Sales teams have very traditionally been motivated by commission-based pay, where they receive a percentage or cut of total sales. At the same time, commission-based pay can be counter-productive, in that it forces team-members to focus on aggressive sales, rather than important aspects such as customer service, customer satisfaction, and ease of administration.
Dropping the commission-based model can result in better customer service, a calmer and happier environment, and happier employees, but how do you continue to motivate team members to make sales without commission rewards?
The following techniques will allow you to continue to motivate sales teams without offering commission.
Create Team Goals
Team goals, purpose, and physically achievable tasks work to boost productivity because individual employees have something to focus on. Here, it’s important to set goals at several levels, starting with high-level targets for total sales and performance.
These targets should be based on data, such as how many sales you achieved last year, what you have to achieve to reach a minimum viable income, or so on.
It’s also important to ensure that sales have the manpower, information, and resources to achieve those targets.
Once you’ve set targets, you can break them down into smaller, more achievable goals. However, it’s important not to set standards for how many sales to make in a day. This can be demotivating if it isn’t reached.
Instead, you should set goals around your sales funnel, with an expected number of signups for a free trial, an expected conversion rate, and an expected return on value over a quarter. You can create benchmarks for expected number of sales, but as your final goal is still profit, that should be your focus.
You may want to introduce daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals, which will allow teams to achieve something every day. However, if goals are too difficult, teams may not achieve them, which will be demotivating.
Introduce Team-Based Performance Rewards
Dropping commissions doesn’t mean dropping performance-based rewards. However, it is often a good idea to avoid individual performance rewards simply because they create disparity in income inside teams. This can be hugely motivating or demotivating to teams depending on the individual. However, rewarding the team as a whole for achieving goals will motivate everyone to step forward and continue to achieve.
Recognize Top Performers
Whether you’re tracking sales, conversion rate, customer satisfaction, or comparing the individual’s performance to existing job profiles, you can very easily tell when an individual is a top performer. It’s important to recognize performance, even when you’re not doing so fiscally.
Taking a minute in meetings to recognize someone’s good work, calling out an individual for making a good decision, or otherwise simply recognizing that an individual has achieved something good will help you to boost motivation and performance across your team.
Sales teams are often difficult to motivate because they have a relatively thankless job, in which they are constantly driving prospects into the sales funnel.
No matter what you sell, sales is the hinge between marketing and customer service. Ensuring they have the data and definable goals to support continuous improvement and sales is the easiest way to ensure they stay motivated and performing.