Executive Group Travel Blog

Motivating the "Average" Sales Rep

[fa icon="clock-o"] Oct 21, 2020 10:00:00 AM [fa icon="user"] Marci McCormack [fa icon="folder-open'] Incentive Travel

2020 has been very difficult year, particularly for most sales reps. Depending on your industry, numbers may still be down and incentives are more important than ever to keep your team positive and looking to the year ahead. One good way to do this is setting up special incentives toward 2021 qualifications, like December sales counting double, etc., to get people motivated again.

Once you decide on your approach for next year's qualifications, it's important to understand your target audience. Many companies make the mistake of creating incentive competitions to target the top 15-20% of their sales team; however, that group of elite sales reps will be at the top regardless of competitions. These reps are already your rockstars and will perform month after month, year after year. They don't need a competition to be motivated; they are driven by personal goals and the feeling of accomplishment. Yes, it's imperative to acknowledge and reward these top achievers, as they are the heartbeat of your organization. But without those incentives, they would still be your rockstars, often delivering 120% of their revenue goals in a year. 

Photo by May Manzur

How to Inspire the Rest

Your main target for incentive trips should be the 20-80% of goal sales reps who average about 85% of their annual goal (depending on the company). At the end of the day, those in the bottom 20% might not be a good fit and it can be time consuming to try to turn them into rockstar-level sales reps. But the 20-80% can easily be motivated by that 4-night President's Club trip. This group is most likely not honored on a monthly basis, have not received praise in front of the rest of their team, and may not even be aware of their own abilities yet. Members of this group might finish the year right at 100% of their revenue goal, but typically won't go that one step further to reach 115-125%. This is the group on the verge of a breakthrough and providing them with the right motivation can increase the average of their annual goals from ~85% closer to 100% (or even 115%!). 

A few ways to keep these reps involved:

  • Open the annual President's Club trip up to all those who hit a specific percentage of goal, not just the top 20% of your sales team.
  • Promote the trip each month with branded swag. You want to make sure the incentive is fresh on their minds and that they are frequently reminded of the amazing experience they will have if they earn it.
  • Provide an award for the rep with the biggest percentage of goal increase year over year.
  • Publish weekly and monthly standings. Have managers work with their reps to understand how close they are to qualifying and put in a little extra time to show their commitment to having their reps qualify. 
  • Make qualifying goals realistic but also a bit of a reach. You want to make sure it's still an elite group of top sales reps who qualify. 

Motivation is Key

Make sure you keep all employees engaged and motivated throughout the qualifying period for your next incentive trip. There's nothing worse than a sales rep knowing he's out of the running in month four. Create the right incentive competition to inspire the average sales rep to become one of your rockstars. The more rockstars you have, the better the overall revenue for your company. 

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