Motivating Sales Reps

It’s my belief that the only one that can motivate you is yourself.

That said, part of a sales manager’s job description is motivating their sales team.

I suggest that if you want to motivate the salespeople who work for you, you have to have an in-depth understanding of why they work. While the easy answer is “money,” the truth is that no one goes to work in order to accumulate more green pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them. We all actually work for whatever those green pieces of paper will do for us. Yes, we all want job satisfaction, growth, etc. but the simple fact is most of us work for money. In order to be a more effective motivator, we have to have enough conversations with our people so that we know what the money means to them.

For example, I recently hired a VP of Business Development for my organization. Through conversation, I learned that his #1 motivator is making sure his three young children will be able to go to college without him going into serious debt. (With three young kids of my own this one hit home!) You can be assured that we’ve implemented tracking systems to provide me with metrics about his prospecting and sales activity so that, over time, he and I will both know EXACTLY how much activity he needs to do on a daily basis in order to achieve, and exceed, his financial goals and to make certain he has the money he needs to put his children through college when the time comes.

Pump-up talks are great (as an Inspirational Keynote Speaker I know how to pump up the team!) and contests are cool, but there’s nothing that takes the place of understanding what drives your people, and using that to help them motivate themselves.

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