What really motivates your sales team?

dollarQWhen the questions comes up about what motivates the sales team, most people answer money or some other monetary reward. However, this belief is not what makes a good sales person and is generally untrue. In fact, we have seen time and time again that the best sales people are motivated by the satisfaction they receive from helping someone find a product or service that fits their needs. It makes the customer happy and in turn, the sales person is happier, more productive and motivated to keep it up. It’s a positive, self-reinforcing spiral of success. In the last few weeks we had the chance to meet with the leaders of several sales organizations and one thing they invariably talked about was financial incentives and compensation. The leaders were always surprised when these incentives didn’t have much of an impact, since the accepted norm is that sales people are motivated by financial incentives. The leaders were also extremely skeptical when we told them that during our Wisdom Discovery with top performing sales personnel, we found something completely different. We have repeatedly found that all the best sales people are driven by creating a greater social good for their clients, their team and their organization and not by financial incentives. By doing the right thing for their customers and team, the top performers assume financial results will naturally follow. Financial rewards simply are not the primary motivation for the best performers. Taking this insight to the next step, it follows that mediocre sales people can became stars when they have the opportunity to develop and align with a personal compelling purpose. This is known as purpose-driven motivation and is supported by Dan Pink’s work in Drive and by many other experts. Picture for a moment two sales people. One who is only interested in making a sale and one who is more interested in helping you find what you want, even if that product happens to be from a competitor. Which sales person would you trust more? Most people will say the person who clearly cares more about your needs rather than his or her need to close the deal. The belief that sales people are driven by making money is disrespectful of them and their customers because it suggests that both can be manipulated by external superficial measures. Instead, we strongly suggest that the best way to create a high performing sales organization is to define and align on the greater good created by the company, and make sure every sales person lives and breathes that purpose. How could this be applied to your sales team? If your sales team is underperforming, or you want to make the leap from good to great, give us a call to see how we can drive transformation across your entire sales team on a global basis.]]>

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