The lifeblood – the engine – of EVERY company on the planet is their salesforce, and the sooner that you realize that the better off you are going to be. Absolutely nothing in business happens until something gets sold. The money that sales brings in turns on the lights, keeps the machinery running, and allows everyone to earn a fantastic – and business owners and investors to reap wonderful profits. This is why you need to make sure that your salesforce is just as highly motivated as humanly possible, providing them with EVERYTHING they need to succeed. Unhappy and unmotivated sales teams kill more businesses than almost anything else.
1) Understand the Personalities in Your Salesforce
Different salespeople have different personalities, different selling styles, and different strengths and weaknesses and you will need to play to all of those key variables when you are motivating your salesforce or you’re going to have a much tougher time than you would have originally thought. Abandoned any hope of a “one size fits all” motivation for your salesforce and you’ll be much farther ahead in the game.
2) Do Not Motivate Purely with Money
One of the biggest mistakes that working managers and business owners make when it comes time to motivate their salesforce is to simply waive more money and higher commissions at them and then hope for the best. This very rarely – if ever – ends up working out favorably for everyone involved over the long term. All you’ll do is train your salespeople to lag behind when they want a raise, and if you continue to reward this bad behavior you’ll end up with a salesforce that only really works when more money is on the table. There are other key motivating forces that you can take advantage of – including recognition, incentive programs, continued education, etc. – that work just as well (if not better) and should be taken advantage of in combination with extra dough.
3) …But Big Bonuses Definitely Move the Motivation Barometer
At the same time, there are definitely instances where you’re going to want to put some pretty “big fish” bonuses down on the table for your salesforce to have the opportunity to earn. These kinds of opportunities will be much appreciated, and you find your salesforce ready and motivated to move mountains when they stand the chance to make 20% or more of their annual income in one big shot – by knocking it out of the park for you and your company.