With fiscal year end in sight for many sales organizations, December can usher a pressure unfelt throughout the rest of the year into a month already packed with holiday parties and vacation plans. As some companies strive to clear out their cash buckets and others fight to fill theirs, sales representatives can find themselves in an overwhelming obstacle course of sales quotas, deadlines, and hard to reach prospects. Staying motivated through the end of the year – when pressure runs high and social engagements offer welcome distractions – can be even more difficult than getting customers to close.
We put together a few tips on how to keep the team motivated this holiday season:
Incorporate a goal and incentive program
Money is one of the biggest motivations for success, especially at a time of year that taxes our bank accounts. If you do not have an individual incentive program for your sales reps, create one for December. If you already have a program in place, change it up this month with new offers, stretch goals, and special prizes. Freshness can renew interest in a program that’s losing steam. We recommend adding a stretch goal that far surpasses all expectations. If there’s any time of year to dream big, this is that time. You never know which reps will surprise you when you put herculean goals in front of them.
Help your reps on an individual level. Step in where you can to offer advice, or even to sit in on sales calls. Working with the sales reps is an important aspect of any B2B business. Encourage everyone in the organization to help with sales. If salse reps know they are working towards the greater good of their teammates and their organization, and that both are also behind them, some will work just a little bit harder, a little bit longer, and a little bit better. That may make all the difference.
Collect feedback from the sales reps
The end of the calendar year can bring about discussions of benefits, new employee opportunities, employee reviews, etc. Take the opportunity to find out what your sales reps are happy with, and what they need. Show them that you’re listening, that the company is listening, and that their opinions matter. Money isn’t everyone’s biggest motivator. Show your reps you need their opinions, and demonstrate the contributions they make by turning their feedback into productive initiatives. If reps have something to look forward to in January, they’re much more likely to be excited about December than they are if they’re out looking for jobs.
Offer outside advice
Don’t skip out on individual, face to face meeting with sales reps, and do it now – at the beginning of the month. You want to solve any issues your reps face now so the remainder of the month runs smoothly. By asking individual reps how things are going, sitting down with the reps and offering advice, you can help your sales reps feel more confident in areas where they are having difficulty. Sales confidence is a creator for motivation and success.
Be a motivator
You can build the foundation for individual motivations for your reps, but at the end of the day, we all need an extra nudge sometimes. This time of the year can be especially stressful, so create an environment that helps alleviate that stress. Take sales reps out for coffee, and reward them with a happy hour when they get closer to their goals. Send motivational emails to the team and post inspirational adages in the bullpen. Create a positive environment in which your reps want to be, and they won’t complain (as much) about coming in to work on December 24th to finish up a few deals.