Motivating your sales team takes more than just offering competitive salaries. You want to make sure your top performers are happy, but also that up-and-coming sales professionals get the training they need to grow your business.
Andris Zoltners, co-founder of ZS Associates and author of several books on how to effectively manage and pay sales teams, was recently interviewed by Harvard Business Review on topics like compensation, management and how sales have changed in the last 35 years. Following are just a few insights he’s gained on building a successful sales team.
1. COME UP WITH REALISTIC COMPENSATION PLANS
Businesses have a tendency to try covering multiple products or services in their sales incentives. This causes sales team members to focus only on the most attainable sales opportunities, or the ones that result in the biggest bonus. A better method is choosing five of your business’ most prominent services and promoting them. Even if your business has a myriad of products and services, you should be able to pinpoint the ones that define your company.
2. HIRE GREAT MANAGERS
Hiring managers internally may be a worthwhile goal for employers, but just because an employee performs well doesn’t mean he or she is cut out for managing a sales team. A good manager knows how to motivate employees, takes the time to train new salespeople and helps their team succeed. Even if it costs you more to hire an experienced manager with proven accomplishments than promoting someone from within, it’s worth it to set your sales team up for success.
3. UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES EMPLOYEES
Each employee is motivated differently. Some are motivated by money, while others are motivated by the feeling that they’re making a difference in the world. Taking the time to find out what drives your sales team, helps you to know how to make them successful.
Constructive criticism is also a necessary part of sales, but, just like each person is motivated differently, each person receives criticism differently. Some employees may get defensive, while others embrace the chance to learn from their mistakes. How you approach an employee with criticism can determine whether they are receptive to it and how it helps them grow in their profession.
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