Written by Sean McPheat |
Keeping a sales team motivated and enthusiastic can be difficult especially in slow economic times. One sure way to help with this is to set goals other than sales goals and targets and reward sales people for reaching them.
Every Step in the Sales Process is Important
Remember that closing the sale is only one step in a complete sales process. Closing the sale is the result of a sales process that actually entails many sales activities other than the sales interaction and closing. However, most sales management teams reward only that end result—the amount of sales. While some may feel that closing the sale is the most important achievement in the process, it is actually one of the least important.
Before you can close the sale, you have to complete a successful sales interaction. However, before you can have that sales interaction, you have to secure an interview, an appointment. Before you can get an appointment, you have to make calls or send emails or knock on doors. Yet, before you can prospect, you have to have leads. Where do you get the leads?
Understand that every step in the sales process is important and if you fail at the very beginning sales tasks, you will never be in position to close the sale. Furthermore, if you are in position to close sales more often, just by the law of averages you will close sales. So, why pay so much attention to closing sales, when perhaps you need to reward your sales people for doing more of the things that get them in position to close sales?
Activities that Get Them In Position
Prospecting activities are great motivators and extremely important sales tasks. As a sales manager, you know that the more cold calls the sales person makes, the more decision makers (DMs) he will reach, the more appointments he will set and the more sales he will close.
When sales are slow and sales people are hanging their heads, have an appointment-setting contest. Reward the sales person who can set and go out on the most appointments in one week. Or perhaps you can launch a cold calling contest and reward who contacts the most DMs.
Set goals based on sales activities. Instead of a goal where the team must reach X amount of sales this month; perhaps make it X amount of qualified sales interactions. Keep in mind that when sales people begin to lose motivation and begin to feel hopeless, their sales related activities dramatically diminish. They begin to make fewer calls, and send out fewer emails, which of course, make it that much harder to get back on track.
Set sales activity targets and reward sales people for completing more of the little goals that will result in more of the big goals!
Originally published: 6 July, 2011