It Takes More Than Money to Motivate Your Sales Team
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- You've launched your business, your product or service is gaining attention, but after some initial success your sales staff seems to be wavering a bit. How do you keep the team motivated?
While the obvious answer may be to throw money at them, few small or young companies can afford to put significant amounts of cash towards this kind of incentive. But this may not be a problem. In fact, many experts say money only goes so far in motivating workers. In order to truly set your sales staff on a path for success, you need to first understand their personalities and preferred ways of working so that you can then set attainable goals for them.
"If you're empowering your people to set objectives and goals and reach them -- you're winning as a manager by very definition. It's really about committing to make your team great rather than worrying about being great yourself," says Karen Leland, president of Sterling Marketing Group.
Leland says the first order of business is to identify what you are motivating your staff to do: Should they be selling more products? Should they be getting higher-quality customers?
Once that is determined, managers need to recognize that workers are motivated in different ways. This is important to understand because once you know that, you can begin to present their goals -- and a system for attaining them -- in a way they can relate to.
"As a manager you have to uncover the motivational underpinning of each staff member. You have to pay attention to what people do and the language they use," Leland says.
Salespeople who are motivated by numbers and analytics tend to talk in technical lingo and data-speak. Salespeople who are more about the excitement of the idea tend to talk more in language that is expressive. If they're motivated more by the relationship, they'll tend to talk about the people side of things.
The biggest mistake a manager can make is to assume that all of their staff is motivated by the same factors. Nor should they assume that just because someone is enthusiastic about the sales process it means they can bring in the expected results, Leland warns.