How To Motivate Sales People Without Money 
How to Motivate Sales People is a never ending challenge for Business Owners and Sales VP’s. At one end of the scale the worst case scenario might be sales people with little or no motivation who have high levels of absenteeism and the best case might be maintaining the motivation of high performers who do hit targets, but need to take their sales game to the next level. Regardless of the industry you serve or the products and services you supply, how to motivate sales people can be the difference between thriving and surviving. Whilst money via compensation or commission plans is the “obvious” way to motivate sales people, does this really work? Are there other ways we can motivate the sales team to get the same results?
The first thing we need to recognize is that How to Motivates Sales People is as much an art as it is a science, and what motivates one sales person may not motivate their colleagues. Often business owners tell me it is the responsibility of the sales person to motivate themselves and whilst this may be true if they are not motivated, we as leaders cannot stand by and allow them to stagnate.
- Leadership – a motivated and well drilled sales team will outsell one twice it’s size, but only if they have great sales leadership. Sales People are not motivated by Sales Managers, they are motivated by Sales Leaders. Sales Leaders have a high degree of emotional intelligence and are true experts in understanding how to motivate sales people. Imagine a sales person as a knife. Every interaction a sales leader has with the sales person is at 45 degrees and sharpens the blade. Every interaction the sales manager has dulls the blade and blunts the knife. These interactions are the day to day, seemingly innocuous small conversations that happen. Sales people take their lead from those above them and if we want them to be better we need to be better at leading them. Great sales leaders get the sales people engaged and this engagement helps build and maintain motivation.
- Goal Setting – no, not traditional goal setting that makes your sales people groan in anticipation, but personal goal setting. The top sales people are always very goal orientated, but what motivates sales people are rarely the business goals such as 20% growth, increased sales targets, higher margins and increased market share. Sales people are motivated by personal goals which have a direct relevance to them and their families. A bigger house, a better car, a dream holiday, a weekend away are the obvious ones, but I have coached sales people with goals like writing a book, passing a driving test, going back to college and all manner of simple and often small goals. The key to How to Motivate Sales People is quite simply to tie in the sales persons goals with the goals of the business. For inside sales you could offer vouchers for driving lessons as an incentive when they hit certain sales targets. Use vouchers for weekend breaks for field sales people and their partners as rewards for hitting sales targets.
- Personal Development – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs defines self-actualization as the final stage of development. Learning, trouble shooting, creativity, the pursuit of inner talent and self-fulfillment are all needs that can be harnessed if you are searching for How to Motivate Sales People. Most sales people want to get better and more importantly, they do not want to struggle. The Kelly workforce study survey indicates 66% of employees in the UK are looking for additional training and education to forward their career. Sales people rarely improve on their own but with the right leadership and the right training and coaching they will improve.
How to Motivate Sales People consistently is certainly not an easy thing to do, but for sure more money is usually not the answer. Sales people will nearly always leave a job for more money, but money is the symptom not the root cause of the problem. The ability of sales leaders to build and maintain a vibrant sales culture is much more important and less expensive for any business.
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