Sales Leaders: How to Show Appreciation and Incentivize Remote Teams

Salespeople thrive on positive environments, where they get credit for their successes—especially if that credit is a cash bonus, trip or other incentive. For sales leaders of remote teams, however, the cash is surely appreciated but when there’s no verbal recognition in front of peers, salespeople begin to lose their motivation. So how do remote sales leaders and managers show appreciation to a job well done when there’s no one there to see it in person? Here are five tactics you can use today.

1. Give a virtual “attaboy” (or “attagirl”).
In call center environment, it’s easy to stand up and yell so everyone can hear you. For remote teams, however, there’s no physical proximity to make this happen—but it still can be done. Using face-to-face virtual meeting technology, like iMeet, gather all your sales reps online, turn on your webcams and call attention to the great job an individual is doing. Doing this fosters not only good will from the employees, but also friendly competition that can drive results.

2. Create a “champions club” for top performers.
Salespeople are notorious for being competitive when there’s a special title to compete for. Create a “champions” group for your top performers and offer them special incentives, like joining your president’s quarterly conference call, passes to the airport loyalty club or first dibs at a conference.

3. Celebrate great efforts outside revenue achievements.
If you’re in sales, you know that having a bad month or quarter happens—and it’s miserable. To keep your reps in the game even when revenue’s not going their way, celebrate them for keeping their pipeline up to date, for getting that long-sought-after prospect meeting or for making some key LinkedIn partner connections. Give them kudos in a quick team call or email to show them you’re still rooting for them.

4. Incent them with face time.
If you manage a remote team that is so geographically dispersed you rarely see the individual reps, use a special visit as an incentive for your salespeople. On your trip, visit their customers and/or partners, but also plan something fun, such as a concert, sporting event or great dinner so they can bring their spouse, friend or family member to show their success.

5. Incentivize them with trips to meet each other.
As a sales leader, you can’t always be around the corner for a customer meeting, a quick question or a pat on the back, but the other team members can be. Many remote team members never meet each other face-to-face, instead just connecting briefly on IM or silently on another weekly call. Use this as an opportunity for achievement recognition and a great way to build your team. Offer regional team retreats or meet-ups in a friendly, competitive way to drive the performance you want and the support they need.

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