Sales are always up and down and as every sales manager knows, there are always a few periods during which you are simply going to struggle to meet targets. Maybe your market is very cyclical, maybe it’s a holiday period or maybe it’s just Wednesdays; whatever they are, these are the periods in which you would like your sales force to go the extra mile.
So how do we motivate sales staff to work harder, exceed expectations and hit targets that seem unrealistic when the phones just aren’t ringing and every prospect seems to be on holiday? Here are three great tips:
Tip Number 1: dangle a carrot
Everyone is willing to work hard if the incentive is worth it. Ask your staff how they would like to be rewarded for their achievements. A bottle of wine, cinema tickets, a digital camera or an evening out; a small reward can help motivate someone to really go the extra mile, but only if the reward is worth it.
Tip Number 2: create a competition
Nobody likes to lose and everyone loves a winner. Create competitions between your sales staff, promote them and make a big deal out of it. You can create one-on-one competitions, tournaments, or a winner-takes-all match. As long as you dress it up and make it exciting, it will drive sales like nothing else. Oh, and guess what? Competitions work really well in combination with a nice incentive – see number 1!
Additionally, it always helps to turn your whole team into a competitor. The LA division will want to prove that they are better than the New York division right? And if the New York division sold 100 units last month, the LA division can do at least 110! Keep pointing at the competitors’ results and you will have a great new motivator. Now what if your team is the best in the country? There is always someone or something to compete with, and if there really isn’t, it’s not too hard to invent a competitor is it? A little white lie to help people push themselves to achieve excellence may be something you are willing to consider, right?
Tip Number 3: do it for the team
Nobody likes to let the team down. Set a sales target for the whole team and let them work together to achieve it. If everyone gets rewarded (see number 1 again) for hitting a team target, your top performers will have a strong incentive to help the team members that are struggling. The weak performers will also have an extra incentive to do well because they don’t want to let the team down.
Whatever the reason for your sales slump is, use these three tips to give your sales staff a little push, and you might just hit those targets after all.