Compensate fairly, with commissions: While some businesses have gotten away from commissions, the fact is that you’ll always drive more sales when your sales team has financial incentives. The best salespeople always want an environment where they’re rewarded for working harder and doing the best job. Create that environment.
Give them what they need to succeed: That means the latest tools and the latest technology, allowing them to work smarter, not harder. Today’s technology provides far more efficient ways of attracting leads, turning them into customers and ensuring the best return on investment. You don’t want to be the business playing by 2009 rules when your competitor is playing by 2014 rules. It’s a certain road to failure.
Employ salespeople who work well with the rest of your staff: Similarly, be sure the rest of your staff works well with sales. You’re all in this together, so be sure each arm of your company is supportive of the others.
Positive attitude starts with you: You want your salespeople (and all your staff members) to have a great attitude every day, because that drives sales and ensures faithful customers. That attitude starts at the top. If your attitude is poor, your employees will follow suit. If it’s positive, same deal.
Your sales manager must be the best salesperson you have: It doesn’t work any other way. No one in sales wants to work for a manager with lesser abilities. The lack of respect will destroy motivation and have your sales team looking for better opportunities.
Sales = money; no sales = no money: Be generous with your compensation for top producers, but always tie it to sales. A salesperson who’s doing just fine financially despite subpar sales will never deliver what you need. The vast majority of compensation should be in commissions, bonuses, etc.
Acknowledge staff achievement: Money is the best reward, sure, but it’s amazing how rewarded your employees — and not just in sales — will feel with simple acknowledgement. Pass out certificates, celebrate your hardest workers at meetings and parties, upgrade position titles, etc.: Be sure your top people know that you know. It’s also a powerful incentive for every employee to raise his or her game.
Reward repeat business: Whenever a customer orders from you a second time, it means the customer has satisfied — at the very least — with how your product was sold and the service provided. Pay an even larger incentive to your salesperson the second time.
Hold sales meeting regularly: Even if you have a large business with salespeople spread out geographically, meet in person as often as possible. When that’s not possible, hold online meetings with plenty of interactivity. Strong communication between everyone will drive success.