sales & marketing

5 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team

A position in sales can be incredibly lucrative, and thankfully this means there is rarely a shortage in applicants. Unfortunately the sales life is a tough slog, and not everyone is cut out for it. It is demanding – sales people often don’t get the respect they deserve from other departments, and it is among the most stressful roles in any organization. The job never ends for salespeople. Had a good month? Well… that was last month! Unfortunately for the sales person, there are always more sales to be had.

All that pressure can lead to sales fatigue. People can get demotivated, especially when there are bumps along the road. Here are 5 quick ideas that go beyond the typical cash commissions and bonuses that you can use to keep your team motivated.

1. Give Incentives That Can Be Seen by Others.

A reward that others can see is much more effective in motivating the entire team than one that can’t. If all you are offering is more cash on a pay stub, the person getting it may be elated – but the others won’t notice much difference. I prefer a much more public approach. Ship your rockstar sales person off to the Dominican Republic with their loved one for a week, Instagramming and Facebooking the whole time… hey, that could be you!

2. Build Value.

Sell your salesperson on the value of selling. Sometimes a lacking salesperson might just have lost sight of the impact of their work. Remind them how they are the lifeblood of the company, that they ultimately provide the income that supports the entire organization. Point out ways in which their work is adding value to the client’s life. Money, while fantastic, isn’t a motivator in and of itself. It’s the happiness and joy that comes with it, and those are the things that can help push someone out of a slump.

glengarry_steak_knives-thumb-425x239-365773. Provide Small Rewards for Small Details.

Sometimes it truly is the little things! Announce first thing in the morning you’ll treat the first person to make a sale to lunch. Keep an eye out for deals to stock up on small rewards, even things as simple as candy bars or Starbucks gift cards, and pass them out when you overhear something positive.

4. Invest in the Self.

People are more motivated when they see the lasting impact they have, so, provide some of that to the people on your team. If you have stock options to give, give them! If you aren’t in the position to offer stock, do something as simple as asking if they’d like to take any personal courses to invest in themselves.

5. Sell Something!

If all else fails (and really, even if it doesn’t), get your ass out there and show your sales team how it is done! Sell a new client, bring in a new partner or close on an investment. Nothing gets sales people more excited than seeing their leader in the trenches alongside them.


Super Sponsorship

This past weekend “Man of Steel” clocked over $113M in box office receipts ($125M total including Thursday night’s Walmart screenings), making it the biggest June opening ever. That in itself is impressive, but what has really impressed me is the amount of sponsorship dollars the film secured before it hit a single theatre.

Rumors are that Warner Bros. arranged over 100 separate sponsorship and product placement deals, amounting to about $160M. You will see Superman (played by Henry Cavill) surrounded by brands such as Sears, 7-11, Gillette and Chrysler. Reports even suggest that major product placement ally Nokia paid over 45 million dollars so that Superman would carry one of its phones in the film.



Product Placement in Movies

Over the last several decades, brands and studios have worked closely to insert products into all areas of moviemaking and television. These product placement strategies have ranged from the simple insertion of a product into a single scene in a film (such as someone holding a brand name soda can), to product placement that actually impacts the direction of the plot (think FedEx in “Cast Away”).

Perhaps the most blatant product placement I have ever seen was in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” The product placement in that film was so overt that the product was inserted into the title. While that is a bit over the top, less intrusive types of product placement have become very popular over the years. Brands see these integrations as a unique way to position their products and connect with an audience to drive both affinity and sales.

For example, when Pierce Bronson took over the reins of the James Bond franchise as the title character, the producers of the series decided to make a drastic change to Bond’s preferred mode of transportation. After spending decades riding around in Aston Martin vehicles, James Bond would hit the road in a BMW Z3. The radical design earned BMW hundreds of millions of dollars in presales alone.

A more recent movie with a ton of product placement is “Iron Man 3”.  Filmmakers not only included millions of dollars worth of product placement for American audiences, but also created an entirely separate edit of the film for Chinese audiences with Chinese branded product placements. Chinese milk drink Gu Li Duo was featured in the Chinese version of the film and other partners created localized promotions for consumers around the world.


Far from having a character briefly hold or use a particular product in a film, today’s product placement efforts are epic, and have a huge impact on the ability of film production companies to recoup filmmaking costs. I don’t believe that many of the summer blockbusters could be made without the support of brand dollars. It is truly a symbiotic relationship.

Big Deals in Social Media are Next

I find this phenomena fascinating and believe that it parallels what we are seeing with native advertising in the social media space. We will soon live in a world where all of the content streams we consume contain some form of branded content.


