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3 Unique Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team
Blog / Sales Management / Aug 12, 2013 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5534 

3 Unique Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team

A sales team is vital to a company’s well-being. Without it, customer relationships don’t get forged, products and services don’t get sold and the enterprise doesn’t succeed. Hence a company places a great amount of pressure on sales reps to make their quotas, work those leads, and get those closes.

Sales reps expect that pressure—it comes with the job. But it stands to reason that if a sales force is happy and thriving, it’s going to sell more. If it sells more, the company will do better. Of course commission structure is an important part of it, but there is a great deal more. Here are three key factors to consider.

Here are the three unique ways on how to motivate your sales team to be more productive:

#1: View Your Sales Team As Entrepreneurs

Salespeople are entrepreneurs! Simply look at the qualities of a sales rep and you’ll see that this is quite true:

  • Entrepreneurs see opportunities others miss; so do sales reps.
  • Entrepreneurs are far happier creating their own incomes than working for fixed salaries; so too salespeople.
  • Entrepreneurs excel at convincing others to accomplish an entrepreneur’s vision; sales reps excel at closes, which is quite similar.

Companies take advantage of some of these sales force skills, but there are others that are often overlooked. Sales team is the front line of communication with your prospects and customers, and daily receive input on your products or services. They often receive feedback on marketing campaigns. They hear about your tech support or customer service on a regular basis—from the people whose opinions you care most about.

Because sales reps are in such regular contact with your customers, what could they tell you about future versions of your products and services, and what those could or should be? What input could they have on the quality of your customer service and tech support? What sales opportunities are they seeing every time they step outside the office that you might never even know about?

Start exploiting your sales force’s entrepreneurial spirit, and you’ll discover an untapped reservoir of data and possibilities that you may be missing. You’ll also be validating a previously unvalidated portion of a salesperson’s ability, which will only raise their willingness to work for you.

#2: Empower Your Sales Force with a Dynamic Sales Process

When formulated and implemented correctly, a sales process provides a step-by-step roadmap for your sales force to follow, from lead to close. Not only does it provide discreet steps that raise sales success rates, the sales process is also a path that salespeople and sales management agrees upon. It puts everyone “on the same page.”

If your company has not evolved a tried-and-true sales process, it certainly should. But beyond that, the sales process should be viewed dynamically; as market, economic and other factors change, so should the sales process. The sales process will only be valuable to salespeople as long as it is workable and current.

Additionally, the sales process is yet another place where your sales force could provide considerable insight. The sales process should actually be formulated from the selling actions of your most experienced and successful reps, and as it is followed sales team should be regularly consulted as to its relevance and usefulness.

#3: Let Your Sales People Live Their Lives

As pointed out, sales team have singularly unique abilities that your company relies upon. But just because they are exceptional individuals doesn’t mean they don’t have lives, too, far away from the selling beat. They like to have fun. They cherish their time off. Some have families and greatly look forward to spending time with them.

What can and often does rob salespeople of their lives is extra time put into reporting. This isn’t to say that reports aren’t necessary—of course they are. But are there ways that these reports can be made easier or less time-consuming? Could the data conveyed in reports in some cases be obtained without the intervention of the salesperson? Instead of being simply an administrative burden on sales reps, could your CRM actually empower them?

The answers to those and similar questions can be answered in the choice of CRM solutions, which we’ll cover more in-depth in a near future article. But the short version is, CRM should not hamper your sales reps; it should further enable to them to do their jobs, while at the same time providing vital data to the areas of the company that require it.

As the happiness and success of your sales team goes, so goes the company. Take advantage of that salient fact, and take your company’s success through the roof.

Watch for further articles in our series on empowering your sales force.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipelinersales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles, and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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