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It is not part of sales manager responsibilities to motivate salespeople! But it is in a sales manager’s job description to identify the individual motivations of each salesperson and link it to specific achievement. People are motivated by getting what they want: this is effective sales performance management.

In other videos, I explained the sales management process for identifying the attitudes and talents needed for sales. Attitudes are part of salesperson motivation, and this requires sales management practices that demonstrate to salespeople that attitudes are the result of choices.

Attitudes are choices, and part of motivation, but the other part is innate talent. There are five talent themes, and one of them is Motivation. Salesperson motivation is characterised by Ego (confidence and independence) and Achiever (intensity, drive and accomplishment). Anyone who doesn’t have a strong ego, or an achiever mentality, probably will not have enough motivation for sales. It is basic sales management training to learn to identify if a salesperson has these sales talents. If they are not present, no incentive will motivate them!

Sales team motivation is affected by

1) Proactive sales performance management that engages, empowers, and values
2) A sales management system where the sales manager and salesperson share responsibility
3) Sales team management that strengthens innate motivation and
4) Sales process management that encourages repeat sales performance with individual recognition and rewards.

These are indispensable sales management tools, but sales contests, bonuses and prizes are usually worthless. They work some of the times with some salespeople, but usually they fail, because a salesperson is either innately motivated or he is not, and no incentive will change him. No sales management tool will motivate a salesperson, he must be innately motivated!

Competitiveness is a positive sales talent, but it will also stop salespeople from responding to sales team management that uses sales contests. Salespeople will stop ‘playing’ if they think they can’t win! If a sales manager uses contests as a sales performance management tool, eventually most of the sales team will see they can’t win and they will stop selling. These sorts of sales incentives only show that the sales manager doesn’t appreciate the hard work and sales plans that the salespeople are already doing! This is the nature of sales management.

When salespeople can’t win an incentive-based sales contest, their self-esteem and entrepreneurial spirit are dampened. A sales management system that uses sales contests tells salespeople what their goals are and directs how they are to be achieved. This is the opposite of great sales performance management.

Aren’t salespeople motivated by sales commissions? Yes, if the salespeople are personally motivated by money at that particular time in their sales career. This is a minority of salespeople! Every salesperson should be able to ‘win’ a sales contest. Every salesperson should compete against themselves. This is sales performance management that works!

Rewards are not incentives. This is basic sales management training. Rewards acknowledge that the salesperson achieved what he said he wanted to in his sales coaching sessions. Sales managers reward salespeople to inspire them to be their best, not to be better than other salespeople. Salespeople always appreciate more money, but money is not specific enough to drive them through the hard times. Great sales team management recognises this.

Sometimes a sales goal is achieved by luck or accident, not by salesperson effort. If a sales manager rewards a salesperson for this, they will realise that sales performance is just up to luck sometimes. This is not effective sales performance management! Poor sales managers de-motive their salespeople by telling them their sales action plans and assuming their sales motivations. This will destroy salesperson initiative and a sales manager’s career!

Is Salesperson Motivation a Sales Management Responsibility?

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