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Energize your sales team with recognition and incentives

Whether your sales team is staffed with seasoned professionals or novices, effective leadership can make a huge difference.

Whether your sales team is staffed with seasoned professionals or novices, effective leadership can make a huge difference. You want your sales team to work efficiently and energetically, not begrudgingly or while feeling overstressed. Employee reward and recognition programs go a long way to boost sales and improve your team's morale, and they are optimized by good leadership behavior. 

The many forms of recognition
Recognition goes beyond a pat on the back, although that never hurts. You could provide staff with current lists of their top accounts or create a regular team newsletter to celebrate accomplishments and share information or tips, Susanne Paling, principal consultant of Sales Management Services, recommended in Entrepreneur. Of course, a simple thank you goes a long way, too. These forms of recognition help to build relationships and and foster community, in addition to motivating performance.

Leadership: empower, don't demand
Managers often get too caught up in the numbers and forget the people. According to The Build Network, successful managers lead based on individual talents and objectives, and then re-evaluate based on results. Katherine Graham-Leviss, founder of XB Consulting, explained that your sales team is more likely to thrive when you coach instead of demand and involve them in problem-solving. Doing so gives them a personal stake in the mission, and capitalizes on a diverse talent base.

Offer incentives based on profit or products
Sales incentives are only worthwhile when they increase profits. To make sure your incentive program is effective for your business, you could reward based on profit margins, not simply on sales, suggested American Business Magazine. Further, the source recommended, you could adjust your incentive system based on products that are most profitable, or items you want to move out of the warehouse. A flexible, customizable sales incentive program allows you to tailor the systems to your precise needs.

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