Do Your Sales Managers Feel Like Babysitters?  Part Two

In Do Your Sales Managers Feel Like Babysitters? Part One, we talked about the situation where the sales manager or business leader becomes a babysitter because he or she would rather not have the conflict associated with holding the sales reps accountable to necessary activities regardless of their business performance.

In this article we will take a different approach regarding why you might be feeling like a babysitter.  Maybe you get frustrated because they don’t go do the necessary work, like you did when you were a sales rep.  After all, they are paid commissions which should entice anyone to work as hard as possible to close business.  Maybe, you don’t understand why you have to ride them just to do the most obvious things.

If you can identify with these feelings, then you might suffer from a common problem afflicting many managers.  You don’t think you need to know what motivates your people.  Well I am here to tell you that you do.  Salespeople (and all people) are motivated by unique and different things.  Some are motivated by the money, while others are motivated by the satisfaction of winning the business.  Others are motivated by taking care of clients, and still others are motivated purely by the satisfaction they get from doing the job well.

“Crazy!”  You might say.  Everyone knows that all salespeople are motivated by money.  Well, that is just not true.  In fact, when we conduct our evaluations of sales teams, one of the findings we uncover is how the individual salespeople are motivated.  Over the course of the last several years there has been a dramatic shift in what causes salespeople to be motivated.  I have written before about this, (A Must Read: Drive by Daniel Pink)but as it relates to sales manager effectiveness, if the sales manager does not understand what motivates each individual salesperson and tries to manage to his or her own motivation, he or she will spend a significant amount of time banging his or her head against the wall while uttering the phrase “I just don’t understand.  Why don’t they just go do it?”

Don’t get caught feeling like a babysitter with your sales reps.  Find out what really motivates them, and why.  It will make your conversations about activities and behaviors so much easier when you know what they are working for.  Increase your effectiveness as a high performing sales manager by really understanding what motivates your salespeople.

If you are interested in exploring an evaluation of your sales team to uncover their individual motivations, among a myriad of other important findings, contact me at