There is no question-sales is not for the faint of heart. Setting meetings and working deals means facing an incredible amount of rejection every day while managing often-tedious tasks. It takes time to master pushing disappointment aside day after day, call after call.
The idea of inside sales motivation is a bit of an oxymoron. Scientists have discovered that motivation is all in our heads and controlled by the neurotransmitter dopamine. That means when it comes down to it, no one can motivate you except for you. In that same study, Kimberly Schaufenbuel and her team uncovered that you can retrain the brain to be motivated by rewards.
As an inside sales leader, part of your job is creating an environment conducive to success for individual reps and teams alike. This is easier said than done given that traditional motivation techniques don’t really work–especially with millennial inside sales reps. So how do you do it? By helping your inside sales reps create their own habit loops with rewarding behaviors. Here are some ideas to help your sales team get and stay motivated:
PMAs (Public Meeting Announcements)
Every time one of our ExecVision or Vorsight reps sets an appointment, it triggers an email blast to the team. Some may find this practice annoying, but success breeds success. Many reps are driven by the intrinsic motivation of outperforming their peers. Every time they see one of these meeting emails in their inbox, it provides them a motivation boost.
Hit the Gong
Whether you buy a Balinese gong from eBay or use software to imitate one, sales gongs are incredibly motivating on the sales floor. This extrinsic motivator has a double hit approach: hitting the gong is super satisfying for the rep who earned it and it adds a boost to other reps on the floor who are motivated by seeing someone else’s success.
Hire the Right People
Think about the DNA of your top inside sales reps. What traits and characteristics do they possess? Know how to spot these in candidates you interview. Understand the differences between good hunters and good farmers and hire accordingly.
Learn to Let Go
Have a means for moving people along. Know how to handle low performing reps who bring the rest of the team down. When you put a rep into an environment filled with top performers, they tend to become a top performer themselves unless they’re burnt out. Positive sales teams motivate one another by providing support when their teammates need it, which helps keep reps from burning out.
Make Clear Paths
Build out clear roadmaps for rep advancement and stick to it. Nothing motivates millennial reps like a promotion to strive for. Know who you can point to on your team that’s been promoted and within your alumni networks to show your inside sales reps where this is all going. Ask your reps where they want to go and help them get there.
Get SPIFFy with It
SPIFFs are Short-term Performance Incentives for Fun. Hand out gift cards, create team goals with a points system they can trade in for happy hours, dinners, and fun outings like bowling and go-karting, have dress down or shorts days, etc. These smaller incentives help keep motivation high as reps work toward their sales incentive trip goals. When reps are striving toward a free trip to locations like Miami and Playa Del Carmen, trust me, they will self-motivate.
Let each member of the team set their own goals. They’ll know what they need to do each week to meet their larger goals/quota. The entire ExecVision team sets goals together on Monday mornings and then we meet again Friday afternoon to go around and say how we did against our own goals. Peer pressure is huge and particularly effective for team goal incentives. Nothing’s quite as motivating as wanting to avoid standing in front of your peers announcing you missed your goal.
Reps Just Wanna Have Fun
Think about the overall atmosphere of your office and the sales floor. Is it often loud and boisterous or is it quiet like a library? Do you feel an energy in the air? If you were starting a new job, would you be happy in the same environment? Create a fun environment and your reps will enjoy coming to work week after week while they crush their goals.
How do you create an environment that breeds success? What motivators do you provide to your sales team? Share your expertise in the comments.