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How to effectively motivate sales specialists

What is the best way to motivate sales specialists? Ensuring a good atmosphere, recognizing their achievements, setting clear tasks and targets, or maybe flexible working time? Let’s have a look at an objective study on non-financial motivation systems that was carried out with respect to sales specialists and their managers.

In a Training Partners study, 25 non-financial motivation factors were taken into account. The assessment scale ranged from 1 (least motivating) to 5 (most motivating).

According to the report, the most effective method of motivating sales specialists is to ensure a good atmosphere at work (4.56), recognize involvement and achievements (4.51), and provide them with a certainty of continued employment (4.30). All of these may be achieved through ordinary human kindness, interest in the employee, and a positive attitude of the manager towards the sales specialist. For the employer, apart from measurable benefits in the form of a well-motivated team, it is important that not a penny needs to be spent on this form of motivating employees.

Doubts may arise with respect to the third of the above aspects (certainty of employment), but the manager’s proper approach to the sales specialists will make them feel sure that they will not be made redundant.

Since we already know what is most effective in motivating employees, let’s have a look at what definitely does not work. Sales specialist see virtually no value in their position having a prestigious name, in taking part in management board meetings, and in the boss being interested in their private life. This is because they want to focus on the sales target and are very task-oriented, leaving their private matters at home.

At the second stage of the study, motivation systems used at the companies employing the sales specialists were analysed. A five-grade scale was used here, as well. A motivator that was used most often was assigned a 5, less popular motivation systems got a 4, with 3, 2, and 1 being assigned to motivators of consecutively decreasing popularity. As a result, complementary comparative material was obtained. This material shows how sales specialists are motivates by bosses and sales managers and how they would like to be motivated.

The expectations of sales specialists and the motivators used in their work places are in most cases comparable and at a similar level. Entrepreneurs usually forget about appreciating sales specialists. An honest praise costs nothing, and yet it has a substantial impact on the sales specialist’s attitude to his work. Things are similar in terms of defining career paths and developing competences. Entrepreneurs should definitely work on that.

It’s also worth having a look on mixed motivation systems. These models support the achievement of a particular sales target using various motivation factors, from cash rewards to discretionary and material bonuses. The Motiveo platform is an excellent example of implementing such solutions. It’s an intuitive tool supporting the selection of a motivation programme, including the entire technical back-up for its implementation in any enterprise.

The article was written on the basis of a report produced by the nf.pl web portal.