In my experience people are all motivated by many different things. Some by money (and that is ok!), some by the prospect of furthering their career, some simply to keep their job and some just knowing the leader is happy with what they are doing. The old-fashioned pat on the back if you like.
A good leader needs to know where each of their team sit in terms of motivation needs and then carry that out individually daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually whenever is relevant.
Some sales managers methods utilise the praise and embarrassment factor or using league tables to motive their sales staff. I personally find these methods demotivate staff more than motivate. There will always be a first and last place…what if the person last place has been working harder than anyone else but we will never know they were just about to deliver the biggest win of the year as the embarrassment and demotivation from being shown as “last” in front of their peers puts them off course?
A leader should understand their league tables but instead of putting it out there as a best to worst ranking, instead use the insights behind the data with each team member in isolation to control the message you want to deliver, bespoke to that person. This will drive true motivation.
It is important to remember that your team is made up of different people who are all in different situations at work and in their personal life. Each person is individual and likely to have different or varying attributes to one another. It’s the job of the leader to understand these and manage accordingly.
It’s therefore essential when recruiting to ensure each member not only has the core skill set required to do the job but also fits within the culture of the business and the team.
I have spoken about some of the basic characteristics I believe ensure a successful sales team, but the core ingredient is of course the people themselves. People are the biggest asset to any business and it’s important as a leader you get the right people to deliver your culture, strategy and ultimately the numbers.
Any team can develop and evolve, and individuals are no different. It’s important to remember that part of your role as the leader is to coach, encourage and develop your team.
Good luck selling!
Lee Hamill – Sales Director