We have introduced the concept of a customized Sales Drive to many of our sales training partners in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria with great results. While commission is a definite motivator for Salespeople, a Sales Drive gets everyone excited and enthusiastic toward reaching a specific sales goal within a specified period of time. While Sales Drives have been around for years, customizing them is the difference between a very successful one and one that falls shy of expectations.
Salespeople are motivated by many different factors. While commission is one of them, smart companies and their managers know the full spectrum of what gets their sales team going in the right direction. Here are a few great additional motivators:
- High levels of customer satisfaction from buyers and decision makers
- A good working relationship with their Manager and constructive feedback
- Recognition for a job well done
- Internal and external training and support to improve their skills
- A flexible work environment
- Opportunities for career advancement or leadership in a project or initiative
- Working in a team of positive Salespeople who believe they can accomplish great things
Provide many of these factors with competitive pay and benefits and you will have a strong, stable Sales Team for years to come. Nobody wants to leave an environment like that!
The Benefits to a Sales Drive
This is why a Sales Drive can be so effective. It can incorporate all of the elements above and motivate Salespeople to do far more than commission can accomplish by itself. Here are the benefits of a customized Sales Drive:
- It gets everyone focused on a specific goal within a shorter time frame. Every company has sales targets to reach in their fiscal year. Salespeople with a strategy and sustained self-discipline reach their targets. A Sales Drive will have a goal of maximizing a certain quarter or seasonal time of the year. For example – Increasing sales by 15% in December or reaching 10% overachievement in Q1 at the start of 2018.
- It introduces the concept of team sales targets to Salespeople who are usually only responsible for their individual sales quotas. It’s been said that Sales is not a team sport like hockey. Salespeople are like golfers. How they perform each day on the course will dictate their success. In a Sales Drive, team sales targets need to be reached for the incentives to kick in.
- A Sales Drive gets Salespeople working together, sharing their successes and challenges. Everyone understands that total cooperation and teamwork in a positive work environment will lead the team to reach its Sales Drive Target. One Salesperson’s experience now becomes a great learning opportunity for another who previously may have been leery of sharing their selling secrets.
- It builds morale within the team. Top-producing Sales Teams will always have the occasional blowout between Salespeople, especially given the elements of commission and account designation. A Sales Drive gets everyone to forget about the most recent squabble and concentrate on working together to hit the team target. Everyone needs the combined mutual success of all team members to trigger incentives.
- A Sales Drives is fun with lots of back-slapping and high fives. You’ll suddenly see positive, enthusiastic Salespeople with smiles on their faces working harder as they close in on their team target. Their drive and creativity increase because they want to win.
- A Sales Drive creates an atmosphere of self-accountability where no one wants to let the team down. Not hitting the occasional individual sales target is a common occurrence for all Salespeople. It’s much harder to let that happen when other people are involved and counting on you for their success.
What A Great Sales Drive Needs To Be Successful
Three Sales Targets:
- The First Sales Target – Reaching this target needs to be relatively easy. The Sales Team needs to taste victory with a bit of hard work and effort. That will motivate them to get to the second target using positive reinforcement. The first sales target should have moderate incentives for achievement.
- The Second Sales Target – This target should be inspiring and something that would impress senior management or the owners of the company. It requires a good effort and results from the majority of the team. Here, you will see performing Salespeople reach out to the ones that might be struggling to add to the team’s combined results. The incentives in this area need to be worth it and substantial. Reaching the second sales target needs to have the reward that makes it worthwhile.
- The Third Sales Target – This is the target that would make the team and its Manager superstars in the company. The high fives and back slapping will now be from the senior Managers and owners. The question will be asked – “What the heck did you do in Q1 to reach those numbers?” You guessed it, the incentives have to be relative. If you expect your team to reach record sales, you want them to experience the payoff of doing so.
Realistic Sales Targets – Use this rule of thumb. Sales Targets should scare Salespeople a little and excite them a lot, not scare them a lot and excite them a little. Failure to observe this rule can easily lead to a doomed Sales Drive because the Salespeople feel defeated before they even start and don’t have the courage to tell you. Don’t create a situation where Salespeople nod their heads and pay you lip service. You need their buy-in, especially from the senior Salespeople who will be asked by the less experienced ones for their honest opinion of the sales targets.
Incentives Beyond Commission – Please don’t make the mistake of reducing commissions or changing the regular pay structure to pay for the Sales Drive incentives. Keep all regular bonusing for the year in place. Instead, factor in the cost of your incentives as a cost to sale for the Sales Drive. Create the three Sales Targets with that cost in mind. Convince senior management, your CFO or your owners that reaching the team’s three sales targets will have great financial benefit after building in the cost of the incentives.
Proper Reporting of Sales Results – Salespeople need to have accurate, regular reporting of how they’re doing toward reaching their team sales targets. The reporting has to be reliable and 100% trusted. Salespeople are not motivated by hitting moving sales targets or rules that change within the Sales Drive.
Here’s the Biggest Component to a Great Sales Drive
An Even Playing Field – I have participated in many Sales Drives as a Salesperson in my career. In some, I was the rookie who was just hired three months ago trying to build business. In other others, I was the seasoned veteran with the established customer base. Too many Sales Drives are structured where the most senior Salespeople manage to get all of the group incentives with loyal customers and big budgets. This is frustrating to the balance of the team who feel like the cards are stacked against them. Yet the experienced Salespeople started no different years ago – from the beginning with few customers.
Remember, we don’t want destructive competition and negative emotions to be a factor. We want everyone working together. This is the most crucial element to your Sales Drive.
Your Next Step
In the PROSALESGUY BLOG, we tend to always give away our expertise. Many of our clients have reached out to us after first reading one of our posts. Respecting our clients who have invested in our customized Sales Drives, I would be happy to share the biggest component in creating an even playing field for all of your Salespeople with an email or phone call from you. Please see the contact information on our website.
Allow us the opportunity to tell you how we design Sales Drives for our clients. It will be well worth your time. Feel free to read our Testimonials for more information.
If you’re a Manager interested in training your Salespeople or an individual Salesperson looking for cost-effective sales training, check out our online program The Sales Skills Incubator($199 Canadian) or our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY
I love this line…
“Sales Targets should scare Salespeople a little and excite them a lot, not scare them a lot and excite them a little”
Great point Dave.
Thanks, Marty. The key is that the Salesperson must take ownership of their sales target. If they’re set too high, we tend to disassociate from them and give up from the start.