16 Most Effective Motivation Secrets to Empower Your Sales Team
No matter your business, you want to get the most out of your sales team. To do this, you need to use the proper motivational techniques. Finding the right motivation takes time, but the investment pays off in spades.
How to Motivate Your Lead Generation Team
You can motivate your sales teams through tons of different methods. Techniques exist that work for salespeople of all different personality types. Some work better than others, depending on your specific team. Experiment with different motivational techniques to find the right combination.
Here are 16 of the most effective sales motivation techniques to implement in your business.
1. Put Key Sales Activities Ahead of Results
When you put results first, you put unnecessary pressure on your sales teams to control what they cannot. Whatever the technique, sometimes closing the sale just does not happen. Put the focus on what your teams can control instead to keep them motivated. Success-motivated teams might feel too much pressure to perform adequately.
Reward your team based on their key selling activities instead of pure sales results. All team members can put the effort forth to perform the tasks which lead to sales. These include finding prospects, following up on leads and handling presentations in a certain way. All of these actions lead to making the sales, and their performance rests entirely on your sales teams.
Encourage your team members to focus on performing these key sales activities to keep their success within their full control. Their likelihood of securing a sale correlates to the completion of key sales actions. They might not guarantee a sale, but they greatly increase the chances of success when done consistently and correctly.
Reframe focus from getting a sale to identifying high-quality leads and more granular actions. The smaller tasks that drive your business towards sales need as much focus as the bigger moments.
2. Show Your Appreciation
Employees who feel appreciated for their work often experience higher levels of morale and happiness. These emotions lead to an increased desire to perform and continue receiving appreciation. Show your employees that you care about them and their success, both in and out of the office.
Thank employees for a job well done in front of their peers. Never offer congratulations in private, and encourage other employees to congratulate good performance as well. Celebrate big and small achievements alike. Your employees’ success is your success, so revel in their achievements with them.
Let your employees know that you trust them and back up your words with actions. For instance, allow them to pursue a lead as they see fit without micromanaging the interaction. That way when they succeed, they can take complete ownership of the win.
Thank employees as much as you can and always mean it sincerely. You do not have to show appreciation just for making a sale. Set a rewards system around numerous factors, such as working late, coming in on time or performing a task particularly well.
3. Let Employees Choose Their Path to Your Destination
Allow your employees to own their work by forging their own path towards the goals you set. Sales representatives can pursue a number of different ways to close a deal or chase a lead. Many reps will use a different sales strategy depending on their own preferences.
By encouraging sales teams to take the reins, you keep them from feeling stuck. You can set sales quotas or just emphasize the key sales options you want your teams to focus on. Of course, always offer assistance from your sales leadership teams. But do not push a representative to use a tactic or method they do not enjoy.
Employees might even find a new technique that gets consistent results when they pursue their own path. You can share these with other team members to increase the overall success of your business. When employees feel free, they take their work head-on with enthusiasm and vigor.
The sales process does not have to remain static. Encourage creativity to keep employees excited and facilitate their ability to perfect a certain technique.
4. Let Employees be the Boss
Allowing for increased ownership of their work makes employees feel like they work for themselves. Letting them choose their own methods strongly contributes to a sense of freedom and control.
But you can also delegate more responsibility to your employees and allow them to bloom with more experience. When you encounter a new project, assign a new team leader to take charge instead of a manager. Reassign the team leader role so that everyone gets a chance to shine. This not only helps you identify future leaders but also motivates your new project leaders to put their best foot forward.
Putting employees in charge of their work motivates them to succeed. They can take all credit for success and savor it when they reach a milestone accomplishment. Managers can always provide support, but project leaders should feel free to proceed as they see fit.
5. Is Efficiency Really a Chief Concern?
Nothing kills motivation like monotony. When employees perform the same routines over and over again, it loses its excitement and challenge. While the division of labor helps with efficiency, it often decreases employee satisfaction. Some of the most important roles get boring quickly, such as that of the lead qualifier.
Putting too much emphasis on running an efficient business might make employees feel more like robots than human beings. There tends to be a drop-off in productivity among unmotivated or bored employees. So while your business runs at peak efficiency, sales productivity and job satisfaction suffer greatly.
To keep employees interested in their work and motivated to succeed, they need to feel challenged and excited. Mix up roles and responsibilities every now and then. It keeps employees engaged and allows them to step into new roles. And when they know more about the overall business, you can create all-star teams full of employees who love their work.
Never let a little bit of sales training get in the way of improving the entirety of your business. Mix it up a little to find the roles your employees enjoy most. It might slow down efficiency but keeps employees motivated and productive. Do your best to turn every routine part of the job into an engaging challenge.
