How to Incentivize Your Sales Team

2 min read

Sales Management

When Frederick W. Taylor started to have vision problems at an early age, he had to settle for watching his friends play baseball from the stands. However, by embracing his role as spectator, he could assess the physical performance of his teammates, allowing him to seek new models and formulas to maximize the efficiency of the players.

So what exactly does this have to do with incentivizing my team?

Regarded as the father of scientific management, Taylor began to develop salary incentives and awards for production within his field of industrial engineering, with the dual purpose of improving the level of business efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Is it advisable to encourage my employees?

Currently incentive systems are still the order of the day. Under the same spirit of enterprise improvement conceived by Taylor, sales managers put in place ways to encourage increased levels of sales. Though it is important to remember each sales team is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment, speak to your colleagues and choose the system that best suits you and your team. Listed below are some suggestions that can be mixed and matched to create an incentive programme to fit your needs:

Cash. As obvious as this may seem, it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s still one of the most effective tools in your incentives arsenal. Almost everybody can be gently nudged in the right direction with a small cash carrot, so you don’t have to break the bank on this one, either.

Gifts. Hard cash can be a little dismissive, so why not mix things up a little? With a little thinking outside the box you could earn the trust of your team by making their reward system a little more personal. Is your top sales rep a keen angler? Then treat them to a weekend on the lake. Maybe they’re into pottering around their patio verge, and if so, why not a set of tickets to a local gardening fair?

Flexibility. Believe it or not, your sales force are not robots, programmable to be in and out of the office at a beck and call. They have one of the most volatile schedules you’ll see in any industry so learn to be flexible with your demands. Not only will this reflect a positive understanding of their situation on your part, but will also increase their levels of performance out in the field.

Competition. Sales reps are, by nature, some of the most competitive people you’ll find out in the business world. Any competition, whether it’s weekly, monthly or annual will be sought out and conquered; they cannot resist seeing their name at the top of any leaderboard. However, this one will be dependent on the nature of your sales team. It can also have an adverse effect on some of the weaker members of the team, so choose wisely.

Professional Growth. This is an option that’s mutually beneficial for both sides. Channeling your team’s genuine interest for continued professional development, why not provide a selection of quality audio books, online resources, or sales conference tickets? You could even think about tuition reimbursement for educational courses. Not only will this help your team’s personal growth, their knowledge can then be applied to the benefit of your company.

Holidays. Whether or not you already offer some form of paid holidays, extra leave in the form of an incentive payment can be an effective tool to use. Whether it’s to spend a little more time with the family or perhaps an extra weekend abroad, it’s a practical alternative to a simple lump-sum payout.

Here are few of the rewards you will start to see after the implementation of an effective incentive programme:

• Reduced absenteeism and improved timeliness

• Creation of new beneficial ideas for the company

• Increased productivity

• Exceeding of proposed goals

• Lower costs

• Avoid losing employees to the competition

• Increased prosperity template

The benefits of implementation, beyond improving business efficiency and productivity, is an increased sense of job satisfaction and commitment levels towards your company as a whole. However, remember the key is to mix and match in order to create the perfect balance between your team; something that applies to one person is not necessarily applicable to all.