Now How Can You Motivate Your Salespeople?

While reviewing the recent sales assessment data compared with the same data from before the recession, two changes jump out at me.

The first is Excuse Making.  While the 74% who under achieve have always been big excuse makers compared to the over achieving 6% and the achieving 20%, there has been a marked increase in Excuse Making in the past 18 months.  Salespeople are pointing fingers outwardly rather than at themselves, a dangerous trend.  Until salespeople (and sales managers) take responsibility for their results, they won’t change what they’re doing.  Until they say, “I wasn’t effective enough”, they won’t ask the follow up question, “What could I have done differently to get a better outcome?”.

The second is Money Motivated. Has the criticism of Wall Street and the myriad of people who were living above their means caused salespeople to feel embarrassed about their desire to earn more money?  Nothing has changed with the elite 6% and the achieving 20%. But the under performing 74%, as a group, have become money indifferent!  If you can’t motivate your B and C players in the most challenging times by having them set goals so that they can earn more money, then how can you motivate them?

You can always rely on recognition, competition, incentives (contests), promotions, and challenges.  But are they powerful enough to replace the ability to earn enough money to get more stuff, property and travel?  Have salespeople actually become a group of people who will sell because it’s the right thing to do?