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WINNING, Incorporated | Boston, Massachusetts

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Do your salespeople, individually, care whether or not your company is the "Best in the World" or "The Leader in Widget Performance"? Undoubtedly that is important to them, but is that what gets them up in the morning, and keeps them going out in the field?

No. Salespeople sell for their own reasons, not the company's. Your job as a sales manager is to help them achieve their personal goals so the company can achieve its goals, too. Find out about their personal goals. While this may sound easy, there are many companies out there whose culture inhibits people from sharing their individual goals. In fact, there are many companies out there whose culture inhibits the sharing of corporate goals, too. But you cannot manage salespeople effectively if you don't have any idea why they show up each day.

Internal motivation.
How many times have you asked yourself, "How can I motivate my people to higher levels of success, both personally and for the company? How can I begin a goal-setting journey for myself and each of my salespeople, and how do I manage the realization of my goals on a daily basis?" An understanding of motivation-and the secret of self-actualization-is essential to successful sales management.

Motivation is a much used and little understood word. Motivation is a "motive for action." A much better, though more involved definition would be that motivation is a desire held in expectation that it will be accomplished. To understand it better, let's break that definition down into its components.

Desires and/or needs.
First, motivation involves desires or needs. Before you can motivate yourself, you must know and understand your basic needs and desires. What the good managers do is act as a catalyst and help each salesperson they manage to motivate themselves.

Expectation and belief.
Second, motivation involves expectation and belief. Belief, in turn, will help you make the structural changes necessary to achieve your goals. The same holds true for each of your salespeople.

Accomplishment and action.
Finally, motivation involves accomplishment, and accomplishment requires action. You must learn to identify what motivates you and to select and set personal goals that fulfill your needs as an individual. Your salespeople must also learn to do the same.

These three factors are the basic framework in which all motivation is built. You may be looking for a way to motivate yourself toward greater creativity, responsibility, and productivity. How do you go about it? You must discover all you can about yourself. You must develop self-awareness, involving your needs, desires and drives. At some point, you will discover a triggering device or an expectation and belief that will turn those desires into creative action. It isn't easy, but it is definitely possible.


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