Over the years I have heard from numerous CEOs and sales managers alike that believe that they should not have to help motivate their people to do their jobs. They believe that if they just hired “highly motivated” people they can just let them go. Well I say “Good luck with that.” It is an unrealistic expectation. Even the most motivated individuals, need some help along the way in the motivation department.
Yes – hire motivated individuals but don’t rely solely on their self-motivation to be able to carry them through difficulties and adversity. Sales managers must get to know their salespeople intimately so that they understand what motivates them. More importantly the sales manager needs to understand how they can help to inspire salespeople. What do they respond to? Some people respond to praise and a thank you from their boss. Some respond to praise and accolades from their clients. Some need public recognition. Still others need rewards and money to motivate them. And then there are those others that need a swift kick in the rear to get them going. They need scolded for not doing what they should do before they will respond. I actually used to work with someone like this once, who was extremely effective, when he was operating under a scolding. The boss knew that every once in awhile he had to bring him in and have a stern talking to and then the guy would light the world on fire.
If you want to have a productive sales team that generates results you, as the sales team leader, will need to figure out what motivates each one. It is possible they are all different. Or you could just decide to hire only those that require not motivational guidance from you. The problem is that you will have to spend a lot of time finding those individuals. Rather, accept the fact that you may have to insert yourself into the motivation process with your salespeople and help them stay on track. I love a famous quote from Zig Ziglar: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
So please start with hiring motivated individuals and then get to know them and what actually motivates them. It IS your job as sales manager to help motivate them. If you don’t, you are leaving results up to chance.
If you want to see how we use the Objective Management Group assessment to learn about candidate motivation click here for a sample.