The Truth About Motivating Salespeople

The word ‘motivation’ means something different to everyone. Sometimes we lack the understanding of how to motivate our own selves and yet we want the power to motivate others. Motivation isn’t easy because the nature of the concept implies that we or someone else is in a rut. Make no mistake, ruts are not pleasant to be in and we can all attest to that. Eventually, something has to come along to motivate and inspire us away from the shadows lest we find ourselves in a long-term depression. As unpleasant as that sounds, we always know that there is going to be a path forward and out of our rut as we wait for it to be revealed to us. But we get tired of waiting and we look for ways to accelerate our motivation so we can get ourselves and others back on track. But the truth about motivating salespeople is that it is not easy and you have to know when and how to pick your battles.

Salespeople can sit idle for long or else they cease to be active salespersons and really become more account managers or worse. Motivation is not a magic wand; it is your opportunity to connect activities to goals and give them a boost with passion. We all know from experience that not every attempt at motivating salespeople is going to be successful, but we must continue trying nonetheless. A sense of grace can always come in handy when the world isn’t meeting your expectations. That same sense of grace is crucial when motivating others because motivation is usually a process that gets bumpy at times. So, before you give the “Go, Team, Go!” speech to everyone, let’s talk about the 5 truths of motivating salespeople.

  1. Motivation is subjective – There is no one-size-fits-all approach to motivation. People have different interests, goals, passions, and a sense of purpose. 

Remember: Be flexible in your approach to motivating different salespeople. Be willing to listen, learn and try new things. 

     2. Motivation is internal and external – You will be limited in how much you can affect people. It will be easier to motivate some people than others and it’s up to each salesperson as to whether or not they receive your motivation. 

Remember: It all comes down to energy and passion. Make sure that you are equally motivated as a leader and others will follow you.

    3. Not everyone can be motivated – Becoming a defeated or complacent salesperson can cause irreparable damage. Every salesperson wants to feel successful, but sometimes motivation means change and change is difficult for a lot of people. 

Remember: Give it your best shot, but sometimes and may be time to move on. The salesperson may need to find another career to be successful. 

    4. Motivation and happiness – Salespeople, like everyone else, want to be successful because it is a major ingredient for happiness. In the end, it’s all about creating the right mindset. The happier you are the more motivated you will be and the more motivated you are the happier you will be. 

Remember: Happiness is only measured by the quality of your thoughts (Marcus Aurelias), but you have to start somewhere. 

    5. Motivation gets the job done – Find, create, and be the spark that motivates others. Motivation begets determination, creativity, persistence, focus, and momentum. 

Remember: These are the attributes you want for all of your salespeople. 

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