Motivation is a very personal thing. What motivates each of your salespeople is different, and to be a good motivator, you have to recognize what motivates your sales team, and then use different techniques that work to specifically motivate them. Many people don’t respond to motivational quotes or cheerleading, but they do respond to challenges or ultimatums. Find out why your team is selling, and what their goals are, to find out the ways to motivate them.

Don’t Treat Everyone the Same

You may think that you need to treat all of your sales team the same to be fair and equitable and to motivate them, but that’s just not the case. The truly great sales manager knows that motivation is different for each person. You may be motivated by money, but the salesperson next to you may be motivated by the challenge of selling to difficult clients, or meeting a quota, and so, you should motivate them much differently.

Money Motivators

If some of your salespeople are motivated by money, you can motivate them by offering them ways to earn more. Create contests to see who can sell the most, and offer bonuses to the top competitors. Create promotions for special products that bring in more commissions. Make sure that your sales team is compensated fairly, and that they receive enough commissions to motivate them to continue selling successfully. For the money motivated, it’s all about the paycheck, so make sure they have ways to earn more every month.

Recognition Motivators

Many people on your sales team could be motivated more by recognition than money. They like to be recognized for their achievements, and receive praise or acknowledgment. You can create contests or incentives for them where they win an award, along with maybe a bonus, and you can make the reward anything from a trophy to a dinner out with the family. Recognizing that they were the best or that they achieved their goals is what matters most to these members of your sales team. Recognition, even in the form of a card or note expressing your gratitude can be a powerful motivator for those who thrive on recognition.

Freedom Motivators

Many people who are in sales enjoy the field because it allows them the freedom to plan their own days and manage their own careers. If you have freedom loving salespeople, motivate them by trusting them, and not micro managing them. If you curtail their freedom, they’ll feel constrained, and that won’t help them sell. When you manage these people too closely, they’ll fear you, and fear is never a good motivator. Fear never builds loyalty or trust, and you need those qualities in a good salesperson. Make sure that these salespeople keep reports of their contacts, but make the reports light, rather than lengthy and tedious, and you’ll find your freedom loving salespeople are much happier, and more productive, as well.

Challenge Motivators

Some of your sales team may respond best to a challenge. It may be as simple as “Sell X number of widgets this month, do you think you’re up to it?” or it could be more complex, such as, “I’m not sure you can make this quota,” and they’ll think to themselves, “Oh yeah? Watch me!” These types of people are more difficult to motivate, because if you read them wrong, you could give them the wrong clues that don’t motivate them, instead they make them feel like they can’t perform, and that can have a real negative affect on their sales.

You need to find out what motivates your sales team, so communicate with them, ask them why they’re in sales, and then develop your motivation especially for them.

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