Getting people to do their best work, even in trying times, is a sales manager’s most pressing challenge. Motivating sales team to work harder is the key point to keep your business growing. No one doubts that. But in today’s tough selling environment it can mean the difference between being the market’s alpha dog and fighting over scraps with the rest of the pack.
An article published in the Harvard Business Review (Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model) suggests that people are motivated by 4 basic emotional desires: to acquire, to bond, to comprehend and to defend.
Just about all sales compensation plans do a pretty good job exploiting the desire to acquire and defend. Comp plans recognize and reward a sale person for obtaining new business with bonuses and rewards—stuff and status. And comp plans legitimize the spoils by reinforcing that success is a shared outcome.
Motivating sales team by encouraging to stick up to what are theirs
Sales people are also motivated to defend what is theirs. Not material gains as much as reputation and standing. Again most comp plans do a very good job at leveraging the competitive nature of sales people by constantly testing their status as a success and challenging them to reaffirm their standing within the pack.
But what about the desire to bond and comprehend? According to the article, we are all motivated by our desire to understand the world around us. Not only the desire to make sense of it all, but to make a meaningful contribution. Sales people in particular have an inherent desire to aid in customers’ success. How does your cash plan address that? Does it at all?
Managers role in motivating sales team
This void is all part of the intrinsic compensation system that sales managers should leverage more. The sales manager should think of him/herself as an untapped link in the compensation promise. Sales managers can use recognition to encourage progress made by their reps in targeting, planning, messaging, engaging, presenting and negotiating in ways that build a higher level of perceived value for the customer. Right here is the perfect place to address this yearning for “compensation”.
Related post: Manager’s Role in Reducing Employee Turnover
Motivating sales team in not just a matter of money. There are lot of other things you can to to motivate your sales people with less money but more emotional implication. Acknowledging recognition importance, encouraging sales staff to achieve more, being always around to provide support and information when needed, building a strong team culture are just several of the ways a talented manager should implement to bring his sales persons to the highest level.
What’s your key principles in motivating sales team, especially when you are short on budget? Don’t keep your secrets for yourself, share them with us!