Motivating Sales & Customer Service for Best Results

As a consumer, have you ever walked into a store or office where instantly you felt an energy and eagerness to help you find what you needed?

I have. Recently, while shopping with my sons for sneakers, I met a highly motivated saleswoman who left an impression on me.

She paid attention, assessed what we were looking at and explained what the most popular sneakers were and the differences between them. When we chose a pair to try, she sat on the floor and double-laced two different-colored shoelaces into the shoes, which sealed the deal. We bought the sneakers along with an extra pair and a book bag, too. When we walked in, we may or may not have made a purchase. Due to this salesperson, we made three purchases. That store is lucky to have a salesperson like her. Luck, however, doesn’t have to play a factor. If you want a highenergy sales and customer service team, you must create one.

The following are some guidelines to create a positive and motivated team that will drive higher results.

Establish the Culture & Set the Tone

The values and ethics that are important to you should make up the core principles of your business. Your sales and customer service team are the key personnel who represent the philosophy of your business to customers, so it is important to communicate your message to your staff in your mission statement and reinforce it in your advertising slogans and taglines. Repeat your message often, and incorporate it into your training. When you reinforce those principles constantly, they become ingrained in every facet of your business.

Set Goals Routinely

No one can hit a target unless they know exactly where to aim. Do you want to hit a set dollar goal, strive for a percentage of growth, or have a product or service focus? Set expectations so that everyone is aware. Create a metric and responsibility chart to monitor where everyone ranks in goal attainment. Provide tools such as pricing, promos, talking points, etc. Also, provide adequate and ongoing training. Nothing is more motivating than achieving goals.

Develop Strong Communications

Regular meetings or memos are a good way to communicate. Clear and consistent directives are important. Communicate what you need, and expect results. Salespeople should not have to surmise or make assumptions about what is expected of them. Knowledge is power, and clear communication and effective education on company procedures is essential to success.

Build Strong Teamwork

Sharing a culture and adopting the same philosophy and values are the elements for building a strong sales team. Teams are built on trust, and the first place to start is with management building strong relationships with their staff. This one-on-one connection with the staff helps to assess weaknesses and strengths to better ensure that you have the right people in the right seats. Open lines of communication, coaching and encouragement are fundamental to bringing out the best of each individual team member. Using the strengths of each team member drives the competitive spirit that salespeople thrive on. Imagine if one strong salesperson produces results, what can the power of a team accomplish?

Maintain High Morale

Most important to having a motivated team is a positive attitude. A positive attitude is infectious. Deal with negativity immediately by addressing those who may be a morale issue and promptly resolving the root cause. Infuse positivity at all times. Use meetings to communicate accomplishment. Have team members share ideas and success stories.

Provide Opportunities for Personal & Professional Growth

Some people do have a real talent for customer service or selling. Utilize their skills in a number of ways — training, mentoring, team leading, etc. When someone perfects the process, record it, duplicate it and make it the norm for the department. Motivate people with new challenges. Ask your staff to do something outside of the box, such as writing a policy or giving a training session, and they may exceed your expectations. Developing skills and raising the bar helps to define star performers.

Use Recognition as a Motivator

Recognition of great work has a huge value, yet costs nothing. When you receive a testimonial from a customer praising a team member, type it up and post it on a wall of fame. Circulate e-mails boasting an individual’s accomplishment. Select an employee of the month or top performers of the quarter, etc. Certificates of achievement can be awarded during meetings. A public pat on the back is an incredible motivator to encourage your staff to keep excelling.

Encourage Friendly Competition & Give Rewards

Make it fun. Run contests to offer incentives for top performance. Gift cards, movie tickets, gift baskets and purchased prizes are all good ideas to use as incentives to spike sales results. If the team goal is attained, bring in lunch for the team. Track progress using a visual race theme and have employees advance their cars, horses, etc., on the board to finish first. Use themes to keep focused on goals and build team spirit at the same time. Have a beach theme, sports theme, holiday theme, and incorporate decorations, contests, music and/or food into that theme. Let staff come up with ideas. This is a great way to increase energy and enthusiasm.

Remember: Success Breeds Success

Success at work spills over into a desire to stay successful. It can also affect other areas of a person’s life. Your people are your biggest asset. A positive work environment that they can excel in provides one third of the recipe for a balanced life. To achieve balance, one aspires for good family/home life, work life and spirituality. Happy, well-balanced employees contribute to your business success.

So incorporate the above ideas to infl uence not only sales, but expand the initiative to raise morale throughout your entire organization.

This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Debbie Boedeker is director of corporate sales for Pride Mobility Products Corp., Exeter, Pa. Debbie can be reached via e-mail at dboedeker@pridemobility.com or by calling (800) 800-8586.

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