extra motivation to your crew.
You should also be aware of which employees view their jobs as simply a way to make money. Although this type of employee may not have a great deal of motivation, the way to his heart is very clear. Motivate him by being very clear about your expectations and by providing specific instructions and deadlines.
Deciding how to compensate and motivate your salespeople is a crucial decision. Take the time to get to understand the personalities on your team. Once you know your people well, you can design a multi-tiered approach to compensation, reward and motivation that takes those personalities into consideration and lights a fire under your team for greater productivity.
Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net