When most of us think about sales motivation, passionate pep talks, inspirational quotes, the promise of bonuses and even sales rep competitions are probably the first things that come to mind. You might also think of the more negative tactics some managers like to employ, such “make your quota or you’re fired.”
In reality, motivating your sales team requires more than this. If you want your sales team to sell more, it’s also about what you do… and don’t do, that will get them excited. How you communicate with your team, the tools you provide your team and the sales processes you implement all matter.
Sales Motivation Do’s and Don’ts
If you manage a sales team or sales operations, check out this quick list of do’s and don’ts to make sure you’re incorporating them into your sales processes and communications:
- Keep your sales team updated on new promotions, SPIFFS and campaigns: Your product or marketing team has spent a great deal of effort to create promotions and campaigns to help your team win more business. It’s not enough to say we sent out an email and now it’s up to the sales reps to know about the promotions. If your reps don’t read your emails (because they get 100’s of emails a day), find other creative ways to update them.
- Make sure sales teams always has the latest and most up-to-date pricing: If you’re still using Excel configurations or sending out price lists, you may want to consider an automated sales quoting solution. These tools simplify the sales quoting process and reduce the “administrative” work that sales reps hate. They also link directly into your CRM so they simplify sales processes. You’ll motivate your sales reps to sell more and have the added bonus of fewer errors in your sales quotes.
- Provide reps with suggestions for upsells and cross-sells… and when to promote them: You need to help your sales reps understand where they can increase deal sizes and how to improve the probability of winning more deals by adding value to their proposals. Do this and you’ll motivate them to explore opportunities they might not have considered and benefit from higher average sales prices.
- Make it easy for sales reps to get approvals for special pricing: If special discounts are the norm in your sales process, make it easy on your team to get approvals. Even if approvals are not a daily occurrence, keeping your sales team motivated means keeping them doing what they do best… selling, not chasing after approvals from product or sales managers. You may want to consider implementing automated workflow approvals like those in your CRM or available with CPQ solutions.
- Make it quick and easy for reps to configure products and services: One of the foundations of sales motivation is to make it quick and easy to configure and price solutions so they can get on to the next opportunity. If it was only that easy. What can you do if your products and/or services are too complex to configure and price? You can keep doing the same thing you do now – train them a lot and expect long onboarding time for new hires, or you can implement sales quoting tools to cut proposal time and get them back in the field selling.
To learn about integrating a sales engagement and CPQ solution with your CRM, you may also be interested in reading: Maximizing the Value of Salesforce with DealHub.io
- Surprise sales reps after the fact with changes to programs and promotions: There’s nothing more de-motivating for a sales rep than investing time and energy selling a solution with the wrong price or one that is no longer active. Sales reps base their strategies and tactics on the solutions they have to offer and the promotions you provide. Make sure they have all the updated information and when you make changes, make sure they’re updated well in advance.
- Overload sales teams with long, boring emails they won’t read: Sending too much information is as bad as never having sent the information in the first place – it will never get read. Keep your updates to sales reps short and to the point. If you need to provide more information, provide links to where they can get more information when they need it.
- Constantly bombard reps with training on new products and pricing: Training is essential, but if you need to constantly train sales reps to keep them updated on new products and pricing they’ll quickly turn you off. Choosing between closing a deal with an older product they’re comfortable selling or going to a training class… well, I’m sure you can figure out which they’ll pick. If your organization is adding new products or services regularly, you should consider an automated pricing and configuration tool with guided selling to help simplify the quoting process.
- Make sales reps go looking for information they need to create winning proposals: There’s no better way to demotivate a sales rep than to make them “waste” time looking for support information to include in a proposal. Make sure sales knows where to find the latest information they’ll need to include with their proposals.
- Create complex pricing that nobody can understand: When your product team put together pricing, it may have looked straightforward… at least to a rocket scientist. If your sales reps don’t understand your pricing (without a lot of training they don’t want to attend) then your customers won’t understand it either… or your sales reps won’t be able to explain it to them. Look for ways to simplify pricing. You’ll make life easier on your sales reps and reduce quoting errors in the process. CPQ sales quoting tools can do wonders for motivating sales teams that sell solutions with complex pricing.
Sales Motivation Isn’t Only About Money
Motivating sales reps involves more than just how you compensate them. Take the necessary steps to improve the efficiency of your sales processes and the way you interact with your sales teams. Look for better processes and new tools that make selling easier for your sales reps and you’ll motivate them to sell more.
DealHub’s unique collaborative sales engagement process makes quoting easier and faster, with real-time insights on your prospect’s engagements and level of interest. Unlike other CPQ solutions, Dealhub is fast to implement and easy to use: simply plug in your product data, configure your business rules and start quoting. DealHub CPQ ranked at G2 Crowd as the easiest to use CPQ software.
We’d love to show you how DealHub can streamline your quoting process and help keep your sales team on target and motivated. We invite you to see a demo and let us know what you think!
Article originally published February 26, 2015. Updated July 24, 2018.