3 tips to keep sales reps motivated

Competition can help drive improved sales performance and keep your sales reps motivated.
Competition can help drive improved sales performance and keep your sales reps motivated.

In the popular AMC television series, “Mad Men” there is a storyline that focuses on a competition for employees. The challenge – to go out and land a client from a targeted, named hit list and win $100. In the episode, this challenge drove employees to do all they could to sign on these coveted prospects in hopes of garnering what was a substantial sum back at that time. In today’s terms that amount appears woefully low, but the moral of the story is that competition and incentive can help drive improved sales performance.

Offering monetary incentives to inspire employees – whether it’s to sell faster or land a lucrative lead, is not a new concept. But today, many managers are looking beyond cash to entice sales reps to meet quotas — trainings, trips, gadgets, jewelry, time-off, and other incremental incentives help put workers in the right mind-set and drive competition. The goal is to inspire and reward not just star players but the whole team. So how can you ensure that you are doing just that? Let’s take a look at some ways to deliver improved results through inspiration and motivation.

Reward and Inspire – Often:
One of the most popular ways of keeping sales teams competitive is to provide rewards at various milestones during the entire sales process – not just at the end when the leads and sales are tallied. This accomplishes two important tasks: it keeps sales people motivated throughout the sales process as well as helps the manager ascertain who the star players are and who on the team may need extra training and coaching along the way.

The rewards a manager can offer can vary – it can be monetary but many managers like to use other incentives such as recognition, access to more lucrative leads or tickets to a coveted concert or sporting event for those reps who take the extra step and turn a lead into a customer. An article in Success Magazine notes: “If compensation were a sufficient motivator, your people would already be performing…Instead, it is critical to identify what excites your people—maybe it’s cash, certain gifts, prestige, peer recognition or job satisfaction.”

Technology Breeds Competition
Today there are several technologies that can help a manager keep the sales team competitive. The trouble is that many sales leaders often rely solely on the native capabilities of their CRM. But there is so much more out there that can help your team respond to today’s high velocity selling environment.

Of course there are many innovative gamification tools that fuel leader boards, badge recognition and bragging rights. See Hoopla, Badgeville, and others for an example. But gamification can manifest in other ways too. For instance, Velocify’s Shotgun Connect™ feature rings the lines of all eligible and available sales reps with the first rep to pick up or click “winning” the new lead. And in many cases Velocify clients use Shotgun Connect for some of the best leads to ensure near instantaneous response and more incentive for sales reps to perform. Lead distribution rules can also be set up to analyze rep performance and reward reps that are performing with more leads. These types of technology enabled rewards can provide even more incentive and keep reps on their game at all times. For more insights on how lead distribution methods can help drive desired outcomes and improved results, check out the latest Velocify study: “Best Distribution Lead Methods.”

Training and Mission
Understanding the expertise of your reps will help when it comes to training and enhancing their sales skills. Often times sending reps to training sessions to learn more about the company they are selling for helps to create “buy-in” and loyalty. In addition, bringing in third-party experts can offer your reps a fresh perspective on selling that will both enhance their skill set and motivate them to succeed and meet quotas. If your managing an inside sales team, bringing in a revered sales expert like Lori Richardson, Trish Bertuzzi, Art Sobczak, or Kraig Kleeman, can not only help improve team engagement, but also skills and performance – a win-win.

Additionally, many managers find that having a mentoring or training program will go a long way in keeping their team on their game. Success Magazine notes, “Creating sales teams—in which there is an incentive for each member to support, mentor and encourage the other members—has proven valuable.”

To learn more about creating healthy competition in sales take a look at our recent interview with sales expert Lori Richardson.

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