Your sales reps represent a significant investment into the future of your company. Of course you want to make sure that your sales reps provide you with a correspondingly substantial ROI. Just because the all-star sales rep you hired showed all of the potential in the world doesn’t mean that they’ll still be performing at their 'A' Game 12 months in. It’s natural, we all experience lack of motivation here and there, but as an executive, it’s your job to make sure they stay motivated and in tune to reduce your costs and increase your ROI.
Start from the Middle
Although you may find this hard to believe, many incentive plans practically ignore the core sales performers. These sales reps typically represent the largest percentage of the sales force, so it’s key to keep them top of mind when executing your motivation and incentive strategies.
By starting from the middle with your core performers, you’re actually motivating the entire team. Your rainmakers are already receiving compensation and will continue to strive to stay ahead of the competition, while those sweeping the bottom will be incentivized to reach the goals and earn the bonuses of those key performers.
To implement this change from the middle, provide pace-setting bonuses, such as quarterly or even monthly incentives or bonuses to keep everyone on top of their game. It’s great for the rainmakers because, while they may not need intermittent goals, they still like to track their progress. It’s even more essential for the laggards though, allowing them to contribute to the bottom line and have more frequent tests to see improvements.
Also, by giving incentives to the rainmakers, it shows the core performers and laggards what they can strive to be. A bit of natural social pressure never hurt anybody. If everyone in the company has role models and things to strive for, you can effectively decrease the number of laggards in your firm. A great way to implement this is by publicly awarding a variety of different rainmakers and sharing their tactics with the rest of the reps to encourage everyone. Remember, people are naturally competitive, especially in the workplace, so take advantage of this.
Another way to tap into this natural competitive drive is through gamification. People love to play games, and if you think of sales as a mystical mountain that you need to be the first to the top, it can lead to some light and fun competition in the workplace. Gamify the experience by allocating points to the reps with the most customer wins, new leads, face-to-face meetings, etc. These results are then shared on an online leaderboard which is visible by the entire company.
According to an Aberdeen report, companies who use gamification have 85% of their reps attaining their quota compared to those who don’t use gamification that see only 78% making the same quota.
There are other fun ways to leverage games and lighten up the atmosphere in the office and motivate your reps by improving their mood and increasing their likeability towards work. Sales teams that don’t just work together but play together, are all in all better communicators and reach more of their goals. Some offices play games during their break time to let off some steam during the workday, games like “Jeopardy” or “Minute to Win it”. It’s a great bonding opportunity and you learn a lot about your co-workers, in a casual setting.
No one likes to carry around paper catalogs and to fill out order forms with pen and paper. When interacting with customers, you want to focus on closing the sale, and make the selling process as efficient as possible. Tablet-based sales apps for e-catalogs and sales ordering allow you to simplify and streamline this process completely. Instead of taking paper-based orders and faxing them to the back office team, and then working through order processing errors, sales reps can showcase their goods in full digital flare, cross-sell and upsell, and provide the most professional customer experience.
Allowing sales reps to focus more on the ‘sell’ and less on paperwork improves sales rep satisfaction, and makes for an overall more motivated and effective sales team.
With motivated sales reps that are enthused to excel, the business case for an optimized incentive plan and mobile sales rep apps has become a no-brainer for successful sales leaders.