The Ultimate Guide on How to Motivate Your Sales Team

by | Jan 9, 2018 | Sales Incentives

Sales team motivation can be a significant challenge if you don’t approach it from the right angle. Too many businesses think success itself is more than enough motivation for a sales crew. That is not the case. You must foster motivation in a variety of ways for your employees.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the psychology of motivation and how you can activate this capacity in your employees with sales incentive programs. Get the help you need to learn how to motivate and push your employees toward success and help them close more sales than ever before.

Understanding the Psychological Concepts Underlying Motivation

Motivation is not an exact science, but there is a fundamental psychological concept that drives its success. It is clear in this simple mathematical formula: Ability x Motivation = Performance. This equation indicates how motivation compels the success of your salespeople. While someone needs to have advanced skills to succeed, these skills mean nothing if motivation is not a factor.

Pressing your salespeople with motivation requires finding a way to direct them toward a specific goal. Goal-based motivation is one of the most successful ways of improving your business. Just think of a child learning how to go to the bathroom. They no longer want to use a diaper and set the goal of learning how to gauge their toilet needs appropriately.

This metaphor may seem silly but think of yourself as the parent in this scenario. While the child in this situation possesses the intelligence and skills to perform this task, they may need a little extra motivation. Knowing that their parents are there to reward them or appreciate their success goes a long way toward compelling them to master toilet training. But this motivation will only come if the reward has real value.

Incentive Value Is Crucial When Learning How to Motivate

Giving your salesperson a pat on the back or a firm handshake is a polite thing to do after a successful sale. However, if that is your only reward for success, you aren’t handling motivation correctly. A good incentive has to offer a substantial perceived value that makes it worth your employees’ time. They have to feel like it is something worth working overtime to achieve.

As a result, merely creating an incentive program does nothing to ensure motivational success. For example, if your incentive program provides benefits like cash cards for Wal-Mart or similar options, your employees aren’t going to be that motivated. Even worse, they are likely to feel like you are cheap with your rewards.

That is a big part of why your sales incentive program must center on making your employees feel appreciated. Appreciation will help motivate them toward more significant sales and an improved method of promoting sales. In fact, if you can create emotionally-meaningful goals, you can achieve more success. If your employees feel strongly about these rewards, they will work that much harder to earn them and make more money for your firm.

How to Create an Incentive Program that Motivates

The first step in this process is creating a series of goals your employees must meet to earn rewards. For example, there should be sales tiers that activate specific purposes, such as selling $10,000 worth of goods during a particular period. Your goals should be proportional to your business size and needs. Setting a goal that is too high for your employees to achieve shoots the success of your potential program in the foot.

The goals must be easy to understand and direct your employees towards clear and straightforward behavior. For sales, this usually consists of selling more than others or hitting high levels of sales success. Next, it is important to match that goal with an incentive that reflects its value. Naturally, higher rewards go along with goals that are harder to obtain.

Beyond that, each goal needs to take into account its success expectancy. Typically, each goal should be something an employee can achieve if they work hard. However, they also need to be hard enough to make it difficult for multiple people to meet the requirements in a single quarter. Reaching this balance will take a lot of work, but it is possible!

You Can Master Motivation for Your Sales Team

As you can see, motivating your sales crew requires a careful balance between rewards, incentives, and taking care of their basic underlying psychological needs. Learning how to motivate your team, therefore, requires knowledge of why people sell and what drives successful salespeople to work harder to achieve bigger goals.

Sales incentive programs are just one of the most successful ways you can execute this process. If you need help learning how to motivate your sales team and actualizing a plan that works for your needs, contact our team at Incentive Solutions. We can help you set up a sales incentive program that meets the unique requirements of your company and your salespeople.


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<strong>About </strong>Nichole Gunn

About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.

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