Today’s post is by Diane Polnow, owner and founder of Elite Sales Leaders.
One of the biggest questions sales leaders ask me is: “How do I keep my team motivated?”
In my 20+ years as a sales manager and sales director working for some of the most recognized Fortune 100 companies – such as American Express and Sprint – I’ve taken some of the lowest performing teams to the top of nationwide rankings and can help you learn how to do the same.
Here are a few keys to keeping your sales team motivated – and a little about my philosophy.
Key #1: Give Recognition.
Who doesn’t want to be recognized for a job well done? Recognition goes a long way and can be a great motivator. The key, though, is to give recognition consistently. Recognize as many people as you can and as often as you can – even if it’s for small things. Recognize them in a variety of ways. Be sure to include and recognize everyone who played a part in assisting the win, such as support staff, technical staff, and customer service.
Key #2: Use Rewards.
Rewards can also motivate a sales team. To be most effective, ask your team what rewards would motivate them – not what you think would motivate them. Run contests and get creative on what the winner receives. Sometimes running a contest doesn’t even require a large budget. I’ve seen contests get a lot of mileage just because the winner got bragging rights. Have fun with rewards and get creative with how you can reward people based on your budget.
Key #3: Remind them about the whys.
Why are they getting up each day and working hard? Is it to become debt free? To buy a new home or car? To retire early? Or to go on fabulous vacations like I like to do? Make sure you know what the reason is for each person you work with.
These are a just few keys you can use to help keep your team motivated, but here’s a little bit more about my personal philosophy on motivating a team. When someone asks me, “Diane, how do I keep my team motivated?” my answer is, “You shouldn’t have to.” I don’t believe you should have to motivate your team. If you do, it may be an indication you could have the wrong team members. I’ve never needed my leaders to motivate me. In fact, I would have been embarrassed if they had to.
Motivation is something you can’t teach. Sure, you may be able to motivate someone short term, but it fizzles out quickly. Frankly, people either have it or they don’t. The key is to hire salespeople who have their own internal motivation.