How to motivate a sales champion


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The ways to recognize and reward sales achievement are virtually without limit. Homes, cars, travel, merchandize, experiences and even a congratulatory note or video from the president. Read more here...

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How to motivate a sales champion

  1. 1. 1 How to motivate a sales champion. Industry Hall of Fame winner and AMD Founder Jerry Sanders launched an American Dream sales campaign as an incentive for his sales champions reaching 200 million in sales. When the goal was reached sales was paid handsomely plus every other employee's name was placed in a hat. Factory line worker, Jocelyn Lleno was picked and awarded a new home. Two others received Cadillac Sevilles. The ways to recognize and reward sales achievement are virtually without limit. Homes, cars, travel, merchandize, experiences and even a congratulatory note or video from the president. These can all prove great motivators. With the advent of technology we can woo more prospects, gather more data and put together incredible marketing and PR campaigns. All geared to get the prospect to buy. However, even with the best of "Edward Bernays on steroids" it still takes a real live sales person to gain trust and generate repeat business. In my experience the personal, human touch is king. Many sales manager/trainers hope to find the secret that will produce that big revenue generator, that big achiever. But, truth be told, there is no magic formula or perfect reward that will guarantee every salesperson will jump to action. You can, though, learn best ways to reward and recognize in a way that will resonate with all your different sales personalities. There is an interesting article that appeared in the NY Times back in 1914 which discussed what the better motivator was? Commission only or salary plus commission. One local salesman was quoted: "All in all, I think the salary and commission plan is the best method of payment. The salary keeps the salesman of even temper which is good for sales." Perhaps. Every workplace culture is unique so a commission only approach may be your best way to motivate Share This
  2. 2. 2 Today we take into account the relevance of different temperaments and personalities. You can motivate best when you know this about your players. A sales trainer worth his salt takes the time to learn that one motivation size does not fit all. What works for one doesn't work for another. As you will see, there is no one personality type that can become a sales champion. Once you have them, learn how to motivate them to excel and stick around. As an employer or sales manager you are blessed with the task of continually looking for ways to engage and motivate your sales staff. Salespeople are under pressures to meet quotas, be up to snuff on market changes and search out new territories. They deserve acknowledgement. This will help with overall sales performance and contribute to a positive, motivating work environment. Start by having a good sales training strategy. *If you have the budget bring in an outside consultant. Make sure they're an expert with excellent time management skills and the ability to bring some humor into their training. Avoid long drawn out training sessions. Test your reps on what they've learned. *Train your salespeople in-house. If you have a peer to peer program appoint sales peers to share experiences with peers. Have a testing mechanism that can measure product knowledge, following up and presentation. Product knowledge can be a huge factor in increasing sales. Reward a senior salesperson for taking time out to plan and conduct a training session. If relevant, take a field trip, demonstrate making contacts on the spot, participate in a conference on sales that also teaches how to make an effective 20 sec elevator pitch. Review with your reps what they saw and learned. *Schedule regular meetings with your sales staff personnel. Focus primarily on what your team is doing right. Keep criticism from becoming a public forum. One-on-one meetings will work better to address individual worries, pain points and work environment issues. Examine how you can fix negative work pressures. This will help motivation problems go away before they can affect a selling season and quotas. Share This
  3. 3. 3 *Check in with sales staff on what motivates them during your meetings. Its an excellent way to find out what your salespeople will best respond to in terms of type of recognition and awards. *Put resources into training tools. Tapes, CD's, books and online quizzes. You can also help your sales team by exposing them to teachers who understand the importance and wisdom of right thinking. Here is renowned author and speaker Bob Protor speaking on the subject. *Enhance your workplace communication capabilities. Social engagement tools will help sales efficiency, sales goals and motivation. Put in place a well designed incentive program that will engage, motivate and encourage participation into your stated mission. This will also be a key in launching a successful peer to peer initiative. Your incentive program should have a wide selection of reward and recognition choices. Having a user- friendly online reporting, administration tool will make your life easier and your ROI tracking a snap. Recognizing the different personality types and how to motivate them. Some salespeople demonstrate greater acquired skills than others. This should not be a final judgement on who will be the more successful producer. Learn to capitalize on the strengths of each type of salesperson. Learn to see value in all your personality types and recognize their contribution. They might be your sales champion. Share This
