While most employees are perfectly willing to take incentives and bonuses whenever they’re offered, there is more to motivating your sales force than throwing money at them. Tapping into the more relational elements of personnel motivation can help your team feel more fulfilled in their job and increase their loyalty to the company as an entity, as opposed to being loyal to whoever writes the biggest checks.
1. Constructive Feedback
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, offering areas where your sales force can improve can help motivate them. By giving them specific goals to reach and particular skills to attempt to enhance, their job becomes less mundane, as there is regularly something new to accomplish.
The trick with constructive feedback is to make sure that you start off with the positive they’re already doing (“Great job on meeting your quota this month, Leila – I knew you could it!”) and phrase the change you’d like to see as a goal that you’re confident the employee can meet (“I’d really like to see you remember to put the transaction number on your reports, though. Those missing numbers really slow things down in Accounting. You do so many things well here, I know you can remember that from now on – no problem!”). Give the employee a few days or weeks to make the adjustment a habit and check in with them about it later. When they’ve got the new skill under their belt, praise them again.
2. Public Recognition
When your sales team does well, make sure everyone else knows about it. You might be surprised at how a round of applause at a staff meeting–or even a board meeting–can make people feel appreciated, motivated, and effective. When employee’s feel better about their job, their morale is boosted, and they tend to perform even better.
3. Private Praise
When you have a particular member of your sales team who’s doing an outstanding job, don’t be afraid to call them into your office, or pull them aside at lunch, and let them know that. You can also reserve this sort of positive feedback for people who work for you that are noticeably more shy and reserved than others. For the more reserved people, public recognition can be appreciated, but also comes with the tinge of embarrassment. However, a private conversation about how well the person is doing still gives them the recognition that they deserve without flaunting them in front of the entire staff.
When you take the time out to give someone praise one-on-one and face-to-face, it comes off as a little more sincere and the person gets the impression that they truly have been noticed and appreciated by their boss.
4. Show Them How They Help the Company
Another great way to motivate your sales team is to report back to them how helpful their work is to the company over all. Have they increased your client base due to requesting referrals, in turn creating more business and a more grounded presence in the local market? Have their customer service skills made the company all the buzz on social media review sites, making the job of the marketing department that much easier? Share these insights with them and the rest of your team so that they all understand that it takes many parts working together to keep the company going, and that everyone’s role is important.
If you start doing any or all of these, you are sure to motivate your sales force to their fullest potential and increase your employee morale, recharge the agency milieu, and save money while doing it!