What motivates sales representatives to achieve top performance? Many would answer “Money.” But is that all there is to sales motivation? That would be like saying “All customers buy on price.” Sure, making a nice income is important, but you need to understand the many other factors that motivate each rep to achieve their best.
As all sales managers know, motivation can be a fleeting thing. Some days, your reps are inspired to achieve more. They are engaged, laughing on sales calls, and there’s a spring in their step as they traverse the office, guiding meetings with insight and outlining new processes for the betterment of the team. If only you could bottle this exuberance!
Performance-based sales incentive plans fail when your sales team perceives them as arbitrary, unfair and unachievable. But when the sales reps themselves are involved in creating the plan and believe it is fair to both them and the company, their focus turns to achieving the goals they set themselves.
All sales reps tend to get into ruts that prevent them from achieving their best. For senior reps, the problem can be much worse, as they continue to use methods that simply don’t work with today’s customers. If you’ve got one of these too-experienced-for-his-own good people on your sales team, you need to learn how to freshen their game.
Burnout is a common occurrence among salespeople. Rather than pace themselves for long-term results, many reps try for a sustained sprint. But then they fail to maintain this aggressive pace, and the result is exhaustion and loss of confidence. When this happens, you must know how to re-motivate a burned-out sales rep.
All sales contests are designed to generate more business by encouraging everyone to hustle up more deals within the contest period. But many contests fail to deliver because they don’t motivate the best behaviors. And they discourage most reps by resulting in more losers than winners among your team.
Flip a fair coin 100 times, and it should come up “heads” close to 50 times. But during those 100 flips, there may be several heads or tails in a row. The same is true in sales; we may experience a series of failures or successes in a row, and it’s no more than a statistical anomaly.
Having a Positive Mental Attitude in sales is essential. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore the many pitfalls that lie along the path to that final “Yes.” Top sales managers teach their reps to shoot for success on every call, while also preparing for all the hurdles that might arise along the way.
Ask a roomful of salespeople to write down the major factor in their customers’ decisions, and you will hear as many responses as there are people in the room: price, quality, customer service, extensive product line, location, experience, and much more. Yes some salespeople continue to outsell the others even if they are not the best at many of these often-cited factors. Why?
This is the first in a series of articles on how to achieve Top Sales Effectiveness. Each installment explores a different set of skills. Part 1 explores what you must do to become a memorable salesperson by creating an “Experience.”