The topic of motivation for salespeople is often the most talked-about subject when you gather managers of sales together. But, the fundamentals of motivation are often viewed as a dark art, an obscure and mysterious skill only known to a small few.
Sales managers are often on management programs hoping to be admitted into this secret society, much like magicians in amateur circles who dream of being part of the circle of magic.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is the method by that you motivate people or groups to work toward something they are interested in. In a sales context, it’s the method that salespeople are urged to increase their performance and work towards an objective or goal.
Motivation can be positive or negative, depending on the way it operates. Positive motivation occurs in the sense that it stimulates a desire to move toward something desirable, or negative when it promotes a move away from something that is undesirable.
The conventional wisdom is that positive motivation is stronger than negative motivation. Inducing someone to swim is sure to get them swimming, but it will not inspire a love of the water. Similar to threatening people with the sack may be effective for a short time, but it’s not likely to build a positive environment to increase performance over time.
The rules of Motivation Are the goals acceptable?
It may seem like it be a simple one; however, not every goal is ideal for all. For example, when it comes to sales, it is common to find financial rewards popular, but other goals can be equally important.
These things like status, social engagement, and self-development can all be motivating. These non-financial factors form the known as Psychological Contract that exists between an individual and the company. These contracts, which are not formalized, are effective and represent the exchange of what an individual provides to the organization as a result of what they will receive. Each psychological contract, therefore, is particular to the person who signed it. The only method to determine the components is to understand the person and what they value most.
Motivation or Hygiene?
Psychologists like Frederick Herzberg identified that providing the feeling of achievement as well as recognizing and taking responsibility is highly motivating. In contrast, things like the interpersonal relationship, company policy, and working conditions are simply Hygiene Factors, i.e., things that don’t stimulate on their own; however, they can lead to demotivation if not dealt with.
Therefore, it is important to take those Hygiene Factors out of the way to minimize any motivational demotivation. Then, focus on the elements that generate motivation.
What is the most achievable goal?
The top performers appear to favor goals that push their abilities by a small amount, while lesser performers may settle for average performance or create unreasonable goals that quickly become demotivated when they do not meet them.
The idea is to first find people who can react positively to reasonable objectives and then establish targets that they believe they can attain through modest improvement in performance.
Do Targets Conflict?
A variety of targets could lead to confusion and confusion and a lack of focus on the most important goals. In the same way, the more targets are there in a given area, there is greater the chance that targets will be to clash with one another. An excellent example is when managers emphasize that teamwork is essential and collaboration in business; however, they only recognize individual achievements.
Goals as steps to follow
The value of breaking down big goals into a set of smaller objectives for interim purposes is well-proven. A set of monthly goals will be more motivating than a single yearly goal.
The idea is to break down goals into ones that are achievable over less time. They will also create an environment of accomplishment.
Do you have the required skills?
It’s an obvious idea; however, without the skills, no amount of motivation will be able to improve performance.
A key aspect is to make sure that the right skills, knowledge, and behaviors have been identified and that they form the foundation of your training and development plan.
A direct link between effort & reward?
A lot of sales incentive schemes do not comply with this law. The notion of targets can be considered unfair or biased toward certain groups of people rather than other people.
One of the most common issues in sales is setting objectives for the territory that are thought to be in no way related to the business potential of the territory. This could result in individuals having to take their own lives in order to reach their goal, while others could earn impressive numbers simply by not showing up. It is important to ensure goals reward efforts, not just luck.
Motivation isn’t art in itself. However, it’s a set of interconnected techniques to ensure that management taps into the reservoir of energy and inspiration that is within every person. Management should then channel this effort to achieve top performance and sales achievement.