3 Ways to Energize Your Sales Team in 2012

Sales Motivation - Next Wave Marketing Strategies.com

Sales Motivation – Next Wave Marketing Strategies.com

The holiday season and end of the year can be an exhausting time for any business including insurance agencies. Sales staff may  be focused on personal issues while customers may be cranky. Why not start 2012 with plans to re-energize your sales team and help them re-commit to the company’s mission and vision? They’ll feel more in tune with the company, customers will catch their enthusiasm, and your business will improve. In other words, spending some time to motivate sales agents is a win/win proposition.

1. Lead from the top.

If you’re grouchy and pessimistic, your sales team will feel and act the same way. Instead, boost your own enthusiasm about your agency. Review its mission, vision, and value statements. Are those statements still accurate? If not, re-write them until they reflect your company’s current reality. Although many people roll their eyes when they hear about these statements, if they are used correctly, the statements can help guide sales agents by answering questions such as, “Why do I matter?” or “Why are we bothering to do all this.” Another way a leader can help energize a team is through sharing success stories. Certainly, your team wants to know when the company is doing well, but they also want to know that they are actually making a difference in people’s lives. When you get feedback from satisfied customers, share it with the team and watch the energy level in the room pick up.

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2. Know your team and play to their strengths.

It’s a good idea for everyone on your sales team to be cross-trained so they can step in for each other in a moment of crisis. When it comes to regular assignments, it makes more sense to play to the strengths of each member of your team rather than assign the same percentage of tasks to everyone. John, for instance, might love the adrenaline rush of cold calling; whereas Sally, who is shy, does better with warm calling such as contacting new Internet leads. Other factors you might consider include whether an employee is more comfortable in an individual or group setting, and whether an employee expresses him or herself better verbally or in writing.

3. Consider performance based contracts

Performance based contracts have three distinguishing factors: First, they provide new employees with a clear set of goals or objectives. (“Respond to at least 20 new Internet leads every week.”) 2. Collection of data and feedback occur more or less continuously. 3. The contract specifies certain consequences (either rewards or penalties) depending on whether or not objectives have been met. Performance contracts work well for confident, highly competitive individuals, but they are likely to spark anxiety and discouragement in those who see the glass as half empty. When you do use performance contracts, focus more on rewards than punishments. Since the day B.F. Skinner defined operant conditioning, psychologists have known that positive feedback, such as public recognition, is more inspirational than negative consequences, such as a cut in salary or loss of job.The year 2012 could be your best sales year ever if you take steps to energize your sales teams now.

About Troy Wilson