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...
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
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
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.
*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
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.
*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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.