Sales Management Digest

Four Easy Ways to Motivate Sales Reps
Malcolm Fleschner

Creativity is sometimes more effective than cash when it comes to motivating your sales reps. Here are four ways you can positively impact the morale of sales reps today (without breaking the bank).

Time off. One great way to sow the seeds of loyalty is to acknowledge your reps' hectic schedules and give them some extra time off. Even if your corporate policy forbids granting employees an entire day off, you can still find hours here and there to offer.

Handwritten notes. A pat on the back or "well done" lasts for only a few seconds, but a handwritten note can last indefinitely. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell once sent a note of thanks to a corporal for a job well done. That was the last thought Powell gave to the note until months later, when he walked past the corporal's office and saw that the note had been framed and hung in a prominent place.

Direct feedback. Sometimes, when people are not engaging in the behaviors that will best advance the company's goals, the problem is not disobedience, laziness, or incompetence; often, they simply don't know what they should be doing. This is why the first corrective measure should be tough love. Let your team members know specifically what behaviors need changing. This small action just might be the small push they need to succeed.

Candid communication. Your people often depend on you to be the intermediary between them and the corporate powers that be, and they expect you to share information that may affect them and their jobs. You need to honor that role by keeping your team abreast of what's going on as much as possible. During tough times, your candor can mean the difference between an office where everyone is upbeat and hopeful and one where employees are always on edge about whether they're still going to have a job tomorrow.

To succeed today, salespeople need a lot more than just words of encouragement from the boss. So whether it's the right training, more time, technological tools, or assistance from others in the company, give your salespeople whatever resources they need to achieve the goals you set for them.

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