If you are like most sales managers, you were probably promoted to your current position because you were a great salesperson. But can you remember what motivated you to work so hard? Was it for the hope of advancement? Was it your loyal determination to help the company succeed? Or was it your fiery, competitive spirit that made you want to outshine your colleagues?
Understanding your sales staff requires that you remember your own experiences as a salesperson and the roots that got you where you are today. Use your past incentives to motivate your salespeople, but also recognize that everyone is different and will respond differently to the same incentive.
Like your customers, your staff is made up of a variety of personalities, with unique factors that influence how and why they make a sale. Each take something a little bit different to really get their "A game" out of them. Understanding these differences will help you to create a diverse game plan that will motivate all your sales people by sparking each individual's desire to succeed.
It is best if you cover multiple motivational styles in all that you do. With salespeople you will find that many are motivated by recognition, achievement or just plain competitiveness. It is best that, in addition to money, you provide other outlets to motivate your staff. These alternatives may be more effective than just monetary incentives.
Think about it. When a salesperson receives money as a reward, where does that money go? Typically the money goes into a checking account and is used to pay bills. That is not memorable at all.
When you supplement your compensatory form of motivation with something a little less traditional, your salespeople will remember that far longer than any monetary reward. They will remember it longer because it will mean more to them; it is more important. After all, which is more memorable: receiving a paycheck, or being awarded with a prize or special recognition?
The extra level of importance and sentimental worth that is placed on these supplemental forms of motivation is the key to the effectiveness of your salespeople.
So the next time you sit down to try to find a better way to motivate your sales staff, get a little creative! Run a contest to spark their competitive spirit, or help them see their individual efforts as an important part of the company's larger goal. Whatever you do, make it big and make sure everyone has something to gain from it. Post these goals and give them a lot of attention. Your staff will draw from your excitement and will easily find the motivation to gain the incentive and to make that sale.
Tom Richard is the founder of and also produces a free weekly ezine. Please visit his website for more information.