Management Issues has this post about incentives topping the list of motivators for sales people.
"Forget flexible working, sabbaticals or spa vouchers. As far as keeping your sales people motivated, the mantra for managers is still "show me the money".
Research from UK recruitment site salestarget.co.uk has revealed that good old fashioned cash still rules supreme, with more than a third (37 per cent) of salespeople saying that money is their main motivator."
Let’s not confuse terms here. If you ask a group of sales people, or anyone for that matter, of course they are going to say money is what matters. And I understand that cash incentives are a staple in the world of sales.
Here’s the point – in a work environment that relies on extrinsic motivators, like cash and incentives, the prime motivators ARE the cash. That is the problem. When we are motivated primarily by extrinsics, our hearts and minds cannot be maximally engaged.
We have trained our sales people to respond to the cash metronome. This is not unique to sales, either. Many work environments offer little in the way of an environment that enlivens intrinsic motivation.
And another thing. Cash is nice. We all love cash. If you were asked the question about what motivates you, what would you say? Cash will naturally report high on the list because we all need it and don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot.
But when it comes to the environment where we would want to do our best, cash is not a factor once basic needs are met.
I bet you thought I had forgotten about the extrinsic-intrinsic debate, huh?