Written by Ellie Senior.

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As this is the week that most of us return to work after the Christmas break, we’re all going to be suffering from that post-festivity lull where motivation and achievements nosedive and productivity grinds to a halt. For the majority, it’s merely a case of letting staff get their feet back under their desks. However, there’s one team that will feel the pressure of kicking 2017 off with a bang – and that’s your sales or business development team.

Whether you’re looking to keep hold of your star performers, or to inspire those who need a bit more support, it’s important that your salesforce is motivated. While it’s certainly not going to be easy – and what works for one team member might not be encouraging for another – sales professionals want to succeed as much as your business needs them to. So, how do you recognise and encourage success?

Bills, bills, bills…
It’s true – cash is an excellent way to motivate staff responsible for generating and converting new business leads. It’s a simple incentive; it allows for the recipient to spend as they wish; and it adds to their total earning potential.

It’s certainly tried and tested, but simple cash incentives have become outdated in recent years, so how about trialling a system that rewards those who have tried in addition to those who have succeeded? “Nos” are much more common in sales than “yes’s”, so recognising exceptional effort is another way to effectively motivate the team – particularly if you’re aware of dips in lead generation at certain times of the year, like right now!

Treats, games and perks
Designed to offer more flexibility, treats, games and perks can motivate on both a short- and long-term level. They also work for individuals and teams alike, as the perks can range from leaving early to a team-wide lunch, vouchers or happy hour.

Similarly, games or fun furniture in the office can act as an incentive – the opportunity to play a round of ping pong, or to make a drink with the luxurious coffee machine, can also keep sales staff motivated.

Offer them… you?
While some may see it as an arrogant ‘reward’, salespeople are in the job to progress, so why not offer them your time? Working alongside a leading sales rep for half a day will not only give them an insight into management, but also shows the rest of your team that you’re just as willing to stand on the frontline as they are.

Other ideas could include arranging lunch with senior executives in the business. It allows your team members to impress or relate to those sitting in the higher echelons of your organisation. Not only is this an opportunity for them to engage with company members on a wider level, but it can be the start of excellent mentor relationships, too.

So, what is it that you need to consider about your company’s sales motivation strategy? One thing that’s clear is that it all comes down to flexibility in both your implementation of the scheme, and the parameters you set.

Flexibility is also important when it comes to how you recognise the achievements and near-successes of your salespeople, and the Inspire Travel Card is the perfect way to reward them. It works in the same way as a gift card – allowing users to use the amount to take money off more expensive flights, hotels or trips, or they can use it to book attractions tickets, both abroad and in the UK.

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