When you hear that the average organization spent over $2,000 a year on training each sales team member last year, you would assume they know what they’re doing. And with a total of more than $70 billion spent each year, it does seem axiomatic that “good training….increase[s] performance and sales.
Academic Research in Action certainly thinks so. In a recent article, they offered insights into the incentives that work to encourage salespeople to take part in sales training and the type of training that are effective at improving performances and ROIs.
The Coles Notes of their research include three points:
- If you want more people to attend training and engage, you’ll need to reward them. The surprise here is that incentives and rewards may work at least as well and maybe even better than giving them money.
- The better your training material and the way it’s delivered, the more motivated your sales team will be, the more they’ll believe in themselves, and the higher their sales numbers will be.
- Workplace training is currently changing for the better. Not just better outcomes but better outcomes for lower outputs.
According to Dooly, the numbers fully support new and recent trends in sales training:
- Want to be 57% more effective at sales than your competition? Invest in training.
- Want to encourage your salesforce to make time for training? Let them know sales training can up their performance by an average of 20%.
- Looking to increase your ROI with sales training? You can, at the rate of 353%.
- Don’t just offer one-off training. You’ll get 50% higher net sales with continuous training per sales rep.
Let’s discuss what incentivizing sales training looks like, why it works, and how your team can benefit from it.
Incentivized training is a type of training program designed to motivate and reward sales teams for their hard work and dedication. It is an effective strategy to help increase sales, productivity, and employee engagement.
The key idea behind incentivized training is that employees are more likely to put forth their best effort when they are rewarded for their performance. This can be done through bonuses, recognition, or other incentives that are linked to specific goals or objectives.
Incentivized training can be tailored to fit each sales team’s unique needs and goals, making it a flexible and customizable approach to sales training. It can also help foster a culture of ongoing organizational learning and development.
Incentives And Motivation
When it comes to getting the best out of your sales team, there are two key terms that you need to understand: motivation and incentives. While the two are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences to be aware of if you want to maximize your team’s potential.
Motivation is the process used to accomplish goals. It refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behavior. Motivation is the “why” behind the behavior, the needs or wants that drive behavior, and it explains what we do. While we don’t actually observe motivation, we can infer that it exists based on our behavior.
Motivation can be affected by some factors, including peers, unconscious goals, and self-reward. While a paycheck is an example of an extrinsic reward or incentive, motivation is an internal process that drives people to achieve their goals.
Incentives, on the other hand, are tools that you can use to create action.
While they can effectively get people to take action, they should be used in balance. Too much focus on external incentives can lead to externalized motivation, where people focus solely on the reward rather than the underlying goal. This can reduce their intrinsic motivation, making it harder to achieve long-term goals.
However, a lack of rewards can also lead to a slump in motivation. People need to feel that their efforts are being recognized and rewarded to stay motivated and engaged.
Ultimately, motivation is a self-led process. While incentives can help create action and move people toward their goals, they are not enough. To get the most out of your sales team, you need to create an environment that fosters motivation and allows your team to feel engaged and committed to achieving their goals.
Benefits Of Incentivized Training
Incentivized training can bring many benefits to your sales team, ultimately leading to increased sales performance and revenue growth.
Here are just a few of the ways incentivized training can positively impact your team:
- Motivation: When employees know their hard work and achievements will be rewarded, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged. This, in turn, can boost morale, increase productivity, and better job satisfaction.
- Skill development: Incentivized training allows your team to develop and refine their skills in a way that traditional training programs might not. When a reward or recognition is at stake, employees are more likely to actively participate and retain the information.
- Team building: Incorporating competition into incentivized training can bring your team together and create a sense of unity and friendly competition. When everyone is working towards a common goal, it can lead to better communication and collaboration among team members.
- Measurable results: Incentivized training allows you to track and measure your team’s progress and success. This allows you to see exactly what’s working and what’s not and adjust your approach as needed.
- Improved sales performance: Ultimately, incentivized training aims to increase sales performance and revenue growth. When your team is motivated, skilled, and working together towards a common goal, you’ll likely see a positive impact on your bottom line.
Setting Clear Goals And Objectives For Your Sales Team
When it comes to incentivized training, setting clear goals and objectives is key to ensuring your sales team is motivated and focused on achieving success. Without specific targets in mind, your team may be unable to effectively measure progress and struggle to stay motivated.
To set clear goals and objectives for your team, you need to start by understanding what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there. This means identifying your company’s sales targets and then breaking those targets down into achievable milestones. Once you’ve done this, you can set individual goals and targets for each sales team member that are aligned with these larger targets.
When setting goals, it’s important to ensure they are realistic and achievable. If your team feels that they are being set up for failure, they may become demotivated and less engaged in the training process. On the other hand, if goals are too easy to achieve, your team may not be pushed to perform to their full potential. Strike a balance between challenging and achievable goals to keep your team motivated and focused.
Ultimately, setting clear goals and objectives for your sales team is essential to success with incentivized training. You can create a more motivated, focused, and effective sales team by ensuring that your team understands what they are working towards and how they can achieve success.
