When the tree is down and the holiday festivities are behind us, you want your sales team to be ready to hit the ground running. And while every company counts on the consistent high-performers, it’s time to design a plan that will motivate every single person on the team. Through a fun, goal-oriented culture you can engage the reps, increase morale, and drive the numbers.
Incentives range from a hand-shake, to on-the-spot rewards, or in many cases, to a formal program format with predetermined benchmarks and on-line award redemptions. Department budgets, size of the team and revenue goals all play a part in determining the best way to customize your incentive program. But every approach should be creative and considerate of the age, gender and interests of the individuals. Below are few ideas on how to keep the sales spark alive.
- Make it personal. Recognize the employee in person, not through an email. Make a point to do this in front of peers, customers and/or the company executives. Get the family involved by sending a note home, or inviting the spouse to a personal “thank-you” lunch with the employee . Whichever method you choose, don’t keep success a secret!
- Friendly competition. Issue points for various selling activities: number of client calls in a day; increasing the YTD customer pipeline; or signing a new order. Post the points on a leader board, and at the weekly sales meeting give a gift card to the leader in each category. Of course, signing a new order would earn a higher value card than increasing the call rate, but this reward system gives every person on the team a chance to win.
- King (or Queen) for a day. Turn over the next sales meeting to the week’s top performer. Allowing that person to discuss the pipeline report and ask questions about upcoming projects gives them a chance to show their aptitude for understanding the opportunities being discussed and providing peer feedback that the manager can’t offer.
- Tools of the trade. The company has likely provided a cell phone and laptop for working on-the-go. But how about a new tablet for presentations? or high-end sound-cancelling headphones for the plane ride? or even an activity tracker so these high-energy individuals can feel good at the end of the day about the number of steps they take to make the sale. The selection of awards can be on display in the sales department, and every month (or quarter) the highest producer can claim his or her prize.
At the end of the day, money is what motivates salespeople and their comp plans already provide for that. But to keep the momentum throughout the year, it’s important to celebrate the small victories by recognizing the courage and tenacity it takes to be successful. Whether the recognition is verbal, written or in the form of award merchandise, show your sales team you “get it”!