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Thread: how to motivate sales reps

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    how to motivate sales reps

    Hey guys,

    Was wondering how would you guys go about trying to motivate sales reps ? I have been employed at a company on the marketing side and have told me that they would like me to increase sales through marketing. Since joining the team i have sat in all the sales meeting and these sales reps are not performing at all! They have not hit target this year and its July. I said to the company that we need to see ways to motivate the sales reps before we spend money on the marketing side. I rate that the sales team is focusing on about 40% of their full capacity which leaves 60% for improvement which in terms means more sales and 60% less on marketing budget at the start.

    The reps get a good salary 10k basic + petrol + cell phone + comm ( which they never get as they never hit target)

    So tell me what are ways to which i can try and motivate these guys to get going and get sales. I have tried doing specials with them like "who ever sells the most gets an extra grand" well lets say that went in one ear and out the other.

    SO basically i need major help !

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    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    Hi Massimo

    For interest's sake, what kind of product are they selling? Is there sufficient demand for it in the market to enable them to meet their targets? Where are they looking for customers?

    Also, perhaps you should focus more on the 'human' side - instead of an extra grand, give them a pat on the back and say "well done!" when they make a sale. You could also try an 'employee of the month' type of thing, perhaps with a little trophy or a printed certificate. However, if you do this (or if you offer an extra grand for the sales rep who get the most sales), be careful of playing your team off against each other - after all, they're a team, not each other's opponents.
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

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    Hi rfnel,

    Thanks for the reply. I was employed on the marketing side. The company never had a marketing sector so they employed me and said to me increase sales. But these reps are basically on the go slow. i have sent you a pm with the company website and the products that we do. The sales manager decided to do the grand and to be honest i thought that it would motivate them to perform but it did nothing. ? These guys are on the back foot and they dont have any real method. The sales manager asks them what they going to be doing in the next week and she gets answers like - monday i will see this client, Tuesday mmm... target new markets etc. I asked them how they going to be doing that and the reply i got was open the yellow pages and ill phone and try get appointments...

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    Motivation is very important in an organization. If you motivate your sales reps by giving them promotion, social affiliation, gifts, incentives etc. They encourage own for these thing and they will try to do our level best. You can also make a list of incentive according to sales they all try to achieve that target for their incentive.

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    What motivational methods are out there. The company did one last year that if they hit target for most of the year at the end of the year they get to take their partner on the Sinfonia for 3 nights. And still NOTHING!! i would have worked my ass off for that!

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    They are in a comfort zone; you will never get them to do more then what they have too. If I was the company I would look at restructuring and see if you need all those dead end reps… Create a focus group of your worst performers and call them in.

    Inform them that they are not up to speed and you are looking at layoffs. Give them time to show you what they can do. Then rather lose the dead end employee and give them notice along with the “layoff package” send them on their way.

    Once people see that this is serious and the company is suffering because of their poor performance they will pick up speed. Once someone sees that they are replaceable they get a reality check and that is good because then they will work harder and get that commission as rewards for once.

    I know it is a bit harsh but when I did rep work I didn’t get commission, didn’t get mobile phone benefits and never in my life did I see a 10k basic! You are a good paying company in my book so get the right people.

    **Edit**

    That said if your reps do a good job and they start to hit targets, then call them in and thank them for their hard work and because they worked so hard the company no longer needs to look at restructuring “for now”. This will show them that they are part of the company and if they take care of the company the company will take care of them. It is after all the truth.

    Not only will they start earning the commission and rewards they will actually become aware of their importance to the company and why they need to hit targets.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    tecO the guy one guy did something to the company so the have laid him off. The other rep has had is final warning on Monday so will be interesting to see how he performs

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    That is interesting, last time I checked work is not easy to find especially a 10k jobs… perhaps outsourcing the rep department to a specialist company would work better?
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    When the carrot doesn't work, you need to wield the stick.

    If you've got targets, they need to be relevant and have consequences when they're not met. Just "no commission when you don't hit target" doesn't work because some people are more than happy with the basic anyway. I had one who was on snooze control at a basic package of R6k, let alone R10k.

    As a manager you need to sort out a policy that will produce results, and when it comes to missing targets, a "miss your target 3 months in a row and you're out" policy would be a good starter. It's a good way to weed out the drones and make space for new blood.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. Thanks given for this post:

    tec0 (18-Jul-11)

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    Email problem mother's Avatar
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    A simple truth I've learnt, is that people will only perform as well as they NEED to perform. If your current performance rewards you with everything you NEED, why would you adjust that performance? An ambitious person will never be rewarded with what they need, because by definition they always need more.

    Your sales reps lack ambition. If the targets you have set for your team are achievable, I would conclude that your reps already have everything they need (i.e. the R10k satisfies them completely). The only way then to change their performance is to create a NEED again, or to take away something that is satisfying a need. And in this regard I would agree with Dave: take away their job security. Everybody needs job security. You should definitely see an adjustment in their performance.

  12. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (14-Jul-11)

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