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How to Motivate and Recognize Your Sales Team

 

Assembling a high-performing sales team is challenging enough, but that’s just the start of any focused sales effort. With quality salespeople in place, the next task is determining how best to motivate and recognize the hard work they do on your company’s behalf.

Sadly, this often gets overlooked. Businesses frantically working to qualify sales leads and outmaneuver their competition sometimes neglect the basic need to inspire people and reward them for their achievements.

If your sales team’s performance has been lackluster or you sense that morale is slipping, keep these tips in mind:

Make sure salespeople trust their manager. The success of your sales efforts depends on the quality of the relationship between the sales manager and his or her team. Trust is essential. The key to trust, says marketing veteran Sujan Patel, is to “be as direct and straightforward as possible” with your team, addressing issues rather than avoiding them, and staying focused on “having a helping mindset.”

Set clear, achievable and “breakthrough goals.” Every salesperson must achieve a goal. It’s how success is defined within any organization. Reaching a certain quota is an obvious goal, but the degree of motivation this instills may differ from one person to the next. Take some time to ascertain what specific goals—both professional and personal—might be the most inspiring for each team member.

At the same time, consider setting what Training Industry calls a “breakthrough goal.” This represents “a level of performance beyond anything that your team has reached before, and should by all accounts be just a bit beyond your combined capabilities.” Like aiming to put the first man on the moon, initial attempts may prove unsuccessful, but “seeing just how much more the team is capable of should go a long way toward inspiring everyone.”

 

Build a company culture of recognition. Generally speaking, salespeople are just as motivated by reward and recognition as any other employee. Of course, monetary rewards are important, but they’re not the only way to acknowledge an individual who works hard and succeeds at what he or she does.

Look for opportunities to honor both the individual and team when they meet or exceed monthly or quarterly sales quotas. Sponsor a brief “honors ceremony” and reward these individuals with bonuses or other perks. Post online articles and videos about the sales team, showing them working collaboratively and celebrating their triumphs. Help everyone within your company understand the importance of supporting and recognizing sales.

Over time, these practices will become an integral part of your business culture. It won’t be necessary to “re-invent the wheel” when it comes to reward and recognition. Everyone will understand the ways in which your business demonstrates its appreciation for their sales efforts.

Offer greater responsibility. Depending on your business, there may be opportunities to recognize individual performance by offering positions (or projects) that require greater responsibility. You may have a salesperson who, in addition to achieving significant goals, has demonstrated newfound leadership skills. Training this person to become a manager (if that aligns with his or her personal ambitions) might prove deeply motivational in terms of both personal and professional growth.

In general, the strongest motivator is demonstrating your confidence in the team. Avoid micromanagement. Let salespeople know that, while mistakes may happen and “surefire deals” don’t always close, you’re not interested in casting blame. Instead, “emphasize the value of learning from the experience and doing better the next time.”

This may be the most inspiring message you can deliver to your team.

Want to learn more about the technology and communications? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

 

7 Needless Expenditures to Stop Paying Today

needless expenditures

At some point, every business makes needless expenditures that sap valuable time and resources from other projects, and damage the bottom line. These excessive costs—which also detract from funding new customer acquisitions or product upgrades—often perpetuate themselves, making it very difficult to pull the plug farther down the road.

But if you feel the time has come to crack down on unnecessary spending, here are actions worth taking:

Improve the process of tracking expenditures. Businesses that fail to monitor spending often later find areas of waste and overspending that could have been avoided. With a plethora of cloud-based expense tracking apps to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to strengthen existing processes and eliminate areas of excess spending as soon as possible.

Crack down on paper costs. If your business still spends money on paper products, it’s well past time to shift to digital technology. Virtually overnight, you can cut printing and storage costs dramatically. Scan important documents and email them to clients and suppliers, rather than incurring costs related to personal deliveries.

Eliminate unproductive meetings. Most businesses are susceptible to meetings “that waste everyone’s time and lack any viable ROI.” Think of the money you can save by holding only productive, actionable meetings. This frees up your team to engage in other, more focused (and often revenue-generating) activities.

Analyze the purpose behind every business trip. Back in the day, it was considered necessary to travel throughout nationally or internationally in order to maintain solid working relationships with clients. While this remains true to some extent, in fact, many businesses no longer feel compelled to show up in person at every industry conference, trade show or overnight client presentation. Digital and video technology make steady contact easier than ever—often at a fraction of the cost.

Hone your negotiating skills. For all the needs of your workplace—from leased office space to purchasing supplies and equipment—it’s vital you get the most for your money. If your negotiating skills aren’t up to par, it’s possible you’re paying more to vendors for their products and services than is absolutely necessary.

Be on the lookout for ways to negotiate volume discounts, for example. Armed with information about much you regularly spend with current vendors—and what competing vendors might charge for similar products and services—you can negotiate ways of “aggregating purchases to achieve savings in volume.”

Explore options to outsource technology functions. Businesses can opt to purchase the most costly, up-to-date equipment to support their operations, but they don’t have to. Technology and software isn’t cheap and often entails further expenses in terms of technical support personnel and/or server administrators. Outsourcing IT services offers potentially significant financial and operational advantages, such as:

  • Decreased staffing costsAccess to data applications without paying license expenses
  • Opportunities to focus the internal IT staff on large infrastructure initiatives, rather than day-to-day desktop glitches
  • No need to constantly update IT equipment, a responsibility assumed by the third-party service provider

Outsourcing IT functions isn’t the perfect choice for every organization, but it’s a flexible, cost-effective option worth considering.

Encourage submission of cost-saving ideas from your employees. When leadership makes clear how important it is to reduce unnecessary spending—in order to continue making a profit and paying the workforce—employees feel incentivized to look for cost-cutting measures on their own. With your encouragement, they may come up with creative suggestions to consolidate current expenditures and other money-saving ideas well worth implementing. It’s up to you to communicate this organization-wide priority and reward the best cost-saving suggestions.

Want to learn more about sales management and training? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!