Case Study: How to Motivate Your Sales Team and Get Its Commitment

Dasa Kasparova
How to motivate your sales team and get its commitment

Sales executives often face challenging goals and it takes a lot of effort to keep them motivated. When it comes to presenting the revenue plan for the new year, which is even more ambitious than the previous one, the management always searches for the best ways to communicate new goals.

It is extremely important to ensure that everybody is aligned with the goals and believes in fulfilling them.

This was the mission of one of our clients, Heineken, as well. Michal Chudík, the National Sales Manager, put himself in a challenging position – how to present the new plan in a way that would get the sales representatives to answer “Yes” to his final question: “Can we make it?”

It was a high-stakes presentation, and he put a lot of effort into it. If he wanted to succeed, he had to re-think the whole setup and the way of delivering his message.

National Sales Day 2017

National Sales Day took place at the end of January 2017. It was a one-day offsite event where the sales team reviewed the achievements of 2016 and presented the strategy for the new year. Around 200 internal employees took part, including the board of directors and marketing and sales teams.

The tech solution

Strategic sales presentations are often stats heavy. Michal as interaction advocate wanted to transform traditional one-way talks and energize the participants in the course of the day: “I wanted to increase the level of interaction with the audience by boosting the engagement index of every single team member to the highest possible one.”  

In order to achieve that, he decided to use Slido for Q&A as well as for live polling.

Meeting design

Entertaining warm-up poll

Before kicking-off the sessions, Michal introduced Slido onstage and prepared a warm-up poll to make participants familiar with the tool. He started in a very serious tone:

“The question I am about to ask you is critical for the future direction of our business. We’ve been struggling with this issue for 3 years now and I hope that you can help us settle this once and for all.” Standing there with another team leader and an unsuspecting audience in front of them, he activated a poll:

“Who is more handsome?”

People burst into laughter. Even with a majority of men in the audience, this bold question helped relax the atmosphere in the room before diving deeper into numbers and revenue strategies.

Questions without correct answers

The whole afternoon was then devoted to the presentations of the last year’s results and new plans. When presenting numbers, the speakers came up with a smart idea on how to get participants interested.

Instead of putting the correct answer to “What was our market share at [brand] retail chain in 2016?” into one of the options of a poll, they created fake options that were smaller than the actual number.

Using the moment of surprise to reveal the real number to the delegates served as a collective recognition and had a positive impact on their learning.

National champion analogy

When evaluating the results from 2016 earlier that day, Michal showed a video of Slovak cycling champion Peter Sagan and his success as an example. When closing his presentation at the end of the day, he referred to the same framework.

“After a year full of hard work,” Michal said, “Sagan achieved great success. We have all the means to succeed as well.” He followed with a quick summary of all the innovations and improvements that had been presented for the new year’s strategy.

Finally, he activated a live poll and said: “Peter Sagan made it. Can we make it, too?”

The final answer

An incredible 97% of the audience voted “YES.” Expressing that they are ready to work hard to meet the presented numbers was a huge satisfaction for the whole team. The atmosphere in the room was so charged that the remaining 3% of the attendees would have been jeered at if it wasn’t for the anonymity of the votes.

Michal noted: “I felt a massive energy from the crowd and the level of engagement boosted the confidence of the whole organization! The whole setup turned out to be the most unique thing we could do in order to receive what we wanted.”

The only thing left to do was to close the event with sincere acknowledgment of the team’s determination and move to its unofficial part.

The result

The response from the sales representatives was truly rewarding.

“Standing in front of the audience heading to the very last question ‘Can we make it?’ made me realize that the level of engagement and energy I felt from the audience was the most unique moment worth the bet we put behind the whole setup. I had a feeling that they were fully engaged with the company targets being the most challenging ever.”

How to replicate this at your event

  1. Start with a warm-up poll to break the ice
  2. Use a poll to create a moment of surprise before revealing the correct answer
  3. Run the final poll to get the commitment from your team and wrap up the session on a high note

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