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Thread: Motivating Sales Staff

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    Motivating Sales Staff

    From what I have gathered through web seminars and mails popping up in my inbox the American Market's sales staff mostly work on a no basic with high commission on sales basis, now through my experience in South Africa most sales staff work for at least medium sized basics and smaller commissions. The problem that I find in this is the lack of motivation to make sales as it does not make a big difference to them if they make sales or not.

    Can anyone recommend methods of motivating sales staff or maybe point me in the direction of techniques to better manage sales staff?

    I'll give an example of something I was thinking off: I thought that it would be a nice idea to give an employee who almost made budget a voucher or something to show that you appreciate the effort, but after speaking to some people I came to the conclusion that this might only set the person up for further failure as it creates the principle that "it's ok not to make budget", please let me know what you guys think.

    Thanking you in advance!

    Francois Smit
    Last edited by Dave A; 27-Sep-08 at 07:00 PM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Ever heard that the enemy of the great life is a good life?

    I'm not too sure the basic is the problem. It could be if it is too high, but whether it's basic + comm or pure comm, the business decides what numbers work for them from their point of view and hire and fire accordingly.

    A sales rep will take their foot off the pedal when they're not hungry anymore. So if they're happy with what they've got you've got to make them hungry again.

    I'm not a fan of changing the reward structure downward by raising targets for the same reward - that is punishing results. Far rather make the rep hungry to achieve even more. A ride in a car they can't afford yet, a travel brochure to somewhere they really want to go, the sales numbers needed to make it happen and a positive expectation that it is achievable.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debron_Recruitment View Post
    Can anyone recommend methods of motivating sales staff or maybe point me in the direction of techniques to better manage sales staff?
    Francios,
    A friend of mine has a structure similar to this:
    No Basic salary.
    Comm 10% Guarenteed minimum R5k
    Comm 11% Guaranteed minimum R4k
    Comm 12% Guaranteed minimum R3k
    ETC.
    This is obviously is structured for each company but the idea is share the risk/reward. I will be using something similar next time I look for a salesman. What he also does is every 6 months is move them up a notch.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Francois, just like to add my little tid bit. IMHO Any sales team needs to be managed rather than rewarded only, with that I mean that they often end up managing perception and try to meet their deadlines at the last possible moment.
    I have a serious suggestion that regardless of their basic and commission you should set them daily, weekly and monthly targets. Knowing your job is on the line can be much more effective. However there is a balance that needs to be found. It is crucial that your sales team are motivated instead of threatened by these targets.

    In my opinion, regular training and attitude guidance is a must as well. Keeping the sales team motivated can easily double your profits and make those training sessions absolutely worth while.

    Also ensure that you set targets that are achievable but still challenging. From a target point of view you must always aim higher than is really required. Many salesman only aim at meeting their target, and when the slightest thing goes wrong, the targets are not reached and they are full of excuses that even they believe. If it is possible raise the bar regularly to keep them on the ball.

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    Thank you all

    Hi Guys, I posted this thread maybe looking for an easy way out but I think I have come to realize today that it is important to manage sales staff in the way that Chatmaster described it. By setting them daily, weekly and monthly targets and making sure that they do not stray. Management should take the responsibility of managing sales staff and not just shift the blame to them on the months that budgets are not met.

    I'd also like to say thank you for "The enemy of the great life is a good life", think I am going to print that out and paste it on the wall somewhere.

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    I was in sales for ten years. Money is not the big motivation. Manage them and keep the flame burning. They must enjoy the game. If you do not have a passion for people, believe in good service and love the thrill of closing the deal, you must stop selling.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Try find a copy of "The One Minute Manager" by Blanchard & Johnson for how to treat staff.

    Somewhere else (I cant find a link) is the theory that the entire firm must be on commission from the MD to the Cleaner/Tea Person.

    The Idea is reduce everybodies salary by 30% and structure the commission so that, if the turnover remains as it was, everybody will earn what they did the last few months, and everybody benefits from an increase in profit from Rand1.

    This encourages everybody to encourage everybody, even the Tea Person won't have to be searched for to supply tea to the Clients, she will follow them in to the office with a hot cuppa.

    Sales go up because Stores, Ordering Dept. Deliveries, Admin, Collections etc. are all incentivised to function at 110% and anybody caught slacking is jacked up by everybody else.
    Profitability goes up because everybody is looking to save bucks, the more they save the more they earn.
    Shrinkage goes down because anybody who steals is indirectly stealing from everybody else, so security ramps up.

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