Human Resources

Managing and Motivating Employees to achieve sales

No matter what business you are in or what products and services you sell, you will always need to have highly motivated staff to sell and provide excellent customer service. We have worked with many companies to boost company and individual performance; so here are our tips.

Companies with performance management systems have:

- Higher profits

- Better cash flow

- Stronger market performance

- Greater stock value

- Productivity significantly above industry average

when compared to companies without performance management systems.

(Source: Hewitt & University of Chicago)

Therefore, if you want to maximise your profit it is critical that you have a performance management system. There are numerous aspects to consider in the management and motivation of employees to achieve sales, including:

1. Establish a business plan

Firstly, it is essential to identify the goals of the business, including the sales, marketing and customer service goals and activities.

2. Clarify job requirements and goals

Establish exactly why you require each job, the key responsibilities, how success is measured, and the profile of the perfect incumbent. The profile should include previous experience, behaviours and attitude, skills, knowledge and qualifications.

The business goals need to be cascaded down to teams and employees to ensure that individual goals align with business goals, eg business goals include attracting ten new clients and achieving $300,000 profit, then each salesperson needs to be allocated an appropriate share of these goals, eg three new clients retained and $100,000 profit.

3. Recruit the right person for the right job

Then implement a rigorous process to attract and select the best person. The bigger the pool of applicants the better chance you have of finding the right person so carefully determine your attraction strategy. To select the best candidate utilise multiple methods (eg interview, psychometric testing, job trials, reference check) and involve more than one person in the decision making.

4. Provide the appropriate training and development

To ensure the business goals are achieved it is critical that employees have the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs, eg regular product knowledge training.

5. Provide employees with regular and constructive performance feedback

Conduct regular discussions throughout the performance cycle, which include coaching, mentoring, feedback and formal assessment.

6. Reward employees based on performance

It is imperative that any reward is linked to the goals of the company.

"It's not just about the pay cheque. Effective incentive compensation management is based on an understanding of basic human motivation -- on the importance of trust, self-esteem, social recognition and improved chances to fulfill one's potential."

(Source: Bakosh, R Outlook Journal)

Reward can be given in many forms including monetary and non-monetary. Don't presume to know what will motivate an employee. Ask what special something would excite them and if they say monetary, probe further to find out what else motivates them.

The two most common forms of performance-based monetary reward are:

* A base salary increase for satisfactory or higher performance, usually in terms of incremental progression through pay points or through a percentage increase; and

* A performance bonus in recognition of higher than satisfactory performance.

Importantly, it is opportune to consider why sales incentive programs are effective in uncertain economic times.

* Low fixed costs, variable costs driven by performance, high potential return

* Ability to effectively target audiences

* Relative ease of measurement

* Flexibility

* Potential for both short-term and long-term results

"If you want your staff to give great service, you need to give great service to your staff."

(Source: Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman)

Claire Harrison, Harrison Human Resources Pty Ltd, 1300 544 803, www.hhr.com.au

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