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5 Key Influences on Sales Motivation

blog author
Written by Mike Schultz
President, RAIN Group

To optimize your sales force, you need to have a highly-motivated team bringing their "A game" day in and day out.

Often times, it's up to the sales managers to make sure their team maintains this positive and results-driven attitude on a daily basis. According to our Top-Performing Sales Organization research, 55% of Top Performers agree that managers are effective at creating and sustaining maximum selling energy, compared to only 32% of The Rest.

But management is not the only key influence on sales motivation.

Motivation is one of the 8 categories of the Sales Performance WheelSM, our framework for sales performance analysis. It focuses on seller attitudes, leadership's ability to create and sustain selling energy, and the organization's culture with respect to selling.

Download: 8 Drivers of Sales Performance

When looking at motivation within your sales organization, you need to consider these 5 key areas and their influence on motivation:

  1. Culture and Company: Sometimes selling is respected and viewed as vital. Other times not so much. Sometimes leaders support sellers. Other times not so much.

    If you want to maximize sales motivation, your culture and company needs to support sellers as much as possible.

  2. Management: If a seller doesn't have a fire in the belly, it's very hard to light one. But if a seller does have a fire—even a flicker—the right manager can help the flame burn bright. Elite Performers are more than 2x as likely to have managers who motivate sellers.
  3. Intrinsic Motivators: The conventional wisdom is that sellers are motivated by money. While this is often the case, there's a lot more to the story. Sellers can be motivated by many factors: recognition, advancement, winning (not necessarily related to money), personal development, and a host of other factors.

    When you know what motivates any one individual person, you can focus on drawing that motivation out on a regular basis.

  4. Execution: Execution is affected by many factors from talent to skills to operations to enablement, but nothing gets done unless a seller drives themselves to do it. And, as you might imagine, sellers at Top-Performing Sales Organizations get a lot more done.
  5. Value: In our recent research report, The Value-Driving Difference, we looked at the differences between companies that are value-focused and those that are not. One of the most surprising correlations was the relationship between value and sales motivation. Companies that have a true focus on value for buyers are much more likely to have highly motivated sales forces.

    Across the board, Elite and Top Performers have more motivated sellers who have positive attitudes, pursue top performance, manage their time effectively, and display hustle, passion, and intensity.

Sales Motivation Factors by Performance Groups
Sales Motivation Factors by Performance Groups
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Having a highly-motivated sales team is essential if you want to see consistent sales results. As you think about the motivation of your sellers, don't think just about money as a motivator. Consider these other key influences and how you're doing in each area.

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Download Now: 3 Daily Habits to Increase Sales Motivation


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Topics: Sales Performance Improvement