No brand or company can deny that their sales team is the backbone of their operation.
However, many a brand takes the sales team as a given, causing employees to feel underappreciated. Underappreciation is one of the main causes of employee disengagement, and it can cost brands, both in terms of morale and in terms of revenue.
Gift-giving is one of the many ways to make employees feel appreciated and important, and it keeps them engaged and striving to do their best. But what is a company to do when the holiday season is upon us, and there's not much time to decide on the perfect gift that will motivate your sales team?
Well, fret not, for I've got the perfect guide for gifts for the sales team that keeps your business... In business!
5 Best Gifts for Sales Reps
1. All the Right Incentives
An incentive is a surefire way to keep employees engaged and striving for greatness, simply by helping them keep their eyes on the prize. This will work for managers and sales reps alike, provided it's the right incentive and given for all the right reasons. Don't think of something too pricey. Just get creative with the incentive you'd like to offer. The perfect incentive for a young parent could be an extra day off to spend with their children and loved ones.
An extra day off could be brilliant for a supervisor as well. After all, when supervisors are well-rested, they're more positive and less likely to be easily irritated, thus managing to inspire their teams and help them move forward. Younger sales team members who are just starting could use an incentive in the form of an online sales course that could provide certification of knowledge around the sales process, giving them all they need to develop their skills in the future.
Of course, giving the wrong incentive is way worse than giving no incentive at all, and the wrong incentive will cause your sales team to be completely disengaged. The key to avoiding that is to take your team's feedback into account at all times and create something cost-effective that they will enjoy.
2. The Right Toolset
The right toolset should be a given for all sales teams, but sometimes things are not that simple. Sales teams strive for better results and constant improvement, and while the right toolset should be a given, most of the time, some things need to be added for the team to achieve optimal results.
Again, asking for constant feedback is essential. Never forget that your sales and support teams are the first point of contact with your prospects and customers. Don't limit their needs strictly to sales tools, as they could very well use some marketing tools.
For example, A/B testing tools, analytics, or even a free course around sales in the digital era, including data and techniques on selling using email marketing and social media platforms, will allow your sales team to understand what sells and what needs improvement first-hand.
What is more, instead of wasting time, energy, and resources, using techniques like qualitative research and tools like analytics will allow your sales team to better understand the needs of your demographics in terms of location, age, gender, and everything that matters when it comes to closing a sale.
3. Personalized Anything
Custom-made, personalized products are a brand's best friend in terms of conversion, CRO, and everything that matters. Since that is the case, and since sales teams comprise of people that could very well be part of your demographics, why not create a brilliant, personalized gift for this holiday season - or any occasion, for that matter?
What you need to do is pinpoint the most useful thing. Some of your salespeople are always on the move. Consider giving those who are always on the move a personalized thermos with their initials (or in their favorite color - or both!).
For the members of your team that are desk-bound, a personalized mug, a mousepad, or even some stationery items can go a long way. If you’re not entirely sure about the gift that would work, snoop around a little. Ask questions, see what your team members love and invest in a business gift card that could be more than a little personalized, in terms of product.
Personalized gifts always make people feel appreciated, as they show that the giver has put some amount of thought into the item they're giving. And a personalized gift with a practical use can never go unappreciated.
4. Subscription-Based Goods
When it comes to gifting a subscription-based anything to your sales team, it's best to not limit your ideas to things they can only use to improve their skills. For example, productivity apps are very popular and convenient and can help all team members organize their workload, as well as the various tasks and aspects of their day, as they see fit.
Securing a subscription to an app like the one above will show your team that you value their time, whether it's their time as employees or their personal, "out-of-office" time.
Another way to show how much you value your sales team's well-being would be gifting a gym membership. All of the pent-up energy and the frustration that stems from sitting behind a desk can destroy a person's mood. This is where a gym membership can be useful: by gifting that, you help lift the team's spirits, which never goes unnoticed.
Finally, never forget subscription-based platforms that can help improve your team's skills. A subscription to services like Scribd or Audible can give your team members access to audiobooks, online magazines, or e-books.
Aside from plenty of fiction, these services offer access to the most popular business and entrepreneurship content. A Spotify or iTunes subscription could also go a long way, as team members can be entertained and improve their skills by listening to some sales, business, or marketing podcasts.
5. An Event to Remember
All of the members of your sales team have interests and love various types of events, whatever they may be. Make sure to find out and gift some tickets to their favorite event - a theatrical play, a sports event, concert tickets, all show how much you value your team's hard work and dedication.
In this case, there is no one-size-fits-all, so you will have to do some research on the likes and dislikes of the members of your team individually. Gifting something as personal as a ticket to an event one of your employees is dying to attend can boost team productivity like no other.
Pro Tip: If the event is the same for all team members and held not too close to your headquarters, your team members can all take a long weekend and organize a company field trip.
Why Gift-Giving Matters So Much
Giving gifts to employees is one of the best tips for team motivation and a fantastic way for your brand or company to appreciate the hard work put into everything your team does, but aren't there other ways to do that?
Why is gift-giving such a critical component of company culture? In short, it's the best way to show appreciation. But let's analyze that a little:
- It boosts team morale. A motivated employee is an employee who is happy and ready to make the best out of any situation. And there are instances where simple acknowledgment of their hard work just won't cut it - you'll need something tangible to show appreciation.
- Gifts make employees feel valued. This kind of recognition is to an employee what a medal is to an athlete: a token of their hard work, having done their best, and having something to show for it.
- It connects employees and management. A gift not only boosts employee loyalty. Giving something personal to your employee and putting effort and thought into it is bound to bring management and sales team members closer.
- It gives a sense of belonging and respect. A thoughtful gift that meets actual wants and needs is the best way to ensure that employees can profit from all their hard work, the same way managers do. That way, they will always strive to do their best, creating a win-win scenario.
A person who feels undervalued won't have the energy or the will to give a hundred percent to their work performance every day. And since some tasks are more challenging than others, acknowledging an employee's hard work with a mere "good job" sometimes won't quite cut it.
Gift-giving isn't always the first thing in a manager's mind when coming up with tactics and activities that can boost the team's performance and lift the spirits of their salespeople.
Some would go even so far as saying that gift-giving isn't something a brand should provide, as it isn't something an employee should aim for, that they need to be doing their best, regardless of what they expect in exchange. In theory, this could be true. But nothing can surpass the feeling of one's hard work being acknowledged as it should be.
Never hesitate to show your appreciation to your sales team by giving them that little extra something. They could sometimes use a reminder of how valued and respected their hard work really is, and this feeling can surely make their day and push them to be their best selves each and every day.