10 Ways To Motivate Your Equipment Sales Team & Improve Productivity
You’ve made a concerted effort to pull together a crack team of equipment sales people. You’ve done a good job. They are doing a good job. Your dealership is growing. But you can help your equipment sales team do even better. These tips (some of them might be reminders) are all useful ways to motivate your sales folks and improve productivity.
- Make it worth their while to aim for incentives.
Offering bonuses and other rewards is a time-honored method of spurring greater activity among sales people. To be effective, though, you have to clearly define the goal(s) and also establish periodic benchmarks so each person and the team can follow progress. It’s the same as setting overarching goals and short-term objectives for your dealership. (Make sure sales goals are aligned with those overall business goals.)
What makes a good incentive? Cash is traditional, but while no one turns down extra money, it’s not a universal motivator. Some of your equipment sales people might be more excited about a weekend getaway, extra time off, or more flexible work scheduling. Some people simply crave personal recognition. The best way to create truly desirable incentives is to ask your team members what would motivate them most. This also makes it easier to appropriately reward over-achievers.
- Offer tiered rewards.
Progress markers on the way to achieving goals provide opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate success – of individuals as well as the sales team. But as sales manager, you also want to motivate your “pretty good” people to become outstanding. You can stratify compensation to reward that kind of progress, too.
- Encourage (healthy) competition.
Sales is a naturally competitive job. Your people want to out-do each other, and that’s a great motivator. But everyone needs to remember that the goal is building your dealership, and that’s a team effort. When sales people help one another improve productivity, the whole team will win big.
- Make training a continuous activity.
Successful sales people have to know the products as well as know how to sell. At the rate equipment is changing, product knowledge is a constant challenge. Sales best practices continue to evolve, too. Ongoing training keeps your sales team at the top of their game, and it builds confidence in their abilities to connect with prospects.
- Help people overcome their fears.
Successful sales people seem fearless, but the truth is, most of question ourselves from time to time. Even seasoned sales pros. While fear can be a motivator, you’ll improve productivity more by encouraging your team to talk out their fears together. They’ll gain insight and practical tips from one another.
Encourage them to talk about their frustrations, too, because frustration is as much a part of their daily experience as the word “no.” If they can vent safely to colleagues, they’ll have a much easier time maintaining their equilibrium with prospects and customers.
- Turn qualifying into learning.
Sales people ask questions of prospects all the time. What do you need? What’s your budget? However, by asking deeper questions, you’ll gain more meaningful information. So teach your sales team to look beyond the basics. What are the prospect’s most pressing business challenges? Why?
These answers will provide a better insight about the company, making it much easier to propose the most beneficial purchasing options. Make it a point to discuss insights gleaned at sales meetings, so your entire team benefits. And reward those who do make it a point to gather and share these insights.
- Turn learning about prospects into relationship building.
People prefer to do business with people they like. People they trust. That’s especially true when it comes to something as expensive as heavy equipment. The only way to secure a first sale is to establish rapport and trust with a prospect. And the only way to transform them into a loyal long-term customer is building stronger personal relationships.
Make sure your sales people approach each call as a conversation, not as a scripted robo-call to qualify someone. Start the learning process right away. Commiserate with prospects about their challenges – that should be easy enough, since your equipment sales team is knowledgeable about the industry as well as the products your dealership sells. Remember that in today’s marketplace, prospects are looking for relevant, helpful information first. Then they’ll move toward a buying decision.
- Measure and reward performance quality.
Making a million calls a day is not the sign of smart, successful sales effort. Base your performance evaluations and rewards on quality leads generated and closed sales.
- Make “no” OK.
According to one study, almost 95% of sales calls end with a no. No wonder your team can get depressed or frustrated. Help them turn that around by finding the golden nugget in each rejection. Working to understand why the prospect turned you down teaches you how to boost your prospects with the next one.
- Make it a family affair.
Many equipment dealerships are family-owned businesses, so it’s easy to understand the value of making your sales team’s family members part of your dealership family. Sales people often have to work long or weird hours. And everyone talks about their job when they get home. Personally engaged family members are more understanding and more supportive. So host periodic BBQs or other informal gatherings where you can get to know each other.
The harder you and your equipment sales team work to implement these tips, the more motivated they will be. And the more you’ll be able to improve productivity.