Boost & motivate your remote team with sales incentives

Remote work has become the norm and is here to stay. 98% of remote workers say they want to continue remote working even after the pandemic.

Your sales teams are left to work from home by themselves. In this situation, it’s natural for them to lack motivation.

There are no quick coffee breaks or water cooler conversations. Loneliness is a significant problem for your remote sales team. How do you keep them motivated so that they give their best performance?

Studies show that employees perform 20% better when motivated. And having highly engaged employees can increase your company’s profits by 21%. What can be better than a sales incentive program to encourage sales teams?

Let’s discuss 8 amazing incentive ideas that can ignite the passion in your sales reps.

1. Embrace automation and tech tools

71% of sales reps said that manual data entry eats up most of their productive time. Why don’t you automate the repetitive tasks? That will save time and energy to be devoted to other essential work.

Using a sales-focused CRM like Close will help skyrocket your sales team’s productivity. It will give you an overview of all the tasks of your team. You can organize and schedule calls, emails, and reminders.

Every team member will have access to all the processes. Thus, automation will lead to better coordination within your sales team. It’s a lifesaver when everyone is working remotely.

Using automated tools also improves communication with your team members and customers. They get the necessary reminders and follow-ups without any manual effort. That reduces the burden on your team and boosts their productivity.

You can try out Zapier and other automation tools to reduce the burden on your remote sales team.


Source - Statista

Curious about the tools used by sales pros? Explore our handpicked selection of sales productivity tools in our guide.

2. Streamline the workflows

Remote sales teams often experience delays in work due to communication gaps and other issues like lack of coordination. Streamlining the workflow will give everyone an idea about their responsibilities and reduce unnecessary delays.

You can automate the mundane tasks and delegate the essential duties to the team members. For instance, instead of taking all the managerial responsibilities on your shoulders, you can make the employees involved in the process. That will foster healthy relationships and boost the morale of the team.

Delegating your key responsibilities will also reduce your burden. Thus, you can focus on other crucial tasks.

Remote working also loosens the bond between team members. You can encourage collaboration among the members to lift their spirits. Assign tasks that require them to discuss over audio or video calls. That will strengthen their bond and also increase your sales team’s productivity.

When people come together, they will get creative and bring new ideas to the table. That will also reduce the monotony of remote work. Thus, streamlining your workflow will benefit you more than you can imagine.

3. Conduct team-building activities virtually

So what if your team is not meeting face to face? You can still organize fun-filled activities online to boost their morale. Moreover, it will strengthen the relationships among team members, improving the overall performance of your company.

Holding regular virtual team retreats or meetups is an excellent idea. You can keep them for light conversations outside of work or hold quizzes and other competitions. That will be a welcome break for everyone, and they will also get to interact with each other.

You can organize an online storytelling workshop for your sales team. People will enjoy it. Moreover, they will learn how to tell enthralling stories to connect with customers and boost sales.

Encouraging healthy competition among your employees is a superb way to foster a team spirit. Sales leaderboards are an effective way to do it. Your team will feel motivated and give their best performance.

The performance of your company depends on your sales team’s efficiency. And how will your team become efficient without team-building activities? When the employees get to know their colleagues, they will form friendships and cooperate. That will make the work process as smooth as butter.

4. Provide valuable courses and training

Employees love to upskill themselves for professional improvement. But they aren’t getting enough opportunities to improve their skills. According to the American Psychological Association, only 44% of US employees are satisfied with the development opportunities at work. So, why not give them some exciting courses and training sessions?


Source - APA

A course to improve communication will boost their confidence. That will also impact your sales. You can also consider giving them training videos on customer satisfaction and retention. For example, if your business is very customer-facing like in the case of eCommerce, inculcate employees with a customer-centric mindset.

The training your salespeople receive depends on the products they're selling and should be specific to their industry. For example, a salesperson should learn how a subscription model works before promoting a product that requires a subscription. Without this specific knowledge, the salesperson may state inaccurate information or choke up when asked a simple question. Both these scenarios risk turning the customer off because they don’t trust the salesperson.

Gifting online courses to your employees has numerous advantages. They don’t have to go anywhere. These courses can be watched anytime from the comforts of their home. Plus, they will also increase your team’s work satisfaction.

Apart from professional courses, you can also offer them some personal development opportunities. For instance, you may:

  • Give them access to an online art class
  • Offer time management classes
  • Give them free access to fitness training for a month

After all, happy team members would be an asset to your company. They will become loyal and motivated employees, helping your organization’s growth.

5. Offer cash incentives or prizes

What can be better motivation than money? After all, that’s what people work for.

Many companies offer performance-based bonuses to their employees. That motivates the team members to work harder to achieve specific goals.

