Do You Know What Motivates Your Reps?

As a sales manager, you’d like to think you understand what motivates your reps to get out there and pitch to prospects and customers every day, knowing their hit rate might not be great. For you, the desire to thrive in sales may have always been about the money. It would be a mistake to make that assumption about your reps, especially if you're trying to motivate them to improve performance. Gretchen Gordon, writing for braveheartsales​.com, shows just how erroneous the emphasis on financial reward can be and suggests other factors to focus on.

In her post, Gordon references 20 businesses her company studied in the last year and found that 80% of sales reps are motivated by factors other than money. On a broader scale, her research shows that 71% of 300,000 sales reps “across all industries” are motivated by something other than money. For some sales reps, the idea of performing as the best in their profession tops everything. Other reps simply love the high touch, high engagement with clients that the sales profession involves. Very successful salespeople might also tell you there’s nothing quite like the adrenalin rush they get after bringing in a key account that helped to ‘save the company.’ Public recognition for that sort of achievement is immeasurable for some reps.

You’re likely planning how to motivate the reps in your department this year. Have you taken the time to reflect on how your team members responded to the financial rewards you distributed at the end of last year? If some folks seemed not to care, start thinking about other motivational tools. To better understand your reps, consider administering assessments which will reveal their natural sales and support traits. Using a formal sales intelligence tool can help you establish and tie individual goals to rewards designed to motivate each rep.

Rather than using a one-system-fits-all approach, implement a personalized motivational system and watch the performance of your reps start to improve.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.