6. Focus on Autonomy
Employees often forget about the freedom that comes with their everyday tasks. Sometimes, you do not need to give your employees excess freedom. Instead, refocus their attention on the autonomy they already have in their jobs.
Employees might not always take advantage of all the freedom that comes with their job. Reminding them to do so will help them find renewed enjoyment and motivation in their work. In some cases, tasks might actually restrict their work. Try to shake those shackles and open up new opportunities for autonomy.
Sometimes, employees might just need to create an expressive work environment. If possible, allow them to decorate their workspace in a manner that suits them. Granting a little more freedom with the small things goes a long way towards improving employee happiness.
You may have employees who feel that customer happiness takes precedence over their own. While employees should always do what they can to appease the customer, their happiness is equally important.
Make sure your team focuses on creating an environment that emphasizes the happiness of their peers. Happiness breeds happiness, and happy employees rub off on each other. Team motivation helps promote a feeling of interconnectedness. And when you build a sense of community, employees feel motivated to perform for each other.
Allow team members to build bonds with each other. This helps them open up regarding their successes and failures, sharing tips on how to improve. When employees feel supported by their peers, they strive to do their best.
Encourage employees to share their sales success stories. It makes your goals feel more attainable, and employees can share best practices with one another. Whenever an employee stumbles on a new technique, encourage them to share it. It might work for more employees and drive up sales.
8. Go Above and Beyond
Whenever rewarding your team members, over-delivering on your promises goes a long way towards increasing motivation. It’s no secret employees love rewards and gestures of appreciation, so going above and beyond further pushes them to succeed.
When employees receive more than they bargained for, they really feel like they did a good job. Instead of just reaching the benchmark and getting the assigned reward, over-delivering increases the impact of that success.
Now, you do not have to over-deliver on everything. But mixing in enough over-delivery builds excitement and anticipation towards the rewards. Give as much as you can to your employees to show them that you care. Over-delivery works wonders to motivate sales teams to strive towards maximum performance.
Give employees what they deserve for a job well done. Doing so creates an added incentive for employees to aim for future rewards.
9. Create an Environment Centered on Honesty and Transparency
Studies suggest that office transparency directly correlates with employee happiness. When employees understand decisions from upper management, they accept the changes more openly. It’s important to not only share news of the change but to explain the rationale behind it.
Let employees in on the new sales plan so that they implement it with greater ease.
Always speak openly to your employees regarding their performance. If a salesperson does not perform adequately, let them know so that they can make changes and improve. Consistently giving notice through performance reviews helps employees feel stable in their jobs.
Never keep a secret agenda unless it lacks certainty. Keeping employees in the dark regarding key decisions until the very last minute reduces their sense of stability. Additionally, outline role responsibility as accurately as possible. When employees trust you, they will defer to your judgment and commit themselves to new projects.
Openness also decreases the space between employees and management. Too deep of a divide creates an “us against them” attitude that depletes group cooperation. Employees and managers need to feel that they work for the same company.
A greater sense of group cohesion results from transparency. When the whole business works together with minimal friction, you can achieve your sales goals with greater success. Anytime you create distrust among your employees, their motivation to succeed and perform dips. The more honest your leadership, the more motivated your employees.
10. The Little Things
You don’t always need a huge gesture to get employees motivated. Small pieces of happiness intervention work wonders in boosting morale. Offer employees candy or chocolate after lunch. Or provide coffee and breakfast.
Employees feel appreciated through these little gestures. You can even break up the monotony of the day by sharing a funny video clip for employees to enjoy. Sprinkling in these little moments every so often helps lift employees’ spirits in a big way.
You can decide to implement these little happiness boosters on a mass scale or as a reward. For instance, randomly passing out pieces of chocolate to everyone in the office boosts morale. And handing out chocolate for immediate gratification after an employee reaches a benchmark is a quick and easy reward.
However you decide to boost morale, just make sure it does not completely interrupt the flow of business. Keeping such incentives moderately rare ensures that they continue to have a positive effect in the future. So have fun, but do not overdo it.
11. Monetary Motivation
Nothing says sales inspiration like financial benefits. Commissions go a long way towards keeping employees motivated and focused on making a sale. Of course, bonuses can drive up sales when you need a boost.
Paying employees on a consistent basis acts as enough motivation for the majority of employees. For many employees, adequate compensation alone fuels them to bring their best to the table. So make sure you pay your employees a decent and competitive wage. When they feel that their efforts are rewarded with their pay, they remain satisfied.
Pay your employees based on their position and the responsibilities it entails. Whenever you require more out of your employees, you need to pay them more. Increasing responsibilities without increasing pay upsets many employees. You can avoid worrying an employee or losing their motivation by offering a raise in conjunction with the new role.
Employees who can pay their bills on time are free from excessive financial stress and can put their work first.