Announcing cash prizes for top performers in the team is an excellent option. It will promote healthy competition among the team members. Moreover, each member would try to better their performance, leading to overall improvement for the team.

Maintaining a leaderboard will help you organize your cash incentives in a systematic way. It will let you set a commission structure so that the employees get a specific amount for reaching a particular goal. For instance, converting a certain number of leads or hitting a sales target.

Pro tip for sales managers

All work and no play can make everyone dull. But what if work looks like play? Gamification is a unique way to spark life into the mundane work atmosphere.

You can arrange sales competitions for your sales team members. Offer them rewards in cash. That will make the process enjoyable, increasing your team’s productivity at the same time.

Gamification has numerous benefits.

  • It promotes healthy competition
  • A sales rep can track their performance in comparison to others
  • It’s a welcome change from the monotonous routine at work
  • It keeps your employees motivated
  • Your team can meet the sales goals faster

Thus, the goal is to give them cash incentives but make the process fun too.

Check out Steli Efti's guide on How to get your sales team to meet their sales quota every single time.

6. Focus on setting flexible goals

Setting rigid goals can make life stressful for an employee. They would remain anxious to achieve those goals, affecting their performance at work.

However, employees will perform much better if they create their own goals. That’s because every employee has unique strengths and weaknesses. Having flexibility will let them set their goals depending on their abilities. Thus, the chances of reaching those goals will increase.

Flexible sales goals would also eliminate the stress and anxiety of your employees. And research shows improved mental health leads to better performance at work. When you keep track of key sales KPIs, including rep activity metrics and overall conversion rates, you are better able to adjust your goals to current facts, not simply winging it.

Flexibility also lets your team members make changes if needed. For instance, emergencies and other life events will allow them to adjust their goals accordingly.

Pro-tip: You can use OKR software and distribute access to your team to monitor how well they are keeping in line with their work goals and objectives.

7. Evolve the strategy for the remote model

Remember, your employees are not working from the office. So, you have to evolve your strategy for the remote model.

Asking your team to work from 9 to 5 is not a good idea. They might have other distractions at home. So, it’s better to let them choose their own work hours.

Letting your employees choose their work hours will boost their productivity. That’s because they will know when they can give their best performance. Some people work better early in the morning, while others are night owls.

Sales managers should be more interested in the results. The amount of sales an employee makes is what matters. Whether they work from 9-5 or 5-12 won’t affect the organization.

Having flexible work hours will also give a sense of autonomy to your team members. Freedom and independence work better than any other motivation hacks. When you let them take control, they will take your business to great heights.


Source - SHRM

You should also ensure that your employees have access to all the necessary tools at home. The lack of proper tools can frustrate your employees, affecting their performance. So, you have to see they are equipped with everything they need.

Here are some things sales reps will need-

  • Access to proper communication
  • Collaborative tools
  • Data sharing tools
  • A performance tracking tool

An all-in-one CRM will eliminate the need for tools, making your life easier.

As the pandemic ends, you can also create a hybrid work culture. It will let you strike a balance between office and virtual work.

8. Build better relationships

Building strong relationships will give a sense of belonging to your employees. Thus, you will get loyal team members who will work hard to achieve the sales quotas.

Working together at the office makes it easier to build relationships. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an excellent professional relationship with your remote workers.

How can you form strong relationships with your remote employees?

  • Use technology—Move beyond texts and emails. You can use several online platforms to communicate better with your team. The pandemic saw an increase in the use of Slack. You can also use Google Meet to connect with your employees over a video call.
  • Listen and empathize—The pandemic has locked people inside their homes, moving them away from fellow humans. Loneliness and isolation can take a toll on people’s mental health, which will affect their work.

Being a patient listener will help form strong bonds with every employee. And they will put in their best efforts when they trust you.

  • Celebrate with them—Celebrate the small wins of your remote workers. It might even be a personal achievement outside of work. For instance, an employee might have won a fitness competition or a reality show. Don’t hesitate to appreciate and encourage them.

These tips will help build a healthy relationship with your whole team.


Source - Ariel Group

Having a good relationship with each employee also has other benefits. Since you will know them personally, you will understand their ikes and preferences. That will help you in giving them personalized incentives.

Boost sales with motivated sales teams

More sales is the end goal of your business. A motivated sales team can work wonders for you. You don’t have to worry, even if you don’t meet your team face to face. Technology can bridge the gap between you and your remote sales team. So, start applying the tips listed above without further ado and watch your sales boom.

Hiring the right sales team also makes a lot of difference.

Set your remote team up for success with the remote sales guide from Steli Efti:


About the Author: Mark Xavier Quadros

Specialty: Content Marketer for SaaS and online business

Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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