How to motivate your sales team without money

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A competitive salary and attractive bonus scheme can go a long way in securing the top sales talent on the market. However, research suggests that non-financial factors also play a significant role in maintaining employee engagement and motivation, which suggests sales managers would do well to incorporate both financial and non-financial rewards into team strategies. Incentives that don’t involve money typically play to a sale person’s emotional and psychological satisfaction, which can be what ultimately makes them stay with your company. Here’s how you can motivate your sales team without money:

Provide regular reviews and feedback

Never underestimate the power of giving regular feedback to your employees. With just under 60% of workers wanting feedback on daily or weekly basis, according to PwC research, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels when it comes to talking to your sales people about their performance. A structured process for two-way feedback is vital. Schedule regular meetings with each of your sales members to discuss their progress, what they can improve on and what they’re doing well.

It’s not just positive feedback that can nurture motivation, either. Corrective feedback is preferred by 57% of employees, as opposed to receiving praise and recognition. Your sales people don’t just want to hear what they’re doing well – they want to learn how they can improve and become even better in their roles, and work towards taking the next step up in your sales team. Don’t forget to provide constructive feedback as well as praise.

Encourage communication with senior managers

Most sales people are inherently ambitious and would relish the opportunity to interact with senior executives and directors. Access to these ‘top dogs’ will appeal to their ego and make them feel more connected to the inner workings of your business. Facilitate this by asking your CEO or regional director to talk to your key sales staff about their career hopes and future direction. While senior leaders may not always have the time to mentor sales people, this kind of direct contact – even if it is just a one-off meeting – can do wonders for a more junior staff member’s motivation. Plus, you can then ask the senior executive for their opinion on your sales star – it’s a win-win.

Ask sales people to lead a team meeting

Your sales people want to feel like a vital cog in the overall workings of your business, and giving them more meaningful tasks and responsibilities will only enhance this. As 33% of job-hunting professionals are motivated by boredom and the desire for a new challenge, it’s up to you to navigate this by providing new opportunities for sales people to step up. Leading a team meeting is just one thing your team can work towards.

Celebrate the good times – publicly

Sales people in particular love praise and recognition, but the desire to be praised for good work runs across all industries. In fact, 52% of workers say that leaders could give recognition in order to improve engagement, with companies that use strategic recognition 48% more likely to report high engagement. Maximise this by ensuring your sales people receive public praise that not only their team members hear about, but also those in more senior positions.

Create competition

Sales people are innately competitive, particularly in the early stages of their careers. No matter how friendly your sales people are with each other and how much of a team culture you promote, all sales people ultimately like to win. Encouraging a certain level of competitiveness in the workplace can be a great motivator for your team, whether it’s through celebrating the highest number of calls each week, meetings booked or new product sales. Tie this in with the previous point on public acknowledgement and you could have the perfect storm with which to engage sales people.

Invest in cutting-edge education 

Ongoing training and development is essential in any industry, with 90% of professionals saying they’d be less likely to look for a new job if their current employer offered training and development. The competitive, ever-evolving world of sales is no different. Give your sales people the opportunity to upskill and gain new insights whenever possible. Organise motivational speaker sessions, share relevant books, podcasts and blogs, or consider investing in professional training to help keep your team interested.

Get them to create their own goals 

In addition to the formal KPIs, targets and objectives set by your and the business, sales people will benefit from having the opportunity to set – and achieve – their own goals. Doing so encourages responsibility and more strategic thinking, with sales people encouraged to take their development into their own hands.

Provide little extras

Never underestimate the power of a freebie – whether that’s in-office yoga sessions, a regular office masseuse, gym passes, meals out or even simply beers on a Friday after work. These type of employee benefits can go a long way toward making a sales person’s day that little bit more enjoyable, and indeed 55% of employees say they place high value on the benefits provided by their employer. Make sure you promote these perks as part of your employer brand to maximise their potential.

Ask for advice

The above steps can all help you motivate your sales team, and so too can seeking help from the experts. Contact the BMS team to learn how to fully engage with your sales people and turn them into stars.


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