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Sales motivation

Sales motivation is the zest a salesperson or sales rep has for selling a service or product to the customers.

Sales motivation is what drives a salesperson to do the things they do. It is the reason why they are motivated to sell and why they are successful salespeople.

Sales motivation can be broken down into three key areas:

  • The desire to sell
  • The desire to be successful
  • The drive to succeed

Sales motivation is an integral part of a business because without it, companies would be unable to sell their products or services effectively. If salespeople are not motivated to do their jobs properly, they won't perform as well as they should.

What does Sales Motivation Mean?

Sales motivation is the process of instilling the desire and drive to sell in a salesperson. It is a way to arouse, maintain, and direct behavior to achieve a goal. Simply put, sales motivation refers to the degree to which the salesperson is willing to exert effort to achieve a goal.

A salesperson with high sales motivation will spend significant time and energy on tasks related to selling, even when rewards are not immediately forthcoming. Conversely, low sales motivation leads a person to avoid performing tasks associated with selling altogether.

Salespeople with high sales motivation tend to have:

  • Higher levels of self-esteem
  • More positive attitudes toward their jobs
  • Greater feelings of job satisfaction
  • Higher levels of job involvement 
  • Greater personal achievement orientation 
  • Higher levels of self-efficacy

What Motivates Sales Professionals?

Sales professionals are motivated by these factors:

  • Personal fulfillment: The ability to help others, make a difference in the world and give back to society.
  • Recognition of achievement: Salespeople need recognition of their accomplishments as much as anyone else. Maybe, more so, because it's often not something others can quantify or easily recognize.
  • Financial gains: The ability to earn more money or have more opportunities for improvement will always be important to most people; this is especially true for sales professionals.
  • Incentive compensation plan: People who are motivated by money tend to be ambitious and goal-oriented. They want to reach their maximum potential as quickly as possible to earn more money.
  • Status: Status can come in many forms and different life areas. It could be having a fancy designation or title at work or being recognized for something special.
  • Growth opportunities: Salespeople need to feel challenged and rewarded for their work. If they don't feel like they're progressing in their career, they'll leave your business for one that does offer the opportunity to grow — even if that means taking a pay cut.
  • Training opportunities: Training is another area where companies can motivate their salespeople by investing time and resources into their growth as professionals, rather than just treating them as interchangeable cogs in the machine of selling more product or service units every quarter or year.
  • Employee recognition programs: Recognition is essential for every employee, not just salespeople — but it's even more vital for those on commission because it pays off better than any other form of compensation in terms of motivation and performance over time.

How to Increase Sales Motivation?

Motivating your sales team is a daunting task. You have to balance their needs, wants, and desires. No two individuals are the same, which means what motivates them is different, too, so you need to know what motivates each person on your team.

Here are some common ways to increase sales motivation:

  • Incentives: Money is one of the most common motivators for most people. Salespeople usually get paid on commission, which means they will be more motivated if they make more money. They won't be motivated at all if they're not earning any commissions (unless they have other reasons).
  • Perks: Perks like bonuses and vacations are another great way to motivate your sales team. If you're running a startup or small business and don't have the budget to spend on extras like these, try giving them something tangible instead. This could be gift certificates or tickets to events or concerts.
  • Gamification: This is a fun way to motivate your sales team, help them be more productive, and improve their performance while boosting your bottom line. This can be done through rewards and incentives, often measured by a scoring system to encourage competition among players.
  • Sales contests: You can use gamification in sales contests by rewarding top performers or creating teams based on customer territories. Sales managers can easily track progress as they can access real-time data on customer activity and sales performance.
  • Give them autonomy over their work (to an extent): You don't want to give them too much freedom but allow them to make decisions about how they do their job. This helps boost morale and motivation levels, which means better results for your organization overall.

What is the Best Way to Motivate a Sales Team?

Motivating your sales team is a science, not an art. You can use the right techniques and strategies to get the best results. To motivate your sales team, you need to understand what drives them. 

Here are some best ways to motivate a sales team:

  • Set challenging but achievable goals for your team.
  • Make sure they know their quarterly or yearly targets and how they are calculated.
  • Use various rewards and recognition schemes so that everyone feels valued and appreciated for their contribution, whether they hit their target or not.
  • Ensure that everyone understands what makes them successful (and what doesn’t). If they don’t know where they are going wrong, there’s no way they can fix it!
  • Give them better career advancement opportunities and growth potential. This is also something millennials and even other generations care about greatly.

How to Motivate a Sales Team When Sales are Down?

So, you've got a sales team that's not performing. What do you do?

Here are a few ways to motivate a sales team when they are down:

  • Set goals and objectives: Clearly define your goals with short-term and long-term objectives. Make sure that there are clear metrics associated with each objective so that everyone knows what they need to accomplish.
  • Encourage creativity and innovation: Encourage your team to enjoy their job and develop new ideas for products, services, etc.
  • Let them know how much their efforts matter: Most people don't want to hear that they are important from just anyone; they want it from someone who has authority over them and can make things happen for them at work and outside work.
  • Give them incentives: Make sure they are getting paid on commission or by quota and adjust their compensation accordingly if they aren't meeting expectations.
  • Additional training: Consider giving them extra training if they don't understand how to sell your products or services effectively.
  • Make it fun: Friendly competition can go a long way toward building team spirit and encouraging everyone to do their best work. 

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.

eNPS:

eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.