4 Tips to Motivate Your Sales Team at Year-End

Author: 
Jack Siney

Holiday music is playing in the background, wonderful scents of home-baked goods fill every room and festive decor and glittering lit trees can be seen throughout the office – with
this atmosphere how can anyone get any work done? 

While year-end may pose some challenges, it can also create real opportunities. Sales managers need to approach the final weeks of the year with leadership that taps into the competitive nature of their teams because sales professionals won’t lose their desire to be “on top” just because Santa is coming to town. 

Below are four tips for motivating your sales teams to drive sales and close deals in the final weeks of the year.

1. Get into the holiday spirit. 

If customers and prospects are also sitting in holiday-themed environments, will they really be in the mood to make a deal? Yes because decision-makers may go home but they never really leave the office. They are still reading emails, texts and listening to voicemail. And, because the holiday season tends to create a more lighthearted environment, encourage your sales reps to bring out their less serious icebreakers. Rally your sales troops to embrace the mood of the season rather than be distracted by it.

2. Show them where they rank. 

Nothing motivates a Type A personality more than someone else edging ahead of them. Keep the standings and ranks visible through an office whiteboard, company social channels and announcements during company meetings and conference calls.  Bob hearing Bill is now ahead of him, and Nancy hearing Susan is nudging past her – will keep the juices flowing for your competitive bunch.

3. Create a holiday incentive program. 

Bonuses and spiffs typically take place all year long and many have a cumulative component. You can let these promos continue but you should also create December-only recognition and rewards programs. Have contests across different variables that drive sales like reaching decision-makers, setting up conference calls, landing in-person or video meetings, etc. 

The idea is to be sure their sales efforts during the holiday season are chock full of mini, medium, and large stocking stuffer contests. Set up different timeframes from end-of-day, week, and month -- to flash-sales incentives during one to three-hour blocks, etc. The
key is to be sure the holiday contests are as bustling as the season!

4. Create a Memorable Experience. 

Sales folks love financial spiffs, but offering unique, special prizes can actually be more rewarding. Gift certificates to high-end retail and dining establishments, tickets to special performances like an ice-skating event or a theater play/musical, even offering activities for the entire family to enjoy, can all be memorable and impactful during the holiday season.

Other incentives to consider based on the company culture could include a one-day exotic car rental, premium parking space for a month, a work-lunch with a company executive in the C-suite, even some extras days of paid time off in the New Year.

Optimism is especially prominent this year-end because we are coming into an exciting and brand new decade. Motivate your team, create wins that will make a difference, and encourage them every step of the way!

Jack Siney is a leading expert on selling to the government, completing over $1.5 billion in government sales. He is the co-founder of GovSpend, which maintains the only database of purchase order records for federal, state and local agencies. He can be reached by email at JSiney@GovSpend.com.