Motivating your sales staff

While it may be a truism that all sales staff are motivated by the carrot and stick method of earning more money in the form of commissions and bonuses, it seems that the 'work life balance' issue has meant that the carrot can now take many other forms.

A snapshot survey undertaken by media sales recruitment specialist Regan & Dean, questioned 168 media sales staff about what would motivate them to achieve over and above their targets. Over half (52%) said that 'lifestyle' rewards such as holidays, red letter day type experiences and sabbaticals would mean more to them than pure commission.

"I see commission as part of my salary package", said one respondent. "But what motivates me more is the fact that I can be rewarded for going the extra mile by things I would not normally buy myself - the last time I beat my target I got to go hydrozorbing with a friend - all on the company - it was amazing."

More time off was also a popular option with just under a third (31%) stating that they would see more holiday entitlement as an added bonus: "In the last decade, the world has got decidedly smaller" said one respondent. "Consequently, exotic holidays are now the norm rather than the exception - often two weeks just isn't enough if you are travelling to the other side of the world."

Narelle Lester, Managing Director of Regan and Dean says that she is seeing a growing range of rewards designed to motivate sales staff among her clients.

"One of our clients took a team to the Arctic - they got to choose designer cold weather gear - and then got to keep them after the trip! Another of our clients has a 'top ten biller prize draw' to win an Aston Martin for a year. Smaller companies who don't have huge budgets can still respond by looking at gift vouchers or meals in top restaurants. In an environment where the best talent is highly sought after, companies are responding by looking at more innovative ways to recruit and retain their staff and recognising that although money - and a good commission scheme is important - it's not the be all and end all. Sales is a stressful job and being able to let off steam by doing something completely different - and having it paid for - is often more satisfying than an extra one or two per cent commission."

If you had the choice - what would motivate you to exceed your target?

Lifestyle rewards - 52%
More time off - 31%
Higher basic salary - 9%
More commission/bonus - 8%