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News: Sales people are not just Motivated by Money

May 14, 2012

Please listen to RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us  this is backed by scientific research done by MIT, University of Chicago, and Carnegie Melon.  It was financed by the Federal Reserve Bank.  It says that money is only a motivator if you do not pay people enough.  The three motivators are

  • Autonomy – Self Directed
  • Mastery – We like to get better at stuff.
  • Purpose – Beyond Profit, what is inspiring your team?

How does this apply to sales management and sales people?

Motivator 1:  Autonomy – This is probably one of the biggest motivators for someone to get into sales.  The thought is that there is a certain freedom of being out on your own, and in control of your own destiny. This is somewhat contrary to what we are taught to be as Sales Managers.  Now we have CRM’s, KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), and a sales process to manage those free spirited sales people.  Does this idea of autonomy negate the management tools we have worked so hard to get?  Not at all.  You still cannot improve what you cannot measure.   However, when the measurement is used as a whip, instead of a self-direction tool then autonomy is lost.  If you want compliance manage, if you want engagement encourage self-direction.

Motivator 2:  Mastery – The best sales people I know want management as collaborators not teachers or task masters.  Although they like the autonomy, they like to talk about strategy with peers, bosses, and people within the company.  In another you tube video called Drive, Dan Pink talks about a company called Redgate, who totally eliminated commissions and saw performance go up.  Why?  Collaboration and improving themselves and the team was more motivating than the commissions.  The sales people no longer feared, that someone would share their commissions or take their account.  Sharing became easy.

Motivator 3:  Purpose – This perhaps is the most difficult thing to achieve.  It is saying , what does your company do beyond just making profit.  How is what you do helping the community?  What are your core values?  Here’s another great You Tube Zappos Video on the Ten Core Values.  As a Sales or Business leader do you transmit that Vision beyond profitability?  Will your sales people embrace it?  Do they feel passionate about it?  Why?  Why not?

One other motivator, I would like to mention for sales people that was not covered in this great video is “Challenge and Competition”.  If you ever have a top sales producer that is slacking off, find someone to give them competition, and see how fast they are motivated.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kevin permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:25 am

    Great Article Allan!

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