How to motivate your sales team

Yael Warman

“Gadgets and games (such as a ping pong table) or chair massages, can also help to subtly affect a positive culture and remove some of the pressure (no pun intended)!” – Yael Warman, Leverate

By Yael Warman, Leverate

By all accounts it is a challenge for most sales managers to consistently be able to motivate their sales teams. As a forex sales agent there is a lot of pressure to meet sales quotas, conversion numbers, monetary targets, not to mention keeping abreast with market changes and evolving international standards and requirements. A good sales manager is a team leader who is always trying to find ways to create a more motivating work environment. Practical support, positive recognition and financial incentives tend to make a winning combination for enhancing the morale of your sales team.

Practical Support

Just as there are many different ways to skin a cat, there are probably even more ways to try and motivate a sales team. Most common are quota programs where companies provide bonuses and financial rewards for reaching these quotas.

Those perhaps a bit more innovative might incorporate “fun” incentives such as contests or non-financial rewards such as concert tickets or dinners. Yet something that might be equally effective is on the ground practical support.

Sales professionals chose their career path because they wanted to succeed in the profession and climb up the corporate ladder. Giving them all the tools available so they can excel at their job is an excellent form of motivation, which will undoubtedly fuel positive results.

At the most basic level, providing practical support means ensuring that your staff knows how to properly use your company’s CRM, have a solid education on the forex industry and its changing conditions and are equipped with some tried and true sales techniques.

At a more advanced level you can motivate your staff by helping them to develop their skills by offering your time. Speaking on Hubspot, Jeff Hoffman, a sales executive of Your Sales MBA recommended “Trying a sales contest where the prize or a midway bonus is you.”

He explains that by having the opportunity to work alongside a manager with significant proven sales experience, doing things such as making calls or giving a presentation, can prove to be highly elucidating and valuable. It also demonstrates that you are not above rolling up your sleeves and doing the groundwork yourself.

Positive Recognition

Don’t underestimate the power of a motivated sales team on the ongoing success of your company. The relationships that you build with your individual sales staff affects the relationships that they then in turn build with your clients and customers.

A good start in achieving a positive rapport with your sales staff is to schedule regular meetings, where instead of focusing on what they are doing wrong, listen in to the challenges that they feel they are facing and help them to address their concerns.

Another form of giving positive recognition is by showing your staff that their efforts are valued. A great way of doing this is by incorporating some ‘fun’ time during the working day. Rewards that will motivate the entire team for reaching benchmarks or sales goals can include a happy hour, or the chance to leave work early. Gadgets and games (such as a ping pong table) or chair massages, can also help to subtly affect a positive culture and remove some of the pressure (no pun intended).

Financial Incentives

Cold, hard cash never fails to be a powerful motivating tool. As a manager it also gives you some level of control if that is needed, such as financially remunerate the number of sales made, the total value of sales or the number of accounts that were opened.

One interesting approach was that taken by Dan McGraw, the founder and CEO of Fuelzee, who rewarded the sales team member with the most number of “no”s. “Every time someone got a no, we tracked it in our system, and the person with the most no’s received a $100 gift card every week”.

Although at first glance this does sound anti-intuitive and even crazy, the result was highly beneficial. McGraw explains that his company has the belief that every ‘no’ brings you closer to a ‘yes’ all you have to do is have the persistence to keep plugging away.

Obviously it should go without saying that the sales member with the most number of ‘yes’s’ receives a reward much more significant than a $100 voucher, so there is still the incentive to achieve a positive outcome. But rewarding effort has the potential to motivate staff to work hard, even despite the many setbacks that they may receive.

A motivated sales team critically underpins the success of your company, and the relationships that they build with your clients contributes towards your company’s foundation, not just in terms of sales, but also in terms of your growth and reputation. Investing the effort to keep a motivated and uplifted sales team ultimately gets your company rewarded – time and time again.

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