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3 Keys to Motivation and Continued Sales Success

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Apr 21, 2022

Research shows that money is NOT the primary motivator for success in sales, ESPECIALLY with today's younger generations.

Here are 3 Keys to help sales managers and top producers bust the myth that “enough is enough” to continue to see great sales success.

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How to Stay Motivated in Sales

Too often, highly successful salespeople reach a point in their career where they become complacent.  They become complacent for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I've observed is because "they've made it". It doesn't matter what the gender or tenure is. All that matters is that one day the salesperson wakes up, takes a look around, and discovers that all the things they strived for when they got into the business have been accomplished.

  • They have the big house
  • They have the right car
  • They have the club membership
  • They are at the top of the food chain in their sales company (top 10%)
  • Their net worth is comfortable
  • They have freedom of time and freedom to choose
  • They take wonderful vacations
  • They are looked at as the leader of the sales team
  • They are defined by sales management as “irreplaceable”

What the people (Dave Kurlan) at Objective Management Group have stated for years is that highly successful salespeople are motivated by earning more money. Nowadays though, research shows that money is NOT really the primary motivator, ESPECIALLY with today's younger generations.  

With this in mind, I don't want to focus on MONEY as the motivator, but I don't want to totally discount the idea either. Money DOES help people achieve the other extrinsic motivators that are important to them. However, it is the actual goals of the individuals that provide the motivation for earning more money. For example, let's suppose you have a salesperson who says spending time with the kids in extracurricular activities is important. I would suggest that being successful in selling "buys" one the time to have balance in their life and “buys" the ability to make the choice to go to a field hockey game at 3:30 in the afternoon. This freedom of time and choice might require your salesperson to succeed at a higher level. This is just one example. People who are actively dreaming and motivated to reach their goals will continue to work towards financial success to fulfill those goals.

Here are 3 Keys to help sales managers bust the myth that “enough is enough” and continue to get the most out of their top producers. And if you are a top producer yourself, these are three areas you should question and reflect on for yourself.

  1. Ask the right question(s). It really isn't about money - how much they want to make, how much they want to have, when they want to retire, etc. The better questions focus on helping your highly successful salespeople determine what they would like to have to shape and define their lives. Ask them to rethink their goals to include some things that would be important to them to have as a legacy regarding who they are and what they accomplished.
  2. Create an environment where goal setting is also goal sharing. Too often, sales managers don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what motivates their salespeople.  (As a sales manager you may argue this, but the OMG data shows that 75% of all sales managers do not feel it is important to know what motivates their salespeople.) However, once you know what is important to your people, then you are more effective as a mentor and a coach.
  3. Build the company sales revenue plan from the ground up. Start working with your people and help them identify what their requirements are to have a lifestyle filled with happiness, success, and financial freedom. Document their individual requirements and provide a process to translate those requirements into a selling success formula. 

I've explained to salespeople that if the company has a bigger goal for them than they have for themselves, they shouldn't blame the company. The salespeople need to blame themselves because smaller expectations are a clear indication that they have stopped dreaming and stopped setting goals. I’ve explained to executives that it isn't about shareholder value. Their salespeople, unless those salespeople own shares, don't give a hoot about shareholder value. They care about sending their kids to school, buying a place in the mountains, and paying for the weddings.

When you have an environment where your people can continue to make their dreams come true, then you have something special where “enough is enough" is never an issue. 

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Topics: sales succes, successful selling

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    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

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