Increasing sales motivation is one of the very best investment you can make. There is a very high degree of correlation between sales motivation and improved financial results. The good news is that motivating your team doesn’t need to be expensive. Well designed incentive programs can be several times more motivating than boring ones (for the same cost). Here are 5 easy ways to motivate your sales reps.
Avoid Under-Quota Punishment
This is the only “don’t” in our list of “dos”. Some organizations pay no commissions unless a quota is met. This is what we call a “binary gamble”. Should you miscalculate quotas, many reps may be discouraged and give up. This can cause productivity to drop, or even some churn. As a result, it may lead you to artificially lower quotas, making your incentive plan boring when it should be challenging and exciting. You’re better off including some rewards (even if small) while under quota (say 2% of revenue under quota vs. 8% above quota). This will ensure your sales team remains motivated while remaining in the under-quota zone. It will also make reps feel that they have a stake in every sale – an essential ingredient of sales motivation.
Each Rep Gets a Dashboard
One of the best way to motivate your reps is to provide them with an online incentive dashboard where they can review goals, crediting, rewards, or plan terms & conditions. If you’re still using spreadsheets to track sales commissions, you know those aren’t live and are often hard to understand (especially those including complex formulas which sales reps don’t want to deal with). Make sure you choose a commission management solution which allows sales reps to access their incentive dashboard while on the go (ex: using their cell phone). Also make sure that your incentive dashboard clearly explains the terms & conditions of your plan. If your incentive program is perceived as being transparent, your team will be more likely to believe that they will reap the rewards of their efforts.
Friendly Sales Contests
Sales contests are probably one of most cost-effective way to motivate your sales reps. If you choose prizes well, many sales reps will contribute additional efforts to win them, but you only get to compensate those few top performing individuals. While sales contests should not be your primary way to compensation reps, they are a fantastic way to generate additional sales motivation at a very low cost. Make sure your sales commission management solution supports sales contests. Also, keep your sales contests friendly, for example by ensuring that runner-ups also receive a reward, or by giving your contests humorous names.
Non-cash rewards have two main advantages. They can be personalized, and variations are limitless so you can keep them fresh. Options include fine dining, sport events, electronic gadgets, club memberships, travel, etc. You can make those non-cash rewards individual, or you can make them collective. And they can be fun! For example, the VP of sales could announce that he will shave his beard if the team meets some ambitious sales goal. You can even create a point-based system which reps can redeem in your company’s private store. For additional ideas about how to use non-cash rewards, click here. If you feel like it, go crazy! One of our clients offered 100 jars of Nutella for closing 30 ore more deals in a month.
To generate additional sales motivation, include aggressive accelerators at higher level of attainment. You’ll need to do the math in terms of return on investment, but in most cases, aggressive accelerators will more than pay for themselves. This is especially true if your sales do not rely on repeat business, but rather on winning large deals – especially if every deal is a fight because of competition. Accelerators can push sales reps to go above and beyond, and be motivated to close large deals in a time-sensitive manner. Finally, if possible, make sure your plan does not cap rewards. This will help your reps feel like they can win the lottery!
We hope our 5 tips will help you motivate your sales force and meet (or exceed) your financial goals. Equally important, additional sales motivation will reduce churn and ensure your work environment remains friendly and exciting. How you structure and deliver your incentive program is your secret sauce. Feel free to reach out to learn how we can help you automate your sales commission program and help motivate your team.