Career Advice

Does Your Sales Team Have Their Eyes on the Prize?

Shannon Barlow Posted by Shannon
min read
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Competition is heating up here in the people2people office, with fierce campaigning for the end of year Best & Fairest award and a new award for social media contributions.  I’ve witnessed impassioned speeches to gain votes, newly formed alliances and rivalries for the biggest following, sledging worthy of a baggy green (I am a Kiwi, after all), and underhanded tactics in a desperate attempt to improve Klout score (which measures one's social media engagement).  There’s a buzz in the air, a sense of urgency, an edge... but hold on – I work in a sales office; shouldn't this be situation normal? It’s been a hard grind this year, and I can understand that salespeople can get a bit tired of "banging their heads against the wall," but my question is how do you keep them going?  I think it’s about harnessing the competitive spirit of your salespeople, but how you do that is the tricky bit. In recruiting new staff for our business, we look for those people with characteristics such as drive for results, competitiveness and energy – and that’s who we select.  But somehow, somewhere down the line, those qualities can lie dormant, at least until the next frivolous competition comes along.  Why has the challenge to get more Twitter followers exposed the competitive nature of our staff more than sales targets with a financial reward?  How can we tap into the natural drive we know is there for the benefit of the business and the individual? Here are some tried and true methods, plus one to think about:

  • 2 hours of power – buddy up with another sales consultant for a telemarketing blitz.  There’s someone there to keep you honest, motivated and to compete against.

  • Company-wide marketing day – hit the phones en masse and make the competition interesting by pitting team against team: Kiwis vs Aussies vs Poms, Boys vs Girls or old guard vs new kids on the block.

  • Last one standing – but this time you don’t want to win the title.  In this one everyone stands up to make their sales calls and can only sit down once they’ve made a visit/order/meeting.  There’s nothing like fear and shame-based motivation!

How do you get your sales people fired up for a win? Share your ideas in the comments!