Sales Force Motivation
Sales is one of the toughest jobs out there simply because of the number of rejections involved to reach a sales target. You have to go against your better nature to make a sale.
You need guts to pick up the phone, not knowing what your potential customer might answer.
You need guts to approach someone whom you do not know, just to pitch your product.
And you need persistence to keep doing it time and time again, so that you become an excellent sales person.
On an average, only a few prospects out of hundred actually become clients. But because there are sales targets for your sales staff, they have to keep approaching new customers so that they can achieve sales targets. Because of this unsure and hectic life of sales, where performance is completely measurable against results, your sales staff requires sales motivation from time to time.
There are various ways to provide sales motivation to your staff. One core method used for motivation of any kind is “Recognition, Rewards and remuneration”. This can loosely stand for
- Recognition – Growing people in your organization
- Rewards – Rewarding them for their work and
- Remuneration – Offering incentives or salary hikes to appreciate them.
This article deals mainly with the objectives of sales motivation. There are numerous reasons that you will want your staff motivated for sales. Sales motivation is not required only when the salesman is going through a slump. Sales motivation is required at all times, and it becomes the culture of an organization to keep sales force motivated.
Without further ado, let us check out the Objectives of sales motivation and why sales motivation is important.
Objectives of Sales Motivation
1) To keep the spirits up
Due to the reasons mentioned above (cold calls, target pressure) a sales person might become demotivated and disinterested much easier than any other employee in the organization. As a result, sales motivation is required maximum in the sales department so that the sales staff has a positive spirit towards sales.
For example – If your sales employee is informed that he will be getting 3 months salary at once on over-achieving a sales target, he will always have his spirits up because he has received hope from the company in the form of remuneration or money he will be paid. This hope keeps his spirits up. Similarly, winning an award or any other type of action can result in sales motivation of your employees, keeping the spirits high.
2) For the growth of the company and to achieve targets
This is a no brainer. If your sales force is positive towards the target they are asked to achieve, your organization will get better revenues from sales. More the revenues from sales, more is the bottomline of the company and more can be the future investments in better products or services.
There are many firms which have produced good products but have lost market share due to poor sales. Thus, motivating your sales force is important for the growth of the company and there is actual profit when you are investing in incentives for the sales force.
3) To show importance of sales in the organization
A reason for sales guys to be demotivated is that they don’t know whether they are in the right position in their life. However, if you communicate to your sales employees, of their importance in the organization and how they are helping this whole big machinery to move forward, the result will be a higher motivation of sales staff. This ultimately helps the company move forward.
4) To make them brave
As I said above, it is not easy to keep meeting new customers and to keep pitching in front of people you have never met before. In fact, over a period of time, the fear of rejection can paralyse sales people and they might start resisting the sales process altogether. A little sales motivation in the form of the three R’s, can go a long way in making the salesperson face their fears again and to be brave in front of stiff sales targets.
5) To improve co ordination within the team
A sales person might be frustrated or ignored when he is demotivated or when he is not achieving his sales targets. In a high performance situation like sales, poor performance can affect an individual for the worse and make him inferior to his high performing team.
Providing sales motivation and backing to the sales person (that such things do happen) can increase his confidence. When the whole team is motivated, the bonding and co ordination between the team rises and they help each other out, thereby helping your organization in the long run.
6) To develop their skills
Sales motivation can help sales person to improve their skills so that they perform better for the organization. These skills may be various such as their soft skills, their computer skills, their product knowledge, their grooming or whatnot. In essence, if the sales person wants to perform better, and he is motivated to do that, he will automatically improve his own skills.
7) To reach more customers and cover more territory
We always demand MORE from the sales person. We want more sales, we want more territory to be covered, we want more dealers, we want more distributors etc. This naturally puts the sales person under too much pressure.
Although pressure is negative in nature, sales motivation can be positive. Providing a bit of monetary incentives will motivate the sales person to reach more customers and possibly convert them. At the same time, such an approach will also help the company to cover more territory and perform better in new and old regions.
8) To introduce a new product in the market
Sales motivation in the form of incentives is most needed when the going is tough. Whenever a company enters a new territory or brings a new product in the market, then the sales staff has to work very hard in convincing their customers or their channel into buying the product.
At such times, sales motivation is important and should be in the form of remuneration as well as recognition. This motivates the sales staff to perform better and capture more market share for the new product or market.
9) To maintain a sales pipeline
A motivated sales person is more likely to perform for a long period of time. This happens because the sales person is reaching his targets and he can plan for the future. This is exactly what you want from a sales person. Because of the fundamental of sales pipeline, we know that a sales person will always have a list of client which are hot, normal or cold prospects.
However, it is the job of the sales person to find more and more prospects so that he can segment them and target the hot prospects regularly. To maintain such a sales pipeline requires that the executives be motivated regularly. Furthermore, by ensuring the maintenance of a strong sales pipeline, even the company will move forward very fast. Aggression and results are two common factors of a successful sales department. If you channel this aggression into building sales pipelines, you are sure to get better results.
10) To retain employees and reduce attrition
Demotivated people try to change their working environment and the best way to do so is to leave the company and start fresh somewhere else. The total number of employees leaving the organization over a period of time is known as employee attrition. If a company has a high attrition rate, it means their sales staff is not motivated enough to stay back longer with the company.
On the other hand, a low attrition rate means that there is enough sales motivation in the staff and that they like staying within the company. The objective of sales motivation is to reduce the attrition rate of the company and to ensure that the sales staff stays longer with the company.
When attrition happens, you have to recruit new employees in the company. These new employees come with an associated cost because they have to be trained about the products and services ground up. Furthermore, they will take time to settle in the organization and to start performing in terms of achieving sales figures.
This results in a lot of opportunity loss for the company. Hence, we can say that sales motivation is important because it reduces the attrition in a company which is especially needed in the sales department where pressure is high.
11) To perform in non season
Lastly, sales motivation in the form of remuneration or recognition is needed when the sales people have to perform in non season. There are many brands which are seasonal. For example – Ice cream and Cola sales drop drastically during the rainy season or during winters. At such time, the sales people have to be motivated to keep performing.
In fact, during non seasons the motivation needs to be in form of rewards and recognition. Monetary motivation does not help much at such times because even the sales people know that the targets are unlikely to be achieved or are going to be very hard to achieve because it is non season. However, many companies have tried monetary motivation as well and it has worked out for them during non season.