If you’re like some family business owners, you focus more on family issues and less on such areas as sales. And now that your company has grown, it’s likely harder to retain competent, loyal and motivated sales executives.
But if you boost their morale, you’ll spend less time and effort later trying to get new sales executives up to speed. That means you can pursue other matters.
Forget about the usual motivators found in the “outside world” and look at your family business’ strengths to see how you can keep employee morale up — especially among your sales executives.
Here are some ways to motivate them:
- Recognize good work. Give pats on the back, gift certificates for meeting goals and verbal recognition in front of co-workers.
- Award non-cash compensation such as phantom or restricted stock.
- Give bonuses or rewards for new business and proven customer satisfaction.
- Offer equitable pay and competitive benefits such as a 401(k) plan, cafeteria plan and health and disability insurance.
Keep in mind that you can apply these tips to all workers.
Moreover, make yourself available to your sales executives. Help them feel they can talk to you about their problems, both business and personal, and gripes.
But make sure you also can accept criticism of your work, your family and your company. Non-family sales executives should feel comfortable critiquing you without fearing dismissal. Otherwise, they may continue to act like outsiders, which could in turn hurt their productivity.
Train Your Sales Executives
Aside from ratcheting up your benefits and compensation packages, properly training your sales executives can keep them in the hunt.
Pay attention to these two areas:
Product and Service Training
If your family business sells a highly technical product or service such as computer software, train your sales executives to completely understand how the product works.
Not only does it boost your profits (because executives can sell more product if they know its ins and outs), but it also inspires them to call on clients.
After all, thorough knowledge can give sales executives the best opportunity to close deals — allowing them to make bigger commissions.
While training sales executives to seek out the most profitable deals, discourage sales that only improve the top line or meet their individual sales goals.
Require your sales manager to approve each sales executive’s sales to ensure they avoid these types of deals. Linking profitability to compensation can help your sales executives adhere to this philosophy.
Also continue to train your sales pros on your family business’ philosophy and products as well as their duties.
The better equipped they are to do their jobs, the easier your work becomes.
Foster a Sociable Spirit
Above all, encourage teamwork. Start by getting them involved in your company’s social gatherings.
Keeping their schedules in mind, organize events in and out of work that bring together your family business’ departments.
Getting to know co-workers at a party, for instance, can encourage employees — especially sales executives — to better use each other’s skills and talents.
Wanted to share how you motivate sales executives, do in the comments!