What can happen when managers hold their employees to unreasonable standards and they don’t produce the best outcome for the company?

Ask Wells Fargo.

In 2016, it was discovered that Wells Fargo employees created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts. When this outrageous behavior came to light, more than 5,000 employees were fired.

Promoting Good Sales Behaviors: Four Tips for Motivating a Sales Team

He learned that the root cause of these dishonest tactics was because they were being paid commissions on total numbers instead of individual sales.

Sales leadership and good sales behaviors are crucial factor in the success of any sales team.

Wells Fargo’s strategy of giving employees more commission for opening new accounts backfired. Rather than making Wells Fargo a profit, they ended up getting fined $575 million.

Are You Driving the Right Behaviors to Achieve Goals?

In any sales team, it’s a challenge to make sure employees are doing the right things. That’s especially true when incentives don’t affect the bottom line – they’re just easy enough to manage without requiring too much effort.

For example, if a company’s sales staff is graded or compensated based on activity level (for example, number of contacts made), an easy way to game the system would be to send tons of emails. However this will irritate potential customers and look like spam which can negatively affect the business’s reputation.

As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to help teams understand what outcomes and activities are helpful. You must also communicate with the team about good behavior that will lead to success.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to good sales behaviors, including:

  • How to set proper expectations
  • To encourage good sales behavior, be sure to reward it with incentives.
  • Some things to consider when you are hiring a salesperson is that they have good communication skills, and the ability to work with different types of people.

Communicating Good Sales Behaviors to Achieve Goals

It’s important to remember a few things when talking with your team about good sales behaviors.

When you give your reps a metric or goal, make sure to include the following:

  • The goal is to have a clear path, so that the company can meet its diversity goals.
  • What you want to accomplish is this.
  • Understand what behavior will lead to the desired outcome, and then use that understanding when you hire.

In order to be a successful sales leader, you need to analyze the behaviors that will affect your company and set goals around those behaviors.

You need to be able to clearly state your goals and what you expect from other people.

If sales reps don’t believe that doing X, Y, and Z is going to be better than A, B and C for them personally or as a company strategy then they will just go back to their old ways.

The results are what matter at the end of the day.

If you’re doing everything right and not seeing results, that doesn’t help your company. You want to make sure when setting goals for your team, you’re focusing on two things: 1) Setting challenging but attainable sales goals. 2) Giving them the tools they need to succeed (i.e., training).

  • Incentivizing for results
  • Making sure that individual tasks are difficult to cheat on or fake.

For example, it is harder to game a goal of number meetings because the client has to be confirmed on a calendar event and accept the invitation.

It also means that you have to create a more complex compensation structure when it comes to rewards, because if somebody does something bad for the company they can’t be paid.

Article: Pay is not enough incentive.

4 Steps to Drive Good Sales Behaviors to Achieve Goals

These 4 steps can help you meet your sales targets by encouraging the habits of successful salespeople and establishing good behaviors during a sale.

1. After setting good sales behaviors to achieve goals, think about how the cycle could be gamed.

As a sales leader, it’s important to take into consideration that some people just like to game the system. They enjoy manipulating goals.

Imagine what would happen if one salesperson could contact 10,000 prospects in a single day. How would this affect the business short-term and long-term? Alternatively, imagine that they contacted only two or three people per day.

If you are trying to make a decision, it is important to consider the extremes. It helps you see if there are any potential gamesmanship in your goals.

2. Assist your team in establishing a link between opportunities and outcomes.

If you have a talented team, it’s important for them to be able to communicate effectively.

You need to make sure the conversations you have with your team are in line with their behavior. If they do something positive, then great! But if not, it’s time to change the conversation.

You need to define what behaviors are desired, and then correlate them with the outcomes. Does it matter how often someone is calling versus emailing? The team doesn’t want to wing it.

While it’s important to be able to analyze the data, you also need a way of communicating with your team.

For one example, we looked at the general metrics that our team wanted to manage against and how reps’ actions impacted ROI. We found out what an average turn rate is when a rep contacts someone for each method such as emails, phone calls, and social media.

If sales reps weren’t cold-calling, they were going to have a hard time meeting their targets.

When I share these examples with my sales reps, they’re more likely to understand how it works.

3. Get ideas from your sales team.

I’ve been getting ideas from my team on how we should be managing particular incentives. It propels them to work more efficiently because they have a sense of what is going on in the workplace.

When a salesperson says they want to do something that’s not going to help the company, you have to be able to push back and help them understand why.

As a sales manager, it’s your responsibility to create an environment where everyone can succeed.

The study found that for a salesperson who has coaching, their performance increases by 2.9% to 6.2%.

4. Ascertain that you have the power to influence the desired results.

Sales reps need to know they can control their destiny and that it will affect the bottom line. This is important for them to feel confident in what they do.

When you’re trying to reach a certain outcome, focus on what you have direct control over. This will give your team the power to put new ideas into action and see whether they can work.

Dos and Don’ts

It’s important to know what constitutes good sales behaviors and which ones are unacceptable.

  • Help your team see how opportunities can lead to good things.
  • I try to think about how the cycle can be gamed before incentivizing sales teams.
  • To make sure you’re not over-incentivizing your team, get their input on how to manage incentives from day to day.
  • Sales reps need to feel like they have the power of choice when it comes to driving certain outcomes.
  • You may need to be more communicative with your team.
  • Use a more personal communication style.

Here are some tools that can help you develop a strategy for your company and will give employees the best chance at success.

What have you done that I haven’t mentioned to help motivate your sales reps?

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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
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Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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