  4. 4. 4 One type can be described as introverted. They do well with research but may appear on the surface to be lagging behind the others in going after the prospect. To my surprise I learned about one salesman who was great with getting appointments which closed sales. Consistently. He was methodical and patient in his approach to data mining and information gathering. His sales came a bit later but were solid. They are very good training candidates. Recognition for his achievements came directly from superiors and peers in the form of monthly thank you notes and videos. The company's peer to peer program proved helpful in cheering him on to stretch himself to do more. This particular salesman liked fishing and camping with his family. His employer was also able to motivate him with this type of award The "Sales Star" is one who displays an aggressive approach determined to knock down any target that stands in their way. Avoid setting a performance ceiling on his or her expansion. This can discourage them from investing further effort. Many out of touch sales trainers will unreasonably cut territories in an effort to be fair. There are countless stories of companies who lose their champion producers because of this controlling behavior. An effective motivation for these is running sales contests that are creative and original. Using the concept of gamification can provide a fun way to accomplish this. Engage them and challenge them. Reward them with group events or travel where they will receive peer and top staff recognition. No hard and fast rule on this just to know what best motivates these achievers. Middle ground sales achievers not considered stars or introverts get the least attention but still move sales if given the right training and incentives. Again, top down and peer to peer recognition for these achievers will bring to them a sense of being a part of your community. What will the salesperson of the future look like? A survey by CBS Money Watch says the salesperson of the future "will not be the stereotype fast talking sales guy." In addition, be aware of the different underlying behaviors exhibited by each salesperson. Sometimes these behaviors are intertwined with the other types. This breakdown only represents a rep's primary way of interacting with prospects and customers. Share This
  5. 5. 5 *Confronters: like to push their thinking and deep knowledge of the prospects business to take charge of the sales dialogue. They like to teach their customers. They can be assertive and controversial with customers and bosses. *Negotiator association builders: like to develop strong personal, professional connections with customers. They strive to meet customer needs and resolve tensions in the commercial relationship. They are generous with their time. *Independent or loners: they generally like to avoid company and show a deep self-confidence in their ability. They like to break the rules and do things their way. Tap them for ideas on ways to save the company money and reinforce customer loyalty. *Dedicated workers: hold a high value on being early, staying late and going the extra mile. They like to send more emails, make more calls and go the extra mile. *Reliable and detailed oriented. They focus on post sales follow-ups and address things quickly and thoroughly. The well rounded sales rep will have a balance of these qualities. By using the right recognition and rewards that will resonate with each individual, you can encourage this balance. Every employer will have their own criteria to measure who is their sales champion. "The people who are the most successful are the ones who listen most closely to the customer," says Enterprise Rent-A-Car CEO Andy Taylor. "We follow the two ears, one mouth rule here." Taylor wants a sales champion who can identify what the customer wants first, before implementing any new idea. For example, when he looked at implementing a carbon-offsets program in the US and Canada, he asked would the customers like it? Concerned that renters would think the program was simply money in the company’s pockets, they matched producing this program by providing up to $1 million in donations. Share This
  6. 6. 6 Founder of the Bronco Wine Company and the creator of "Two Buck Chuck" Fred Franzia defines his sales champion as "Number one, can they get the order and collect the money?" According to University Professor of Marketing at Houston University Michael Ahearn. "U.S. companies alone spend more than $800 billion on sales each year—three times more than they spend on advertising. Companies that take individual differences into account will realize better results across the performance curve—and see a higher return on sales expenditures". What motivates sales champions: Sales champions are motivated by accomplished goals, making money, getting sincere recognition and winning trophy rewards. The work you have to do as their teacher is to identify what kind of salesperson you are working with. Use the interviewing process in the beginning to start off with a qualified individual that expresses a desire to be a part of your organization. Teach them well. Also Avoid dressing like your sales reps. When in doubt, don't wear it. Hold your head high and be confident. Maintain a calm, assured energy. You will be better listened to and better able to motivate. Motivation keys Do your best to tailor your rewards and recognition to integrate with each member of your sales team. Incentive schemes with virtually unlimited award choices and creative recognition will offer you greater flexibility and results. Offer an effective, realistic commission structure while promoting a recognition and rewards component. In addition to the cost savings, you will motivate and inspire your salespeople to meet quotas and perform. Daily, weekly and monthly incentives will encourage your sales staff to go the extra mile. Increase positive, friendly competition in a way that doesn't encourage sabotage. Share This
  7. 7. 7 Create a personal goal. Example: If you know that an employee has an anniversary with your organization, offer them a special reward for meeting that milestone. Remember that salespeople can often feel like they are alone. Create a team incentive that encourages helping each other to share knowledge for a common goal. Introduce your sales achiever to the bosses. Recognition in upper management is hard to get, especially if your sales staff sees high turnover. When someone surpasses goals, schedule meetings where they can meet with higher staff or invite them to sit in on a strategy meeting. Motivate, encourage and reward achievement. This is the way to build a super effective and results oriented sales team. Share This