Implement all the bright-shiny strategies you can think of to get sales reps excited about their success… And more than likely, they’ll still fall short of reaching their goals.
What’s the missing link?
According to behavioral intelligence (BQ), it’s about how you motivate your team. BQ has found that motivation is a trigger for thoughts… which cause feelings… which yield action. In other words, sales reps turn their thoughts and feelings into actions –– and that’s what determines their performance.
Motivation is the #1 key to helping your salespeople reach their goals.
Before you invest in inspirational posters or send an encouraging message from management, understand: Motivation comes from something deeper. Is it money? Praise? Recognition? Rewards? Awards? Self-competition? Helping others? These are all key motivators for your sales reps. Each sales rep responds differently to them –– depending on their personal motivational “style.”
What Are Motivational Styles?
People are motivated in one of three ways:
Your challenge is to determine how each rep is motivated, so you can tap into the language and drivers that get them excited and energized. You won’t need to develop creative ways to get them to want to sell more. They just will. Then, you’ll see profitable results.
Intrinsically Motivated Salespeople
Intrinsic motivation stems from feeling accomplished through personal reward rather than rewarded through external means, like money. Intrinsics are motivated by their internal desire for purpose, growth, learning, self-competition, and are fed through recognition.
How to Recognize Intrinsically Motivated Sales Reps
The behaviors of intrinsically motivated sales reps stem from their emotions. They are more successful when they feel appreciated and valued and become more motivated to succeed after a positive and reinforcing meeting. That said, giving them higher comp plans and other monetary rewards won’t make a positive difference in their performance. The intrinsically motivated sales rep wants (and needs) feedback, and because of that, they’ll seek it out. When you praise them, you’ll see them smile and “light up.” Wins are addictive for this group. After a win––whether it’s big or small––they’ll double down on the tasks that will give them another win. This type of person is naturally self-competitive and seeks to win. They want to be #1 and aren’t afraid to put in the work to achieve it.
How to Motivate an Intrinsically Motivated Person
- Recognize their accomplishments and efforts through an announcement during a team meeting.
- Let them compete.
- Post rankings and sales numbers in visible sight of everyone.
- Get excited with them and celebrate all wins.
Extrinsically Motivated Salespeople
Extrinsically motivated sales reps are driven by external rewards, like money. They are motivated by what they get out of it, rather than self-satisfaction. They want to know their efforts will show through monetary value.
How to Recognize Extrinsically Motivated Sales Reps
Extrinsically motivated sales reps work for the money. They mentally correlate effort to the potential dollars earned. This sales rep talks about money, commissions, bonuses, comp plans, incentives, and their numbers drop when they feel like something may affect their compensation negatively. This sales rep may get nervous and frustrated when management talks about cutting territories, making changes to strategic partners, the inbound lead system, or anything that affects their opportunity to make money. They compare themselves to friends, family, and colleagues by status markers –– things like cars, houses, and annual earnings. They work hard for their earnings and enjoy spending their hard-earned money.
How to Motivate an Extrinsically Motivated Person
- Verbally encourage them during 1:1s and coaching sessions by translating deals sold into commission earned.
- Create a personal annual budget worksheet and have them self-report their financial goals and future desired purchases. Use this data as an indicator of how much they need to sell to reach their financial goals. Typically, the revenue goal will be higher than their quota, which works in your favor.
Altruistically Motivated Salespeople
Altruistic sales reps find motivation through supporting and serving others. They want to know their efforts help and benefit people around them. They’re not in it for themselves, or for the money.
How to Recognize Altruistically Motivated Sales Reps
You’ll find few altruistic people in sales roles, as they’re a better fit for customer success. A successful altruistic sales rep is probably in account management and not a true sales role. These reps will stop their selling activities to help a needy customer. As a sales manager, you consistently tell this person to get back on the phones, stop getting caught up in operations or service problems, and remind them about quota. An altruistic sales rep may fight you on their priorities and argue they can’t let service issues fall to the wayside, that they must fix them. They may argue their efforts in rescuing clients leads to referrals; therefore, it is revenue-generating.
How to Motivate Altruistically Motivated Person
- Move them into an account management role.
- Allow them to care for their clients within boundaries.
It’s All About Personalization
Have personal conversations with your sales reps and learn what makes them wake up in the morning excited and ready to win! Motivation is what fuels people to get anything done. To motivate a sales team, you need to create an environment that fuels each motivational type. Experience, knowledge, and skills are all important factors in your sales rep’s performance, but feeding their BQ motivators will drive higher productivity and sales.