. How to Manage and Motivate a Sales Team | Northstar Meetings Group

How to Manage and Motivate a Sales Team

Determining the incentives that drive employees is key to designing a successful program.

In most industries, the first quarter of the year is a busy time. As managers look to start the year off strong, sales professionals may be find themselves under pressure to perform well. Luckily, there are steps executives can take to set up sales reps for success and keep them motivated throughout the year. Following are several strategies to keep these employees motivated in the year ahead.  

Step 1: Coach the team

While the beginning of the year can leave managers bogged down with their own to-do lists, it's imperative that sales executives take on the role of leaders and coach their staff. A manager's ability to become a coach and mentor to team members enables him or her to create an environment where direct reports can thrive. To keep sales reps pumped, the "coach" helps them understand and reach personal and team goals, which contribute to the greater success of the organization.

Step 2: Determine what drives strong performance

If you want your employees to bring their best work to the table, you need to discover what keeps them motivated. Is it a friendly competition among coworkers to hit a goal? If so, implement sales contests and personalize the reward. If the motivation trigger is simple recognition —such as a company-wide email about recent successes — be sure to acknowledge good work publicly among colleagues. Is it end-of-year bonuses and non-cash rewards that keeps the team pushing? If so, promote these benefits to show what hard work can bring them. Once you have an understanding of your sales team needs and wants, you can leverage it to keep them hungry for success.

Step 3: Evaluate goals

The sales environment is always evolving, so it makes sense for goals to change, too. To ensure these changes do not negatively affect your team's performance, consider implementing sales performance management technology to administer and automate incentive strategies. When setting sales goals, make sure they are realistic. Once you have set realistic targets, continue to check in and reevaluate the goals throughout the year. A simple way to do this is by using quota management technology, which allows you to automate expectations and revenue targets in a way that is efficient and controlled, ensuring everyone from executives to sales reps are aligned. 

Step 4: Set them up for success

With the tools in place to motivate your employees, give them the resources that will help them succeed. You can do this by taking a data-driven approach to sales performance management. Once you have set goals for your employees, you can tell them how to achieve those targets. Specifically, technology can simulate changes and model different scenarios in your sales reps' strategies. This gives them insight into their effectiveness and value to the organization, ultimately motivating them to act with confidence. 

Inspiring great performance from your team begins with identifying the incentives that will have the biggest impact and implementing those strategies to drive strong performance. Continue to evaluate goals throughout the year to inspire your team to succeed. Lastly, give your employees the insight into what their effectiveness could be by simulating changes and modeling different scenarios in their compensation plans and strategies. With the combination of these steps, 2020 should be a success. 

Vismay Gada is the head of North America and Global Financial Services at beqom, a cloud-based total compensation and sales performance management solution.