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How to Motivate Your Senior Sales Reps to Sell More

Every sales team has senior salespeople who are a little burned out, who don’t sell with the passion they once had. Since senior reps can set the tone for a whole sales team, your role as a sales coach is extremely important.  How much more could your sales team achieve if you as the sales coach were more effective at motivating your senior-tenured salespeople and using their skills to inspire the whole team?

When you are a better motivator, you create a team culture that is more cohesive, offers greater challenges, and will prevent sales rep churn. Here’s how to get started.

Recognize top-performer achievements

Think about your team’s top performer and make a list of all of his/her specific achievements over the past, say, 90 days. Not just sales made but also important commitments from key accounts. Did you acknowledge any of those achievements in a way that was meaningful to the top performer?

I know you’re thinking that you don’t have the time to put yourself in a situation where you can observe, first-hand, all of these achievements. You have too many other priorities. Really? You’re too busy to recognize the achievements of top performers and motivation them to boost their sales performance even more… because you have to spend time on other problems that diminish sales productivity?

When you boost the performance of a peak performer by 10%, that will translate into a much greater increase in dollar volume than increasing a poor performer’s sales by 10%.

Create a list of “stretch goals”

Often we sales managers focus entirely on our reps’ sales quotas and ignore their personal goals. Yet it’s these personal goals that are the fuel that sparks personal achievement. To motivate your senior reps, get one step past their money goal. What do they want to do with the increase in commissions?

Help your senior rep create “stretch goals.” The goals may include college tuition for children, running a marathon, paying down a mortgage—you don’t know until you ask them. Whatever these goals are, work with them to define these goals and to describe why these goals are attainable.

If their annual sales goal is $1 million, you could challenge them to go higher, for $1.2 million. Then compute their income at that level, and connect it to the achievement of their personal goals. The more clear and specific your salesperson’s vision of success is, the more motivated they will be to pursue that vision every day.

And make it your 2013 goal to motivate your most senior reps!

About the Author

Kevin Davis is president of TopLine Leadership, Inc., a leading sales and sales management training company serving clients from diverse sectors. He is the author of two books on sales effectiveness: “Slow Down, Sell Faster!” (Amacom, January 2011) and “Getting Into Your Customer’s Head” (Random House, 1996) Contact him at kevin@toplineleadership.com

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