Inside Sales VPs, Directors, and Managers are always asking us about motivating their teams. We all agree that inside sales can at times be a tough job mostly because of:
- The amount of rejection that you face (it’s easier to say no to a person over the phone than in person)
- The tedious nature of the job (using the phone and computer is a little more monotonous for most people than meeting in person)
So much is made over inside sales motivation, but the term is really sort of an oxymoron. Psychologists and neuroscientists tell us that motivation comes from within, not from another person. That’s worth repeating: no one can motivate you except for you. The idea of the carrot and the stick has largely been discredited by people that are a heck of a lot smarter than me. (See the Neuroscience of Leadership Webinar)
Without traditional ideas of motivation – especially for generation Y employees – what can you do? As an Inside Sales VP, Director, or Manager, your job is to create an environment that is conducive to success for the individual and team. This is easier said than done and requires constant tinkering under the hood. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Have your team announce something publicly. At Vorsight each BDA sends a companywide email every time they set an appointment. Success breeds more success. You see your friend get a meeting with a very senior exec and you want to beat them. You motivate yourself.
- Get a sales gong. (See my previous blog post– I’m not kidding)
- Understand the DNA of the person you are hiring in the first place. Hunter oriented inside sales requires a different type of person than farmer oriented inside sales. What are the tendencies and characteristics of the ideal candidate? Once you map what they look like, are you capable of recognizing what that type of person will say in an interview?
- Have a means to move people along. Are lower performing reps that have just been around forever bringing the rest of the team down? If an inside sales rep is in an environment of only top performers they tend to become a top performer unless they are burned out.
- Create a plan to advance your reps and stick to it. Nothing gives more inside sales motivation than a career path to strive for. Can you point to several of your inside sales reps who advanced on to other areas within and outside of your organization? Inside reps frequently want to know where this is all going. Ask them where they want to go and help them get there.
- Use SPIFFs (Short term Performance Incentives for Fun). We routinely hand out gift cards and have a team goal with a points system that they trade in for happy hours, dinners, and fun activities like go-karting and bowling. Do you have a sales incentive trip? We just got back from Playa Del Carmen with 12 of our reps. Trust me: people self motivate for a trip like that.
- Let each member of the team set their own goals. At Vorsight we have a pull up meeting with all of the meeting schedulers on Monday where we go around and set goals. On Friday we do another pull up meeting where we go around the room and each person says how they did against their goal. Peer pressure is huge, especially because of the team goal incentive components. Nothing gets you to self motivate like wanting to avoid standing in front of your peers and saying that you missed your goal.
- Have FUN. What is the overall feeling of your office? What is your culture like? Is it loud and boisterous or quiet like a library? If you were starting a new job would you want to work there? Does it give energy or take it away?
What are your ideas for creating an environment of success?
Posted by on 12/09 at 09:36 AM
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