Learn how to keep sales motivation high and reach your sales goals with these tips so easy even a caveman can implement them.
In this article:
- Keeping Sales Simple
- Eat What You Kill to Reach (and Surpass) Sales Targets
- As Motivation for Sales Reps, Build a Fire to Spark Creativity
- Keep It Simple to Help Team Members Become Successful in Meeting Long-Term Goals
- Be Wary of Wolves to Prevent Ruining People’s Hard Work
- Love the Ones You’re With to Win at Selling
- Don’t Get Mad if Geico Puts You in an Ad to Boost Sales Motivation
6 Sales Motivation Tips You Can Learn From Cavemen
Keeping Sales Simple
Enhancing sales motivation without spending more is one of the toughest challenges facing any inside sales team today. For answers, let’s return to a simpler time when the world was still flat. During this time, people also thought it was a good idea to scribble strange pictures on their bedroom walls.
Cavemen sometimes get a bad rap, but they sure did know how to survive. They can teach sales professionals a lot about human psychology, which is at the heart of effective sales team motivation.
1. Eat What You Kill to Reach (and Surpass) Sales Targets
Do you remember when you could crawl out of your cave, bag a bison, and drag it back to your place for dinner? Yeah, me neither, but that’s probably how it was back in the day.
In modern times, your sales compensation plan is the meat that motivates your salespeople. It should set clear expectations and highlight both the monetary and non-monetary rewards of strong sales performance.
To sweeten the pot, add accelerators to your reward or comp plan. These are bonuses or incentives that kick in once an employee meets a certain performance level.
For example, you can include an accelerator or motivator that doubles the commission on each sale after the sales team hits a predetermined number.
2. As Motivation for Sales Reps, Build a Fire to Spark Creativity
Imagine how great it must have felt to be the first caveman to figure out how to start a fire by rubbing twigs together. Yabba-dabba-doo!
As sales managers, you’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to fire up your sales representatives, right? Contests can light a spark under your team. There’s an art to these things, though, if you want to consistently get maximum results.
For example, don’t let your sales staff know about your contest too far in advance. If they do, they may try to game the system by saving up the best opportunities, hoping to close them during the contest.
3. Keep It Simple to Help Team Members Become Successful in Meeting Long-Term Goals
Prehistoric people didn’t have a lot to work with. They kept things simple out of necessity. If you think about it, what they achieved with rudimentary stone tools was rather remarkable.
Your sales reps are smart and resourceful too. They are masters at distilling complex ideas into compelling messages prospects can quickly understand. That’s what sales training taught them—and it works.
If your sales incentives and contests are complex, you’ll lose people’s interest. In motivating your sales team, resist the urge to include too many metrics or rules.
Don’t hold competitions no salesperson can win. Some sales leaders think they can motivate their sales reps with fancy prizes, but they make them too hard to win.
Contests like this won’t appeal to a big chunk of your team members. Most of them can’t envision themselves ever achieving such lofty numbers in spite of excellent work ethic. Make sure you declare a winner every time.
4. Be Wary of Wolves to Prevent Ruining People’s Hard Work
Duran Duran summed up the caveman’s plight well in the band’s 1980s hit song “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Early humans had to be constantly on guard against the threat of wild dogs stealing their food.
One sales motivation technique is to guard against silent demotivators. These attack team morale without warning.
If nobody but two or three of your best reps have a chance to win your competitions, the rest may become discouraged and disengaged. Your reps in the middle of the pack, though, are probably the ones you need to motivate the most.
As a form of intrinsic motivation, create a simple point system that rewards participation. Tell your reps they can earn them in your competitions even when they don’t take first place.
What Is Intrinsic Motivation? It is self-motivation—that is, the person’s behavior relies on internal rewards. Examples are personal satisfaction, self-recognition, and actualization.
Let them redeem those points for lesser prizes, such as a free lunch or time off work. That way, they may not win the big-ticket item, but they can still earn valuable rewards and perks. You still keep them motivated.
5. Love the Ones You’re With to Win at Selling
The next time you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner with an anthropologist, ask them if cavemen were good family guys. They will probably say yes because most of them were. They didn’t do all that hunting and gathering just for themselves.
You can sit around all day fantasizing about how much easier your job will be if you just have better sales reps. That’s probably not the best approach, however. You will find it surprising to know how well your reps perform if you build an efficient motivational sales system and keep them engaged.
Find ways to show your sales reps you really care about them and are sensitive to their needs. If a rep’s motivation is waning, perhaps health issues or other personal problems are to blame.
Another sales team motivation idea is to use one-on-one sales meetings to identify the root cause of low motivation, then you can offer help and support when appropriate. Each rep is different, so you should tailor your approach to the individual.
6. Don’t Get Mad if Geico Puts You in an Ad to Boost Sales Motivation
Do you remember those crazy ads that claimed Geico.com was so easy to use a caveman could do it? Oddly, the few remaining cavemen on the planet never embraced that campaign. They didn’t feel comfortable with the spotlight.
Your sales reps, on the other hand, don’t fear publicity. They want to see their names in lights. They like to know how they stack up against their peers.
One of the most powerful sales enablement techniques is to create sales contests that feed off your reps’ fierce competitive spirit.
Display sales data publicly and update it frequently. Large real-time monitors strategically placed around the office will generate more excitement than a static whiteboard.
Cavemen weren’t crazy. They did the best they could with what they had.
Your sales reps are giving their best effort too, and you can give them a little push from time to time. You can make a big impact on their performance by using the right sales motivation techniques.
What are your strategies to motivate your sales team without spending more money? Share them in the comments section below!
- XANT Releases PowerStandings™ Gamification Tool for Increased Sales Team Motivation
- Sales Metrics Not Just About Measuring Productivity, but Creating Motivation
- 3 Keys to Unlock the Potential of Sales Structure for Enterprises
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 17, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.