Incentives and bonuses aren’t the cure alone: Encouragement, listening and support are free

Incentives and bonuses motivate sales professionals for good reason. But great sales leadership calls for more than monetary rewards.

A Gallop study revealed that 50% of employees leave their company to get away from their bosses.

So, unfortunately, it is safe to say salespeople leave their job to get away from their chief sales officer. A CSO can throw all the incentives and bonuses they want at their team to keep their top performers around, but that strategy alone will get costly. Plus, who is to say that sales professional will not find those same monetary rewards with another sales team?

There is a better — and a more cost-effective — way to keep your sales team engaged and in it for the long haul. And these strategies all center around being a better sales leader and seeking to serve your team of sales professionals.

Good sales leadership: Speak to salespeople to the tune of incentives and rewards.

Great sales leadership: Listen to your salespeople and support the growth of their individual qualities and career objectives.

According to Salesforce Research, employees who feel their voice is heard while on the job are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Leaders often think in terms of hierarchy when they really should be thinking in more of a hive mindset, where the whole team is using their individual talents to reach a shared goal.

Encourage your entire sales team. Affirm and congratulate them when they succeed. Ask them about roadblocks they are facing and help them problem solve. Remember to provide them constructive feedback, to keep their skills sharp and their career moving forward. This is your goal as a leader: to keep the individulas you are leading moving forward— growing and becoming better sales professionals and better people.

Good sales leadership: Encourage competition between salespeople by offering the top seller a bonus.

Great sales leadership: Encourage your team members to work together and seek to serve their teammates.

Sure, healthy competition can produce good outcomes, but what can occur over time, if this strategy is ongoing, is a bevy of sales professionals operating on their own islands. Make collaboration and teamwork a part of this coming year’s leadership strategy. Encourage your sales team to share insights and tools and success stories. Encourage your team to participate in discussions and in feedback. Foster an environment of teamwork and camaraderie where your sales professionals feel comfortable to go to their peers for advice or problem solving. Remind your team they are working together toward the same end, and each person’s success is a success for the whole team.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.” Henry Ford

Good sales leadership: Focus on the bottom line of the company.

Great sales leadership: Instill a “seek to serve” culture into the core of your team – driving the bottom line.

If you and your entire team care more about seeking to serve the buyer, prospects and one another, the bottom line will naturally benefit.

But this “seek to serve” mentality won’t go far if it doesn’t start with you—their leader. If you make serving your team your number one prioirty, you will be sure reap the reward of a flourishing and successful sales team. Sure, this doesn’t happen over night, but you can take one step each day. Start by asking your team how you can help them sell more effectively. Listen and respond.

There are hundreds, thousands maybe, of good sales leaders out there. You have the opportunity to step out of the crowd and be great.

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