5 Sales Managers Share Creative Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team, Part II

February 25, 2020

“Employees who know their leaders and their companies are investing in them are far more likely to invest in themselves, which leads to success within their current roles,” said FIS Senior Leader of Partnership Management Andy Meadows.

Skills development is an important part of any job, but as Meadows and other leaders from the Colorado tech scene know, it is absolutely critical for sales professionals. At Udemy, reps are encouraged to build a custom professional development track that incorporates the company’s internal skills-building courses. Meanwhile, leaders at Freshworks and Zen Planner said they train salespeople on the tactics necessary to succeed in their next roles.

When companies invest in the futures of their sales professionals, it pays off in dividends. Learn how the following local sales leaders keep their teams motivated — beyond commissions.

 

 

FIS Team
fis

Andy Meadows said salespeople appreciate perspective. As senior leader of partnership management at FIS, Meadows gives reps insight into how their work impacts different areas of the business beyond the bottom line. This transparency not only creates employee buy-in, it also shows sales professionals other areas of the company they might want to explore later in their careers.

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

I offer team members opportunities to grow their knowledge and understanding of the business. Exposing them to business-relevant topics across the broader organization — even subjects above and beyond their current roles — helps them gain a more well-rounded understanding of what we’re working to accomplish. It also gives them the chance to see areas within the company where they may want to expand their careers in the future.

I have found that most employees are as motivated by the feeling of professional growth as they are by incremental commission. By providing them with avenues to increase and improve their perspectives, salespeople are empowered to make a greater impact on the business today and in the future.

It is the job of an organization’s leaders to constantly expose team members to education.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

The best performers typically have desires to grow their careers. With that in mind, it is the job of an organization’s leaders to constantly expose team members to education and coaching that’s preparing them for the next step in their professional journeys. Employees who know their leaders and their companies are investing in them are far more likely to invest in themselves, which leads to success within their current roles. It’s critical that leaders embrace each employee’s potential and nurture their need for growth.

 

Udemy team
udemy

Udemy’s Sales Manager Mallory Mosk said collaboration is crucial for success as a salesperson in tech. When reps work with account managers, they expand their industry knowledge and best practices, Mosk said. And when employees work with their international colleagues, they see opportunities to compete with and support one another.

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

As a sales leadership team, we think a lot about maximizing speed to lead and driving the ultimate customer experience. To align with our global sales development organization, we run sales performance incentive funds (SPIFs) between our San Francisco, Denver and Dublin offices that are both activity and outcome-based. Group SPIFs drive accountability and inclusivity and our global team members show up for each other. 

Additionally, we kick off each week with a goal-setting meeting and end the week recognizing our top performer and the teammate who exemplified our values best.

Group SPIFs drive accountability and inclusivity.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

Each rep on my team collaborated with me to build their own “learning path.” This plan features Udemy courses on topics like negotiation, effective prospecting and other relevant content like Harvard Business Review articles and book recommendations. During our one-on-ones, we discuss progress and build on these lists.

We’re fortunate that our account executive and business development teams are so close. Our account executives lean in a lot to teach us industry trends and help us define our messaging to address particular buyer personas.

 

Evolve Vacation Rental salesperson
udemy

In addition to a culture of continuous learning, Chris Cook said the transparency at Evolve Vacation Rental helps salespeople succeed. The director of property acquisition said that when leadership explains the rationale behind team goals, everyone is more inspired to crush quota. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

If a team doesn’t have the context on why an objective is important, or how leaders calculated a specific goal number, it’s unrealistic to expect high levels of motivation and excitement in their execution. It’s so important to share how you’re planning to get there, not just where you’re going.

It’s amazing what a little transparency and humility will do to motivate a team. I encourage my teams to be open, welcome ideas from individual contributors, give credit where it’s due and admit freely that a plan may not be perfect. 

It’s amazing what a little transparency and humility will do to motivate a team.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

One of our core values is “learn every day” and that has driven a culture obsessed with professional development. We impact salespeople’s development through cross-functional job shadowing, personal development plans for aspiring leaders, a business book club, interview training, external guest speakers, opportunities to represent the company at industry events and other initiatives. The results of our development efforts are tangible in our teams’ motivation to do great things together.

Don’t let your people wait for formal training to learn something new and add to their professional skill sets.

 

Freshworks team
freshworks

As Manager of Commercial Sales at Freshworks, James Pratt said he works to ensure that employees are well-trained for their current roles and well-prepared for their next positions. In addition to customer engagement, Pratt said ample feedback and conversations around career goals keeps reps motivated. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

We have sales performance incentive funds (SPIFs) and inter-team competitions. Some examples of SPIFs are who can drive the highest volume of activity, like a call blitz, over the course of an hour. Or who can generate the most meetings, pipeline or closed deals over a month. Prizes for the shorter SPIFs don’t have to be crazy; they can be gift cards or lunch. For the longer ones, we create a points system or use raffle tickets to give each rep a better chance to win a larger prize.

We shift to look at the skills required for their next role and co-create a plan to get them there.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

We address development within their role, sitting down with a rep to identify their strengths and weaknesses and co-creating a plan to improve those skills. We improve their skills through multiple customer conversations, presentations and onsites, and then have an open feedback loop to highlight the improvement.

Once they’ve developed their skills enough to stand out among their peers, we shift to look at the skills required for their next role and co-create a plan to get them there.

 

Zen Planner team ziplining
zen planner

Zen Planner Sales Manager Amy Abraham said her team likes to turn anything into a friendly competition, even their outings. But back in the office, Abraham said personalized coaching helps encourage salespeople to think about their next career move and avoid professional stagnation. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

We have a competitive yet collaborative team, so we do a lot with gamification around initiatives we call “blitzes,” as well as our campaigns and trainings. We are also big fans of team-building and like to get competitive and active doing team workouts at one of our local customer’s gyms or ziplining. 

Employees are always training and preparing to step into their next role before they get there.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

We built a career path where employees are always training and preparing to step into their next role before they get there, which ensures that people don’t ever get too settled. We do this through a combination of one-on-one development, position-based training and team training.

 

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