One of the greatest challenges for a sales leader is finding ways to indirectly motivate a rapidly growing sales team. When your sales organization becomes a certain size, you simply can’t be everywhere at once. You need to find ways to motivate a wide range of seasoned and inexperienced reps.
Many sales people rely on money. Yes, money is an excellent motivator. But I have found one that is even stronger.
No, not William Perry from the 1985 Chicago Bears. I’m referring to the most sacred ground in the kitchen, The Refrigerator. And why is this area of real estate so hallowed? Not because of its ability to keep food items cool and fresh longer but because of Mom.
I vividly remember the sense of pride I would get whenever my mother would hang any of my work on the Fridge. She was essentially giving the work her seal of approval and showing it off for any visitors who ever came to the Delisle House. The Fridge was her kitchen trophy case. Mom got her sense of pride watching us do something well and my brother, Eric, and I fought for that space on the Fridge. If anything Eric ever did covered anything of mine, I knew what I’d have to do in order to get back on the Fridge; work harder.
When you are an individual contributor on a Sales Team, you’re able to post items on your own Fridge. You can brag, and boast about your individual successes. But your individual Fridge is never enough – we all seek the approval of others, and individual contributors need their managers to hang their work on the office Fridge.
If you are in a Sales leadership role, this should be one of your priorities.
Give. Never take credit. The next time you’re about to take credit for work your team is doing, remember to put them on your Fridge. Take pride in the work they are able to produce and be vocal and be happy when they are the ones who take the credit.
This concept hit me as I recently watched a sales rep take a swing at our Sales gong last week. As per usual we were hosting a lot of visitors at Dyn. I watched as a rep marched up to the gong, grabbed the mallet, and swung with the ferocity only Thor himself would be able to reproduce, to let every employee and all visitors know of his recent victory. Excitement followed as our employees a floor above counted the number of gong hits aloud – the more hits, the larger the deal! Envious Sales eyes watched and they all knew that they too, would soon be taking their swings.
And I knew I would never take a swing but that I didn’t have to – this was my Fridge for the Sales Team. We were showing off their great work for everyone within Dyn to see.
What does your organization use as a Fridge?