With targets to hit, calls to make and occasionally objections to overcome, sales staff often face multitudes of challenges every day. Faced with the job of brining in revenue for the organization, sales teams are the heartbeat of successful companies.
Your sales staff are the face of your brand, working at the forefront of customer interaction and responsible for drawing new buyers to your company – which can be demanding. Rewards are a vital part of cultivating a positive working environment for your sales staff... but just how do you, as a manager, implement a rewards scheme that will drive your employees to optimum sales performance without putting your business out of pocket?
Here’s the answer: emphasise fun and wellbeing, not just the material goods or salary bonuses. Check out the following creative ways to reward your sales team below.
Create a “break space”
In between calls and meetings, it's nice to have a place to unwind. Have a spare office in your business HQ? Give it a fresh coat of paint and invest in a set of comfortable furniture in bright, optimistic colours – and voila, a dedicated chill-out space that members of your sales team can frequent between appointments.
Place emphasis on appreciation
Employee surveys repeatedly suggest that a genuine show of appreciation from a manager or boss has twice the personal impact than any kind of money-based reward. This is why keeping your entire sales team updated on the accomplishments of your best-performing sales workers is so important.
You can thank individual members of your team via company-wide newsletters, emails, in person at your next group meeting, or with software like SalesScreen that lets you broadcast each employee’s exciting milestones throughout your office. Genuine, enthusiastic individual recognition is a great way for your employees to have great memories working with your company and to combat the typically rapid turnover rates in the sales industry.
Time is a reward
As we’ve mentioned, money-based incentives aren’t always the most effective way of driving sales performance. Time, on the other hand, is a priceless gift – and as a manager, you can offer it to your top-achieving sales staff in a myriad of ways. If someone has surpassed their targets by leaps and bounds, you might offer them a day off, a couple of extra holiday days, or (this is an increasingly popular option with family-oriented sales people) the option to make their schedules more flexible, perhaps on a permanent basis – such as moving their shift two hours later or letting them work from home so they can spend more time with their family.
Make it about the team
Although individual recognition is important, too much of this can encourage a culture of cutthroat competitiveness over teamwork. Letting your sales staff know that you think of them as a team, rather than a collection of individuals, can do wonders for the way they perceive their working roles.
To cultivate this kind of cooperative culture, set team goals and once they are reached, take your sales staff out for happy hour or for a nice meal. The key here is to get everyone together and having a drink or two out is a fantastic way to forge interpersonal ties within your sales team.
Go on a proper outing
Once you’ve been for a few drinks, scale up and take your team out on a proper outing. By this, we mean going further than around the block to the nearest bar!
When you’re choosing your preferred destination and activity, take into account the subtle team-building that can be achieved in a day or night out with your sales team. Going bowling or to the batting cages or a tackling a mud race will see everyone banding together like never before.
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand. One of her favourite quotes about teamwork comes from Henry Ford: 'Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.' Visit Cloe’s Tumblr page to read more of her published work.