The Worst Website Ever

I have been in search of the absolute worst website ever made for some time now…. and I have finally found it thanks to Dang. You have got to check out I don’t know how someone can even make something like this – I couldn’t replicate it if I tried. It hurts me to look at it. Please make Ling stop.

You have to visit the site for the full effect.. animations and all. version 2.0

Ahhhh…. that new blog smell. It is kind of like that new car smell only my new blog smells more like bacon. I spent a lot of time on this new design. I wanted it to be something similar to a standard blog format, yet unique enough to set it apart from the thousands of standard themes and millions of blogs out there.

A Visual Identity

Last year at IZEAFest my keynote was all about personal branding. A huge part of any brand is the visual identity associated with that brand. With the launch of this blog I now have a consistent identity system that I can apply to all of my online and offline activities. I have already updated my Twitter account. Soon you will see the launch of the store where you can purchase Ted Head branded merchandise.

I hope you like the new look. A big thank you to Matt for coding this bad boy.

The $98 Social Media Campaign

One of the biggest challenges that companies face in social media is getting participation from fans and creation of quality user generated content. I believe that WeReward provides a scalable, low cost solution to this problem. To prove my theory I put together a little experiment for Nike, one of my favorite brands. This experiment was done on my own dime and is not an official Nike promotion.

The idea was simple. I wanted to create a complete social media awareness and user generated content program for less than $100. As a marketer the results blew me away. I have worked on many campaigns designed to generate photo submissions and fan participation. Most of those cost the client tens of thousands of dollars or more. Ideation alone can cost a few grand and take weeks. This campaign took less than 30 minutes to setup and manage the entire approval process.

So… if I was a brand what would I do with all this data and content?

  • I would post the best photos to my Facebook fan page or website to keep my content fresh.
  • I would reach out to the people that participated to thank them through Twitter or FB.
  • I would create new promotions to keep these people constantly engaged with my brand.

Internet Marketing

51s3rg9uonl_ss500_1I am pleased to announce the release of a new book edited by my good friends Missy Ward and Shawn Collins. Internet Marketing from the Real Experts is a collection of affiliate, email, blogging, podcasting, video, search engine, and social media rock stars that break down the how and why of Internet marketing in a clear, easy to understand way.

There are dozens of contributors including Brian Clark, Joel Comm, Jim Kukral, Jeremy Schoemaker and yours truly. These are the people that do this stuff every day… the people that I seek advice from. Find out how they do what they do to achieve success with their online businesses.

Buy it now! (Amazon Affiliate Link)

The Ultimate Job Application

This morning I came across a fake video for the Apple tablet (posted below). It is incredibly well done, the person who put it together has real talent. While the goal of this video appears to be web traffic, I believe it also represents the ultimate job application. If I was a designer looking to land a position at Apple this is exactly what I would do. What better way to demonstrate your value to a company than broadcasting your vision of their future?

You can do the same in your job search.

With the unemployment rate in double digits competition is fierce right now, but you can stand out. Don’t just submit a resume, get creative and blow your perspective employer away. Create a presentation, make a video or write a white paper on the future of the industry and figure out how to get it in front of the decision maker. Even if your vision is slightly off base it illustrates your passion, commitment and understanding of the company.

BTW, we are hiring right now.

Don’t Advertise in Phone Books!

Last November I wrote a blog post titled Stop leaving me phone books. In it I explained that I haven’t had a home phone in (5) years, yet I continue to get phone books. My friend Alli pointed me to a site that was supposed to stop the madness… but one year later I came home to two phone books sitting on my porch. Why would the phone company continue to deliver expensive phone books to me? One reason. Advertising dollars.

Phone Book Circulation is Crap


Credit : funkeemunkeeland

The phone company sells advertising to local businesses largely based on the circulation of phone books. The problem is that nobody with a computer has a use for phone books anymore. The Internet has replaced the need for these prehistoric landfill-busting monsters. I can’t remember the last time that I even opened a phone book, yet my two phone books are being represented to advertisers as market reach. Both books went straight into the recycling bin, what a waste of money and natural resources.

If you are a local business do yourself a favor and invest in online marketing. The more savvy you become now the more effective your efforts will be in the future. It won’t be long until these dinosaurs are extinct.

Me on E!

Last week I was invited to be a guest on That Morning Show on E!. I have been on national television a few times now and it still makes me nervous as hell. I am always worried I am going to say something wrong or just make an ass out of myself. Luckily, I made it through another interview relatively unscathed.

The Big Box Stores of the Dominican Republic

Today is our last day in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We haven’t left the resort since we got here, but this morning we decided to take a little stroll down the beach. We figured we might find some cool local shops but to my amazement the big box stores had already taken over. All of these were within 100 feet of each other. We bought a plasma TV and a patio set.