Motivating a sales team is always a challenge. Every sales representative is different. Some are motivated by SPIF programs, others are turned on by longer-term big payoff incentives like an all-expenses-paid Caribbean cruise or a trip to Paris.
Selling incentive programs are great for certain types of salespeople, but they do not always work for the whole team. These programs tend to split the sales team into winners and losers, damping collaboration and fanning discontent.
Perhaps selling contests aren’t the best way to motivate a sales force? In many cases, SPIFs and contests can be a distraction to the company’s real goal – growing sales. A trip to Disneyland is a nice perk but competing for a trip to Disneyland often leaves most of your sales team feeling left out, as legacy accounts, personalities, and plain old luck, puts a winner over the top. About half your team will compete, and eighty percent will have sour grapes.
The most appropriate selling incentive program I know of is a crystal-clear understanding of the organization’s sales expectations and regular updates on the sales team’s progress towards those goals. Nothing incentivizes a sales team more than a clear understanding of what their supposed to be doing and the tools to get the job done.
A clear understanding of company sales goals is the best way to focus a sales team on what they need to do to achieve their quota. And the best way to share that information is with a sales territory map.
Sales Territory Maps Keep the Team Focused
Sales territory maps are map visualizations of a sales team’s coverage area. They visibly display the critical elements of a sales team’s goals and results:
- Sales Territories by Area – usually ZIP codes or counties – define the boundaries of a sales rep’s responsibility. That’s accountability, a critical element to sales success
- Sales Goals by Territory are displayed as trackable monetary values, labels associated with each territory or map layer
- Progress Towards Goal can be displayed right below an overall goal, making progress towards goal an obvious and known quantity for all to see
- Territory Maps by Rep or by Company – The ability to view one rep at a time or the entire company at a time is important. At times it makes sense to display all territories and drive the company forward. At other times more discretion may be required, and single territory maps may be more effective
- Account Distribution – Some companies prefer to show sales reps just the accounts they own or customer maps, a business map can provide the tools for sharing all accounts or just specific accounts
Sales territory maps are easily and affordably shared either as sale meeting presentations or emailed links for more intimate sharing. Monthly or quarterly sales meetings are a great place to use business mapping tools to share success and failures in the field.
If there’s one thing we can count on in sales, it’s that circumstances are constantly changing. Markets fluctuate, products change, and customer requirements shift. Competitors rise and fall. Use territory maps at sales meetings or online discussions to describe sales account strategies that succeed and recount sales strategies that fail. This is where salespeople learn.
Business Map Planning
Business Map users with geo-aptitude will find Map Business Online a valuable tool for sales planning and market analysis. Let’s face it, in today’s social media wrapped reality we’re all marketing analysts. In addition to territory mapping, business maps enable those with fairly basic technical skills to conduct their own analysis:
- Review existing sales and marketing results against an accurate web map
- Conduct demographic analysis by ZIP code or city to determine core customer characteristics
- Search for and import specific prospect locations as business listings – access business listings from within Map Business Online
- Search for new areas of opportunity based on past success
Now, why would your salespeople bother playing with maps? Because it just might help them break through barriers to selling, explore new product opportunities, and learn more about the company’s perfect customer.
Not Everyone is a Map Geek
Be sensitive to the variety of personality types that constitute your sales team. Don’t expect everyone to take to maps naturally. Just as some people aren’t motivated by trips to Aruba, not everyone wants to spend time tweaking maps. You’ll be able to forward all reps interactive web maps for free with Map Business Online. For special cases who struggle with technology, you can send map image files via email. But for those salespeople who show serious interest in mapping, buy them a subscription to Map Business Online.
Go ahead and set up incentive contests if you want. Just make sure while your two or three sales wizards are rocking Cancun there’s still sales activity going on at home.
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