Sales leaders must always come up with new ways to motivate their teams. From putting new spins on traditional sales contests to implementing gamification tactics into their overall strategies, managers know how important it is to take every opportunity to inspire their sales forces, because, let’s face it, not all reps hit quota.
Regardless of the type of product or service they’re selling, all top sales reps within a company have one thing in common: They’re all winners, and they like being in the lead. So what are sales managers doing right when it comes to motivating their best reps, and what can they do better to inspire middle performers to rise to the top?
The answer is threefold: Identify what excites reps (all of them, not just the top performers), measure rep performance more frequently, and then adjust the overall plan to put company goals within reach.
1. Fire Up the Force
Before attempting to motivate teams, leaders must identify what, in addition to compensation, energizes their reps. Do your reps want more peer recognition or job satisfaction? Is prestige a factor? Middle- and low-performing reps must be offered something in addition to compensation, because if cash alone was a sufficient motivator, they would consistently reach or beat quota. Creating a formal compensation plan with short term, targeted and reachable goals will help create a force of leaders.
2. Measure Performance More Frequently
In order to identify what specifically invigorates reps, consider measuring their performance more often to get better results. For instance, performance driven by quarterly quotas differs from performance driven by annual quotas. Xactly data shows that companies with annual quotas have an average attainment rate of 60%, whereas those with quarterly quotas show a 67% average attainment rate. In other words, 7% more reps hit or exceed a given quota when it is measured four times a year, rather than just once a year.
3. Make Adjustments to Smooth the Revenue Stream
Adjust compensation plan goals so that all reps are motivated to succeed. A poor compensation plan strategy rewards top sales reps over and over again, while leaving middle performers — perfectly good sales people — feeling frustrated and, worse, discouraged. By putting goals within reach of all reps, the revenue stream will equalize and become more predictable.
Every sales rep in an organization can hit quota, as long as it’s attainable. Learn how to bring your carrot to the here-and-now and motivate your sales team with customized commission management packages.