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Engagement & Performance

Increase sales team motivation by saying 'thanks!'

A recent study at one organisation with a recognition system in place showed that sales employees thanked their teams five times as often as they were thanked themselves, keeping the motivation level high.

On a daily basis, this adds up to much more giving versus receiving, thanks. There are a couple of reasons that might explain this. Firstly, many sales employees will tell you that their boss is more concerned with what they are not doing than with what they are doing well.

Secondly, the role of sales is undergoing a fundamental change from every direction. Customers are by-passing sales team by going online in record numbers. Marketing is developing sophisticated one-to-one relationships with customers. And sales management is relying more and more on data, reporting and analytics to make decisions. The prevailing opinion is that there’s no need for a thank-you note when the data supplies all of the pat-on-the-backs necessary.

Add to this trend a new generation of tech-savvy sales team who are coming onboard and embracing the new reality – but more than ever are looking for training, updates, quantified performance and assurance that they are heading in the right direction. Regardless of which generation makes up most of your sales force (and you probably have a mix), it is even more important to reach out with a personal, thank-you message to reinforce that your reps are heading in the right direction.

Here are three ways to thanks and increase sales team motivation:

1. Once you know the activities that drive growth, recognise those who do them on a daily basis. This thank you can come from a Vice President or Manager, or from a Teammate. And when a customer is involved, it can provide an even greater impact.

2. Build on those activities by rewarding and thanking your team for noticeable improvements – they don’t have to exceed their quota, but showing appreciation as they head in the right direction will build their confidence – and ultimately their momentum.

3. Save some big thanks for top performers – but your thank you doesn’t have to be supported by a big budget.  Of course there’s nothing like a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a unique location with your fellow top performers. But recognition today can be more about exclusive access to top executives – or status that communicates your achievements to customers.

Top performing sales organisations are using these ideas, plus adding their own creative twists to recognise and thank their sales reps. The key is to do it on a consistent and daily basis; don’t wait for huge accomplishments to turn on the spotlight. Look for activities, improvements and results that you can recognise every day.

Need more help in increasing your sales team motivation? Get in touch and speak to our Sales and Channel Engagement specialists.

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