Tag Archives: Sales Manager

Sales Motivation

Motivation… is one of the challenges that all sales managers face.  How do you keep your salespeople motivated?

Organizational behavior studies show individuals needs for motivation in priority order in Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy.  This diagram shows the needs of individuals in descending priority from the bottom to the top.

How does this affect motivation with regards to salespeople?  As sales managers, it is important to address all of the needs of salespeople within their sales positions.  It is NOT enough to simply provide good monetary compensation, compensation must address all of the needs shown in Maslow’s Hierarchy:

  1. Physiological
    Yes, it is important that you provide a salesperson sufficient money to provide for their most basic needs: food, drink and residence.
  2. Safety
    The environment that you provide for salespeople needs to be safe.  This means that you should not manipulate salespeople or threaten their security in order to improve their motivation.
  3. Belonging
    If you want your salespeople to perform at a continuously high level and have lasting motivation, you need them to identify with the company on a personal level.  Practically, this means building company culture and a sense of team work within the company.
  4. Esteem
    This need is one of the easiest to meet in sales, due to the fact that sales is so results driven.  As a sales manager you should reward your high performing salespeople with public recognition and awards.
  5. Self-Actualization
    This is the last need in the hierarchy and this is one that distinguishes great organizations from good ones.  Great organizations allow people to realize their full potential in their job and promote: creativity, problem solving, and initiative.  Top performers will seek this and will be frustrated if they are not provided with the opportunity to innovate and be creative in their selling.

Motivation is essential in the development of a consistently high-performing sales team.  Seek to motivate people for the good of the company and the individual rather than motivating people merely to improve the bottom-line.  People will know if you are manipulating them, so don’t.

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs