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Innovate Your Sales Management to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

Motivating salespeople to peak performance

Markets are in a constant state of flux, with the needs of businesses and consumers continuously evolving. If your organization isn’t innovating its products, services and processes to meet these needs, your competition will be. Innovation is essential to stay ahead and retain the loyalty of your clients. Innovation also acts to better engage your salespeople in the sales process, eliminating stagnation and providing new opportunities to achieve their objectives.

However, innovation is not limited to process and product. Motivating salespeople is a leadership aptitude that also benefits from an innovative approach. In this article, you’ll learn a few ways in which sales managers might innovate their approach to improve motivation of their sales teams.

How are salespeople motivated to perform?

Not all salespeople are motivated by the same factors:

  • Some are more motivated by extrinsic factors (financial and other tangible rewards)
  • Others are motivated by intrinsic factors, such as recognition and satisfaction felt in closing a sale
  • A third group is motivated by altruistic factors – the desire to do good and serve others, putting a customer’s needs ahead of their own

Understanding these different motivations will help the sales manager develop more effective strategies and techniques to motivate individual salespeople, and hence improve team performance.

3 innovative ways for motivating salespeople individually and collectively

Though not all salespeople are motivated by the same things, it is often the case that a salesperson will be motivated by two or even three of the motivational factors. This allows the sales manager to individualize the motivational approach within an overarching framework. Here are four innovative ways in which sales managers can think more forwardly and motivate their salespeople both individually and collectively.

1.      Engage your team with campaign alignment

In many sales organizations, marketing and sales exist in exclusive silos. The result is that the two functions work to separate goals. For example, marketing teams are incentivized to produce quantity of leads rather than quality of leads.

Bring sales and marketing together to collaborate on the definition of sales leads and the design of marketing campaigns. Inclusive conversations boost sales by enabling your team to communicate the same message and meaning.

To aid this collaborative approach, sales management could consider employing strategies such as gamification, using communication channels such as social media and mobile apps, and challenging employees to get onboard with making content to share ideas and get feedback.

2.      Design inclusive and individual sales coaching

Sales teams improve performance by continually improving ability and capability. Old-style sales training consisted of sales managers telling their salespeople how to sell. This may have worked when customers were happy to be sold to, but in the modern, informed marketplace the salesperson helps the customer to make a buying decision rather than compel a sale.

Successful sales managers develop an environment in which salespeople are encouraged to share best practice, while enabling individual salespeople to improve their emotional intelligence as they explore their own strengths and weaknesses. By empowering open communication and committing to holistic sales coaching, the sales manager will help his or her team transform their individual and collective performance.

When designing a coaching approach, it is also important to remember that each salesperson has individual motivations. By adapting coaching and how they motivate salespeople, sales mangers can inspire their people to push harder and achieve the successes they desire.

3.      Individualize performance incentives

Compensation and reward tactics should be individualized in line with individual motivations. Doing this will help inspire salespeople to onboard the behaviours which encourage a positive response from customers, and develop brand loyalty that will provide impetus to improving bottom line performance.

Innovative thinking helps when motivating salespeople

Innovative thinking doesn’t simply help sales by producing better products and services, and aiding the sales process by better use of technology. By taking a more holistic view to innovation, the sales manager can innovate approach to coaching and incentives, and encourage greater engagement and enjoyment.

Though financial reward is a major motivator in the sales environment, it is not the only reward that salespeople crave. Intrinsic and altruistic motivations are becoming more relevant in the modern world. In short, to motivate your salespeople to improved performance and attainment of potential, you should:

  • Allow salespeople to be involved with the description of what constitutes a good lead
  • Learn about your salespeople, and their individual motivations
  • Design an individualized approach to coaching and mentorship that empowers salespeople to explore their own strengths and weaknesses, and which also encourages the team to share best practices
  • Inspire improved performance and expected behaviors by individualizing incentives, therefore rewarding each salesperson in line with unique motivations

Contact us today, and discover how we could help your managers and leaders guide their sales team through the rapidly changing sales environment.

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