Sales people are unique and working with them provides many challenges and if done right, many rewards. Successful sales people are all different and they have learned to leverage their best attributes to develop a unique selling style that works for them. 

Consequently, maximizing their performance is always more a matter of coaching than managing to help them achieve more than they could on their own.

Here are some basic guidelines that may be helpful in motivating your sales folks to increase sales:

1. Keep It Simple! Sales people are busy - they make multiple sales calls each day and constantly answer questions from customers and the factory.  Make your message stand out from other messages. It must be clear, concise and actionable.

2. Limit Your Messages! Never try to give multiple inputs at one time. Sales people have become expert jugglers. You can throw them a single ball and they can usually incorporate it into what they are doing, but if you throw them three balls, they are not able to incorporate them all and will likely drop something in the process. Give them one message at a time. Always space new information so it can be absorbed and acted on before providing more input.

3. Create Recognition! Sales is a lonely business so most sales people revel in recognition. Sales advisory councils are excellent ways to recognize outstanding effort and gain terrific input at the same time. Arrange a meeting with a select group of representatives from the sales group to discuss issues that affect them. Publicize the results.

4. Create Competition! Good sales people are incredibly competitive especially for recognition among their peers. Develop an awards program to generate interest. Establish multiple criteria. Announce monthly progress. Create a visible presentation. Establish a trophy and a list of past recipients.

5. Incentivize! Again, sales people are competitive and will strive to win the prize, partly for the prize, but also for the recognition. The bigger the results you want, the bigger the incentives should be. At one company, sales doubled in just two years through sales incentives.
However you motivate your sales force, always remember the goal is to better serve the customer.

Author's Bio: 

Bob Cannon of the Cannon Advantage, mixes marketing and leadership to help organizations lower costs and reduce time to implement their critical initiatives.
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