I recently read this article on Inc.com. The title caught my eye, so I read it. While some of the concepts would typically be considered good ideas, like #7 Give recognition and small rewards, the article totally misses the point of motivation. I write about it here, because it is especially crucial for sales teams. Let us look at the word motivate. From the Merriam Webster dictionary, motivate is defined as : to provide with a motive : impel. While the idea that recognition and small rewards might stimulate some, it will not motivate everyone. Money motivates some, but does not others. Some are provoked by the satisfaction of doing a job well, others are not. The trick is not to motivate to the masses. The real masters of motivation, know what inspires the individual and provides the purpose for them to individually excel. In previous blog posts, I have written about this area of motivation.
Two highly important questions regarding sales teams arise from this line of thought: 1) “Do I know what motivates each of my salespeople?” 2) “Is my compensation plan structured to motivate them?” In other words, do we have the right people for the plan? Unless you have a VERY close relationship with your salespeople, they will likely not tell you the truth about what motivates them. They will say what they think you want to hear. You must conduct a thorough PERSONAL goal planning session with your folks. Or better yet, use an objective sales talent analysis process such as the tools we use to understand their level of motivation and what motivates them. At Braveheart Sales Performance, we use the Objective Management Group battery of assessments because they are the only evaluations on the market that are predictive and valid for salespeople.
It is valuable to take a look at your company culture and your compensation plan as it relates to the way you are hiring. Do you know whether or not they will be motivated by the current plan?