The Right Incentives For Your Team
One of the most important aspects of incentivized training is choosing the right incentives for your sales team. Incentives can come in many different forms, from cash bonuses to extra time off to recognition in front of their peers.
When selecting the right incentives, it’s important to understand what motivates your team. Some salespeople may be motivated purely by monetary incentives, while others may be more interested in recognition or the opportunity to work on a high-profile project.
One approach to finding the right incentives is to ask your sales team what motivates them. Conduct a survey or hold a focus group to gather insights into what incentives would be most meaningful to them. You might find that the incentives your team members are most interested in are different than what you expected.
Another approach is to test out different incentives and see which ones have the most impact. For example, you could offer a cash bonus for meeting a certain sales goal in one quarter and then offer extra time off to achieve a different goal the next quarter. This can help you determine which incentives are most effective for your team.
Ultimately, the key to selecting the right incentives is to make sure they are meaningful and motivating for your team. When incentives are aligned with your sales team’s goals and your organization’s culture, they can be a powerful tool for driving performance and maximizing sales potential.
Incorporate Competition Into Incentivized Training
Competition can be a powerful motivator when it comes to incentivized training. Creating a friendly rivalry between team members can inspire them to work harder and achieve more.
There are several ways you can incorporate competition into your training program:
- Individual challenges: Set individual goals for each team member, and offer rewards to those who achieve them. This could be anything from making a certain number of sales in a week to closing a deal with a particular client.
- Team challenges: Encourage teamwork by setting goals for the entire team. This could include hitting a monthly sales target or winning a certain number of new clients.
- Leaderboards: Displaying a leaderboard can create a sense of healthy competition among team members. This can be especially effective if you offer rewards for the top performers.
- Gamification: Turning training into a game can be a fun and engaging way to motivate your team. For example, you could create a quiz where the winner receives a prize or use role-playing exercises to help your team practice their sales skills.
When incorporating competition into incentivized training, striking the right balance is important. You don’t want to create an environment that’s too cutthroat or competitive, as this can lead to resentment and burnout. Instead, aim for a culture of healthy competition where team members are encouraged to support and cheer each other on.
Track Team Progress In Your Incentivized Training
One of the most important aspects of incentivized training is tracking progress and success. Without a way to measure how your team is performing, it won’t be easy to know if your training efforts are effective.
To track progress and success with incentivized training, start by setting clear goals and objectives for your team. These goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable so that your team knows exactly what they are working towards.
Next, use tools and metrics to measure progress. For example, you can use a CRM system to track the number of sales your team is making or use a scorecard to track individual performance against specific metrics.
Incentivized training can also be used to track progress. For example, you can set up competitions or challenges that are designed to help your team improve their skills or reach specific targets. Using incentives to encourage participation, you can ensure your team is engaged and motivated to achieve their goals.
Another key component of tracking progress and success is providing feedback. This can be done through regular check-ins or one-on-one meetings, where you can discuss individual progress and provide support where needed.
Ultimately, tracking progress and success with incentivized training aims to create a culture of ongoing learning and development. By using incentives to encourage your team to learn and improve, you can create a team that is engaged, motivated, and always striving to be better.
The Right Training And Resources
One of the most important aspects of incentivized training is the ability to create a culture of ongoing learning and development within your sales team. By incorporating regular training sessions and setting clear goals, you keep your team engaged and motivated to continually improve their skills.
To help your team achieve their goals, providing them with the right training and resources is important. This can include product training, sales training, and access to tools and technology to help them succeed. Your team will be better equipped to achieve their goals and drive sales success with the right training and resources.
Training techniques and technology are constantly evolving as we move into the future. It’s important for businesses to stay on top of the latest trends to ensure their sales teams are getting the most out of their training.
In 2023, cutting-edge training for sales teams will likely involve more personalized and interactive experiences. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies will allow sales reps to immerse themselves in simulated sales scenarios and practice their skills realistically and engagingly.
Gamification will also continue to be a popular training tool. Sales reps can compete with each other and earn rewards for achieving certain milestones, making the learning experience more enjoyable and motivating.
Overall, it’s clear that incentivized training will remain an essential component of sales team development. By staying up-to-date with the latest techniques and technologies, businesses can ensure that their sales teams are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to drive success and growth in the years to come.
It’s important to remember the difference between motivation and incentive. While incentives can be effective in driving performance, true motivation comes from a deeper sense of purpose and engagement. By creating a culture of ongoing learning and development, you can help your team to feel more invested in their work and more motivated to achieve their goals.
When it comes to incentives, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got unlimited reward options, fully custom software, and solutions for every budget.
Take a look at what we have to offer, and let us know how we can help your sales team today!
Claudine is the Chief Relationship Officer at Level 6. She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Her experience includes working as a certified conflict mediator for the United States Postal Service, a human performance analyst for Accenture, an Academic Dean, and a College Director. She is currently an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. With over 20 years of experience, she joined Level 6 to guide clients seeking effective ways to change behavior and, ultimately, their bottom line.