Motivating sales performance is part of every sales manager’s job. From setting quota, to account planning to lead generation, there are a variety of tools leveraged to drive increased revenue realization. One of the most common motivational techniques is to run a sales contest. Sales contests are short term in nature and often help infuse a level of energy necessary to jump start individual or team performance.
But what can a sales manager do when they have no budget to fund a contest, but really need to kick start results?
Run a contest and offer free rewards. Yes, you read correctly. There are ways to recognize performance that will cost you almost nothing to distribute. Here are the top 10 ways to recognize and reward performance for free (or almost free).
o I’m Outta Here. Paid time off is one of the best rewards. Why? High turnover in sales positions often results in low tenure. A precious few moments to sleep in, take your kid to the doctor or cut our early for the weekend means a better quality of life for your employees. How much time off is required? It depends on the type of sales team you manage. For a call center, increments of 5 minutes can be effective. For field sales, you may want to consider 1-2 hour increments.
o School’s Back in Session. Recognize top performers with first dibs on upcoming training and education opportunities. If you don’t have any formalized training available, consider letting top reps attend a management meeting with you or even running your weekly staff meeting to gain some leadership experience. Employers that invest in their people will improve morale and reduce turnover.
o New Technology. Give top performers the best computer, headset or new phone. Provide your best folks with the best equipment to enable further success.
o King for the Day! Create a special award for the top performer in your office. It may be King or Queen for the day, week or month. Award them a crown and give them the royal treatment. This can include anything from serving them lunch and snacks, to bowing before them when they walk by or referring to them as your highness. Have fun with this. Most sales professionals have confidence and an ego… they will love the special treatment.
o Hallmark Moment. A simple thank you note is one of the most powerful tools. Not an email or voicemail, but a personalized note from the management team to the sales professionals. Make it extra special by handing out Kudos bars with your note… Kudos for a job well done!
o Wall of Fame. Everyone likes to see their name in lights. Create a wall of fame for your outstanding contributors for all to see. Take digital pictures of your top performers and post in the office. Want to get everyone involved? Cut out large stars and laminate. Place in front of the desk or cubicle of top performers. Challenge the team to have everyone join the walk of fame in your office.
o Service with a Smile. Sincere appreciation starts with a smile. Focus on bringing positive energy into your office by smiling. Recognize other positive players on your team with a smiley sticker for the day. Want to make the office a little zippier? Consider handing out balloons for key accomplishments to brighten up the office and generate team enthusiasm.
o Keys Please. Show your associates you are willing to go the extra mile by taking car of their personal vehicles. Offer to valet park top performers cars or offer a reserved parking spot. If your company has fleet vehicles, consider offering a company car as a special perk to top sales associates.
o Game Stop. Everyone needs a little fun at the office. Infuse your break room or conference area with some games to help lighten the mood. Give top performers access to their games of choice or allotted times to play Xbox, WII or PSP. Bring in your games from home or let associates bring in their favorites.
o Shutter Bug. Take advantage of your company intranet or newsletter and showcase top performers. Consider a feature article every month highlighting a great sales person in action. This is a great way to boost employee morale but also promote your department.
Recognition does not have to be expensive or difficult to implement. With a little imagination you can create a reward system that motivates performance and costs you absolutely nothing to implement.
By John Hester