I was reading Managing and Motivating Salespeople which has some key points, including setting goals for salespeople, offering feedback, providing training, and building trust. Agreed, these are all valuable and needed pieces from management.
Surprisingly most people don’t realize that sales professionals are not solely motivated by money. Money is a tool, and it is a good part of the equation but not the answer. In fact, we are all moved and motivated by different things. A huge key to working successfully with others is to find out what makes them motivated and inspired.
It mentions that consistently motivating employees takes much more than money, and then gives some key areas and examples. What I would add is that people need to be inspired, and through this inspiration they will self motivate (or not). I don’t believe you can really motivate others – well, you can for a while… but the simple act of finding something to do or say to get someone else to do something is not a long term solution. Why? Because when I get you do to something….. through motivation…. it is really for my benefit. You hear young managers and inept mid-level folks sometimes touting how they motivate others to get done what needs to be done, as if it is like teaching a dog to do tricks.
Example: I can offer you a reward for making calls and setting 10 new appointments by 4PM. There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact, I do this sometimes when coaching inside sales professionals. What I’m doing though, is a band-aid. I’m motivating you to do something for me so I reach my activity numbers (and you do too, but my benefit is largely at stake). For you to continue to do this when I am gone or not around, you need to be inspired – by our mission, our vision, or your personal reasons to be successful. Inspiration is very different from motivation…… both have their place, and as long as you know their limits and capabilities – both can critically help solve issues in a sales team environment.