Tools for Motivating Your Sales Team

How to Make Your Salespeople’s Goals Work for You

What makes your salespeople get out of bed and come to work each morning? Is it the chance to realize your goals? Is it the opportunity to make your dreams come true?

Not likely, but if you find anyone who meets this description, send him my way. Assuming he’s sane, I’ve got some work for him. I’m betting, though, that all your salespeople – and all the salespeople you’ll ever hire – show up at their desks every morning for one of two reasons: to stave off starvation (of the nutritional and/or emotional kind) or to make their dreams come true. That’s the “why” of their behavior – the first is a short term motivator, and the second is of the long term variety. Both are keys to unlocking your sales team’s potential. And both should be among your own top priorities.

Five Tips for Motivating Top Sales Performance

One of your most important tasks, as a business owner or manager, is to dig into the “why” of sales behavior to discover the “how” of motivating your salespeople to deliver the sales results you’re after. In my upcoming Business Experts webinar, Tools for Motivating Your Sales Team, I delve into the details of ferreting out your salespeople’s unique motivators and offer a step-by-step plan for using those aspirations to achieve your own. To get you started right away, though, and give you a taste of what you can expect from attending this presentation, here are a few tips, beginning with a jewel of timeless advice from Dale Carnegie:

1. Start each day with the phrase “You can get everything you want in life by helping others get what they want.” It’s hard to overstate the power of Carnegie’s insight, and to my mind, all that’s been written on the subject of salesperson motivation stems from this concept. I’m not much for mantras, but you could do much worse than to say this to yourself each day.

2. Know that the best way to get your salespeople enthusiastic about your goals is to get them committed to theirs. Your sales goals literally mean nothing to your salespeople unless you can tie your goals to theirs. There’s absolutely no way to do that without turning your salespeople’s hazy, “maybe someday” daydreams into concrete goals they can and will commit to achieving. And to do that, you’ll have to…

3. Identify and break your salespeople’s long term goals into time-limited chunks. A goal, in contrast to a mere wish, is specific, has waypoints that make progress measurable, and has a deadline. Unfortunately, for them and for you, many salespeople fail to make the distinction. Do them and yourself a favor by helping them to clarify and time-limit their wishes using a process like this:
o Identify their gifts, talents, passions, etc.
o Identify where they want to be in 3-5 years and 5-10 years
o Identify annual goals that will help them achieve their vision
o Break those annual goals into 30, 90, and 180 day goals
o Translate goals into monthly, weekly, and daily game plans

4. Communicate with salespeople in their own language. If you’re going to successfully link your salespeople’s personal goals to your sales goals, you’ll need to speak the language of their dreams. As Lee Iacocca put it, “Communication is everything.” People respond well when they relate well. In my consulting work, I use the DISC Behavioral Style tool to uncover the best way to communicate with a salesperson. This tool, one of several that I cover in Tools for Motivating Your Sales Team, provides distinct guidelines for talking to salespeople, such as whether to pose specific/direct questions or emotional/feeling questions, whether to offer statistics or analogies and stories to make a point, and how to regulate tone and inflection.

5. If all else fails, tap into short term motivators. Your salespeople are motivated either by their dreams or by the threat of dietary or emotional starvation, but not both at the same time. Some haven’t traveled far enough up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization) to actually own big dreams. But that fact that they’re on the lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid doesn’t mean you can’t motivate them where they are and help them – and your sales –advance upwards.

You can learn more about short and long term motivators, as well as the benefits of examining saleperson values and belief systems and how to tie it all into baseline and brass ring sales performance expectations in my upcoming Business Experts webinar. To sign up or for more information about Tools for Motivating Your Sales Team, please visit,com_attend_events...

Author's Bio: 

Bio: Danita Bye

Nationally recognized sales management and leadership expert Danita Bye has built her reputation on building and inspiring intentional, no excuse, high-performance sales teams that deliver bottom line results. With her unique Fortune-100 turned-entrepreneur perspective, Danita helps CEOs and company presidents take their national and international businesses to the next level. Her excuse-free approach to sales management, combined with her leadership acumen, enables sales staff and sales management to increase sales, boost profitability and create predictable revenue streams, all while reducing sales costs.

As a 10-year veteran of the Xerox Corporation, Danita consistently achieved award winning sales performance before leaving Xerox to become an equity partner and national sales manager for Minneapolis-based Micro-Tech Hearing Instruments, where she increased annual revenues from $300,000 to $10 million in just seven years. Danita has authored articles in Upsize Magazine, The Hearing Review, the Star Tribune, and Business Journal, where she was recently honored as one of the its Top 25 Women to Watch. Danita also featured as a guest on “The Ruthless Entrepreneur television show” which will begin airing on Oxogen Network in 2010. Her new book, Sales Management in the No Excuse Zone, is due for release in 2010.