Incentra Insights

How to Motivate Your Sales Team

Posted by David Chittock on Apr 5, 2024 8:30:00 AM

motivating a sales team


Today’s Unique Challenges

Most sales leaders agree that 2024 will be one of the toughest sales years they have yet to experience. The enormous upheavals caused by the hybrid workplace and virtual selling have already led to anxiety and stress within sales teams. Add to that the unsettling state of our politics, the crisis levels of world events, and the general concerns of job security and economic uncertainties, you have a recipe for failure to meet sales goals. So how can sales managers motivate their sales teams in such a challenging environment?

Motivating Your Multigenerational Team

Recently the Harris Consulting Group, a sales training company, addressed the issue of sales motivation specifically across generational differences. They determined that motivating different generations, such as Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, when it comes to sales recognition requires understanding their unique values, preferences, and expectations.

Here are some key differences in motivating these generations:

Gen X (born 1965-1980)

  • Recognition Preference: Gen X values recognition that’s more private and sincere. They appreciate personal praise and acknowledgment of their contributions.
  • Motivational Factors: Offering them tangible rewards like bonuses or promotions can be effective. They also appreciate job security and work-life balance.
  • Communication Style: Gen X prefers face-to-face or direct communication. They are not as reliant on digital platforms for recognition.

Millennials (born 1981-1996)

  • Recognition Preference: Millennials seek both public and private recognition. They want acknowledgment from peers and supervisors but also value personalized feedback.
  • Motivational Factors: Millennials are motivated by career growth opportunities, skill development, and a sense of purpose in their work. They value workplace flexibility and work-life integration.
  • Communication Style: Millennials are digital natives, so using technology and social media for recognition can be effective. They appreciate frequent feedback and recognition in real time.

Gen Z (born 1997-2012)

  • Recognition Preference: Gen Z prefers quick and public recognition. They are accustomed to receiving instant feedback and validation through social media.
  • Motivational Factors: Gen Z is motivated by opportunities for advancement and learning, as well as meaningful work that aligns with their values. They value diversity and inclusion.
  • Communication Style: Gen Z is highly tech-savvy and prefers digital communication channels like instant messaging and social media. They are likely to respond well to gamified or interactive recognition platforms.

Multigenerational Strategies

  • Customize Recognition: Tailor recognition efforts to each generation's preferences. For Gen X, focus on personalized, private recognition, while Millennials and Gen Z, incorporate public acknowledgment and social media sharing.
  • Offer Varied Incentives: Provide a range of incentives that align with each generation's motivators. For Gen X, consider bonuses and job security. Millennials may appreciate skill development opportunities, and Gen Z may value experiences or events as rewards.
  • Foster an Inclusive Culture: Create an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, as this is appreciated by all generations.
  • Embrace Technology: Utilize digital platforms and technologies for recognition but be mindful of the preferred communication channels for each generation.
  • Solicit Feedback: Regularly gather feedback from your sales teams to understand what recognition strategies resonate with them and make necessary adjustments.

Need for a Customizable Recognition Program

You will need a recognition and reward program that can be easily customized to address the multigenerational differences of your sales teams. Our flexible technology platform will provide your sales teams with the recognition, motivation, and communications most suited to their age group. Give us a call.


Related Blog Posts:


Generational Diversity: How to attract and retain employees

Sales Incentives and 2024 Sales Trends


Categories: Sales Incentives