Posts Tagged ‘Sales’


Nextiva Tuesday Tip: How to Motivate Your Salespeople

When it comes to managing employees, your salespeople are a special breed. Dealing with rejection day in and day out is tough, so it’s important that you are your sales team’s biggest cheerleader. Need help motivating your salespeople? Try these tips:

  1. Money matters. The salary, commission and bonus plan you offer is a key motivational tool—but what combination works best? While a commission-only approach can be motivating, it also tends to decrease teamwork. Straight salary, on the other hand, removes motivation and creates “coasters.” You’ll typically get the best results offering a base salary plus commission. Quarterly or year-end bonuses can be an additional motivator.
  2. Offer extras. Non-cash incentives like prizes, trips or gift cards are good motivators and help foster healthy competition among the sales team. You can keep costs down by bartering with vendors and suppliers to get incentives.
  3. Create “stretch” goals. Goals should be neither too easy to attain nor so hard that salespeople get discouraged. Aim for “stretch goals” that require just enough effort to build new skills.
  4. Be clear. Put the details of how commissions, bonuses and incentives are earned in writing and make sure every salesperson understands what he or she needs to do to attain the rewards. You don’t want disappointment and resentment.
  5. “How’m I doing?” You or your sales manager needs to provide ongoing feedback or salespeople won’t improve. Make sure criticism is combined with suggestions for how to sell better. Sharing positive feedback and praise in public (such as at sales meetings) is a great motivator.
  6. Know your team. Different salespeople are motivated by different factors. Instead of using a “one-size-fits-all” approach, tailor your feedback, rewards and interactions to each individual for best results. For instance, one person might be more motivated by tickets to a sporting event, another by an afternoon of comp time.
  7. Help them grow. Ongoing training such as that offered by sales or industry organizations is a great way to show your salespeople you value them—and motivate them to try the new tactics they learn. You can also have more experienced salespeople on your team mentor novices. 

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The Double Helix Trap

Don't let your business get caught in the Double Helix Trap! Grow your customer base steadily and consistently with these tips from author and speaker Barry Moltz. It only takes 5 minutes a day:


3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

A well-thought-out marketing strategy will attract clients to your business; a strategy with holes in it will allow customers to seep through the cracks. Here, Josh Turner, a marketing expert and founder of Linked University, a consulting firm that helps small businesses market on LinkedIn, offers his top three marketing mistakes to avoid.

Engaging in an empty social media campaign

You want your company to have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so you sign up and start posting. You fail to regularly check comments on your updates, re-tweets and follows and then wonder why leads aren’t flooding into your inbox. Does this sound familiar?

“If this describes your social media practices, don’t worry because you are not alone,” says Turner. “I think a lot of companies are misled to believe that if they just get on social media, potential customers will come their way. That is simply not the case.”

Instead, Turner recommends small business owners develop a clear strategy linking social media marketing activities and sales outreach. As long as the two are working together (i.e. sales is alerted and follows up when a positive comment is left on Facebook, etc), success should follow.

Failing to add real value

Think back to your last client-facing email newsletter. What did it contain? Did it describe your latest and greatest products? Your company’s most recent awards received? Maybe your latest big client landed? While all of those pieces of information are important for internal use, they create an annoying, snooze-fest of a newsletter for clients.

“You don’t want to seem too promotional with your marketing,” says Turner. “You need to make sure that you are providing real value. Instead of pushing your brand all the time, try offering your clients a helpful white paper on their industry and other resources to help them do their jobs better.”

Creating a stark division between marketing and sales

Marketing and sales should not be viewed as separate functions, according to Turner. Instead, the two roles should be complementary.

“The most effective companies are those that use marketing to nurture suspects and sales to help make those suspects into prospects,” he says. “Don’t do different things in your marketing and sales departments and just wait for the phone to ring. Use those roles in tandem for the best results.”

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