Fostering teamwork with sales incentives and resources

Salespeople often thrive when they work as a team. A strong group knows how to play to each member’s strengths and land major clients by working in harmony. Teams don’t come together overnight, however – it can take weeks before individual representatives learn how to combine their efforts. 

Every company should include team-building exercises during sales on-boarding. Highly effective habits of strong groups can be reinforced with sales incentives. Instead of rewarding individual efforts, managers can compensate their agents for working as a cohesive unit. 

Don’t divide the incentives
Managers usually view sales teams as single entities. From a sales performance management (SPM) standpoint, it’s easier to monitor a group than individuals because it reduces the amount of information that has to be processed. The problem lies in the fact that some managers continue the narrow philosophy and expect the team to evenly divide its incentives. Agents end up squabbling over who earned the most money and the arguments can contribute to the dissolution of a team.

Alternatively, Inc. Magazine reports that some representatives scheme to earn as much as possible at the expense of companies’ best interests. Teams devise complicated systems so that every member earns more than his or her fair share of compensation. To avoid financial problems, managers should pay out individual rewards to ensure that every employee is satisfied. 

Increase communication and increase resources
Effective teamwork is predicated on excellent communication. The more information that representatives share with each other, the greater the chances for success in the long run. Teams should regularly hold meetings to discuss their progress and what strategies they should use moving forward. Regular discussions allow members to internally monitor their numbers so managers can take a hands-off approach. Leaders should be appointed so there is a clear hierarchy and protocol to follow. 

Additionally, managers should give their teams access to the best sales tools. Software applications like Incent from Xactly make it easy for representatives to track their associates’ numbers and ensure that the team is on track to meet its regular quotas. By implementing SPM programs, managers are giving teams the means to handle their responsibilities.

Software also allows vendors to create healthy competition between teams. Inc. Magazine writes that some groups deviate to internal battles due to a lack of an external enemy. SPM programs can be used to create company-wide leader boards and match their teams against each other. Instead of fighting with each other, team members will be motivated to help their groups earn the top position.