12. Jobs with Benefits
Salaries alone do not always attract and retain top talent. Benefits go a long way towards keeping employees satisfied. For some employees, great benefits outweigh a large salary. Retirement benefits, insurance, childcare and wellness assistance can seal the deal and keep employees motivated to perform.
In a market where all employers provide the same general salaries, perks make all the difference. An on-site gym, nutritionist or daycare will tie your business more completely to the lives of your employees. So long as employees utilize the benefits consistently, the investment is worthwhile.
Benefits help attract new employees, but you can also implement new ones to appease current employees. Before considering adding a new benefit, conduct a poll to learn what employees want. This builds excitement and the more excited your employees are, the better their performance will be.
Benefit satisfaction directly affects employee job satisfaction. So, find out how you can improve the lives of your employees beyond their salaries. Create a value they cannot obtain just anywhere, and they will remain loyal and motivated.
13. Sometimes Thanks is All it Takes
The majority of viable businesses offer competitive salaries and decent benefits in order to attract and retain talented employees. But not every business makes a solid effort to properly thank its employees.
The reality is attractive benefits and salaries cannot always compete with a work environment that makes employees feel appreciated. And a toxic work environment scares away employees in a way that pay and perks cannot counter.
No matter how you compensate your employees, you need to create an environment they feel happy in. A miserable environment will make employees dread coming to work every day. And eventually, they will find a new place to work.
Thanking employees regularly for their efforts both satisfies them and inspires them to perform. You do not need a grand celebration for every goal an employee reaches. Thank employees for their efforts every day, especially when they go beyond the call of duty. Asking too much of your employees without thanking them engenders resentment.
The happier your employees, the better their performance. The environment should not be so cushy as to curb motivation to perform. Just make sure you take notice of your employees’ efforts and reward them for them.
14. Breaks Over Meetings
Much of the information presented in meetings gets forgotten almost immediately. Unfortunately, meetings do not always properly inform employees regarding changes and updates. When they do not work, they simply end up wasting a lot of time.
Instead of spending so much time on pointless meetings, reallocate that time for employee breaks. Breaks help increase employee happiness by giving them a little refresher. Employees with more breaks tend to take on the day with more vigor.
Downtime also helps build relationships among employees. Conversations in the break room and by the water cooler develop a sense of community. And when employees feel connected to their business, they stay motivated to perform.
15. Make your Expectations Clear
Never keep your employees guessing when it comes to what you expect from them. Any ambiguity regarding performance leads to frustration, hesitation and an overall decrease in productivity. Any miscommunication impacts the performance of your business.
Oftentimes, an employee might feel nervous when asking for clarification. Try your best to create an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions. One way to make sure that employees know their goals is to work with them to spell them out. If an employee cannot adequately explain what they need to do, they require clarification.
To further make sure employees focus on what you want them to, check-in during their projects. You do not have to micromanage their processes, but take a look at their work every so often. Whenever you see something not in line with your goals, make it clear exactly what you want. Employees might feel frustrated if they have to start over or do something twice, so clarify as much as possible.
16. Work with Your Employees. Literally.
You can thoroughly motivate your employees by putting a little bit of elbow grease into your projects. Take on a role within your projects if you can spare the time. It shows your employees your willingness to work with them as much as they work for you.
Employees love a manager who leads by example. Perform the task you expect of your employees to show them you really do deserve your position. It further demonstrates that you understand their job and the expectations you put on them.
Work with your employees, but also work out with them. Exercising together adds to morale and a sense of community. The health benefits of exercise also increase employee productivity.
Motivational Quotes from the Most Successful People in Business
Constantly push your employees to strive for greatness. Inspirational videos, posts and quotes go a long way towards motivating employees to do their best. A little bit of inspiration makes everyone feel better about their own situation. Advice from successful people will make your employees feel like they can achieve anything.
Feel free to pass these motivational quotes around the office. You can hang them on the walls, make mantras out of them or include them with every email.
1. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance
2. “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — every day I’m learning something new.” – Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
3. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” – Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
4. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
5. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James, co-founder and CEO of Omniture, founder and CEO of Domo
6. “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” – David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr
7. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” – Seth Godin, founder of Squidoo
8. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
9. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.” – Steve Case, co-founder of AOL
10. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney, founder of Disney
11. “High expectations are the key to everything.”– Sam Walton, founder of Walmart
12. “Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”– Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P.
13. “Everything started as nothing.” – Ben Weissenstein, founder and CEO of The Entitled Group
14. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
15. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
16. “Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch
17. “Everything we want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
18. “There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.” – Tony Robbins
19. “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.” – Robert Kiyosaki, founder of Cashflow Technologies Inc.
20. “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.” – Tim Westergen, founder of Pandora
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