As we have discussed in our two previous shows on the Seven Forces of Sales Motivation, we talked to you about how each of your salespeople have a different force that motivates them. And we talked specifically about the 7 major forces of motivation for each of your sales reps.
Where your sales rep actually falls on this continuum will makeup what we call their “motivational profile”. There are the 7 Forces of basic motivation, and they get this primarily from their genetic makeup. The point of our first two shows was to show you that the motivations of your sales people today really don’t differ a whole lot from how they were motivated as kids.
The 7 Forces of Sales Motivation is what we discussed last time. Within the 7 Forces of Sales Motivation, the number one motivator that people think that is a motivator of sales people was not in those 7 Forces of Sales Motivation. What was that element?
That one thing that was not included in the 7 Forces of Sales Motivation was money. Most people think that just because sales people are after a sale, or sales revenue, and typically get commission, (most people do get commissioned in one way or another based upon their effectiveness at selling and driving sales revenues), or attaining a quota, or moving specific amounts of units of a product or service then every sales person is motivated by money.
What we are going to talk about is that this is actually not the case. We will get into that further in the show and detail how you can use this information, as a sales manager or trainer, to motivate your sales people most effectively.
Why is money not put on the 7 Forces of Motivation? In study after study on motivation of the top 10 Motivators of people within the workforce, money is never mentioned in the top 5 of those top 10, it is typically mentioned at the bottom half (7, 8, 9 area) of the top ten of motivators. The reason why is that it is not a primary force of motivation. Money, unto itself, is not a primary force motivation.
Money itself isn’t really what motivates. It is what that money “means” to an individual that motivates.
Money is a means to an end. If you motivate solely by money you are really missing the true motivation that is lurking behind the accumulation money.
In the cases of our salespeople it is typically a bonus, a commission, whether it is paid out quarterly, weekly, annually, bi-annually, it depends on your organization.
Here is the point: Money is a “means” motivator, but not an “end” motivator. And what you need to do is to uncover what money really “means” to each of your salespeople.
The attainment of money for its own sake really doesn’t mean much of anything.
If you really think about it, money is just paper with pictures of dead presidents on it.
The money itself does not mean anything to anyone. But the attainment of money or that bonus plan or that commission plan or the dollars that are associated with those plans is different.
Money can mean a lot of different things to different people.
It could mean any number of things. If you ask your sales reps what money means to them you are probably going to get a wide variety of different answers.
When I asked this of my sales people, the specifics behind each one of the motivations was a varying list. Here’s what I found out:
1. Paying off big credit card bills, which is a means to an end, because if you pay of the bills, then there is a lessening of anxiety. We are drilling down further into behind what money means.
2. College education for my kids. I am working hard because I have 3 kids to put through school in 3 years.
3. I want to buy a new car.
4. One step towards an early retirement
5. More bonus than their co-workers. The reason that they are motivated by money is a competitive reason; they want to feel good about competing and beating their co workers.
6. Moving out their parent’s house, and getting an apartment of their own; this was a motivation of one of my salespeople.
My point is this: what money means to each individual person really varies. If you are just motivating primarily by the pursuit of money, then to become a true motivator of people in general and sales people, you need to get to the “why” behind their answers; similar to a good sales person who investigates and digs down deeper on the objections of the prospect, you need to do the same thing with your sales force as well.
How we think about money is what motivates us for the pursuit of money, it’s not the money itself.
For example for me, as a sales manager, money did motivate me tremendously to get out of bed and do all of the things that I needed to do in order to be a success. But more than that, money was a way for me to keep track and keep score of my internal “success meter”. That is what money meant for me. Obviously I needed money to pay bills to a certain degree, in most of the positions that I had there was a base salary and bonus on top of that however, I never relied on bonus to pay house payments or car payments. I never tried to live beyond my means so for me, money was very different.
For someone who lives above their means, maybe money and the pursuit of money correlates with paying their bills on a regular basis. Making money for them may mean making a car payment or making a house payment.
For me, it is how I kept score of my personal success. The money wasn’t the “motivator”; it was what it meant for me that motivated me to achieve sales success. In essence, more money equaled more success. And that is how money motivated me.
Your sales people have completely different motivations behind money, different from me, different from you, and different from their co-workers. If you can find this out and uncover it specifically on each individual sales rep, than you are that much closer to being able to motivate them towards their true goals, which is the motivations behind the means and ultimately to the end that they really want.
Every one of your sales people on your sales force has a different set of motivators. We talked about The 7 Forces of Sales Motivation on previous shows. We also talked about the 10 questions that you need to ask your salespeople to uncover these motivations. And the 7 Forces are much more at a granular level, getting down to their personality and what motivates them on a personality stand point.
Money is a key ingredient to this.
The key to getting more out of your sales people is to uncover the meaning behind what motivates them. And the meaning of money for them is varied based upon the internal motivations of each one.
Since the primary reinforcement strategy that most companies employ in order to drive new sales revenue is to incentivize sales people with bonus dollars and commission dollars to move sales in the right direction, it is important for you to get to the bottom of this.
With most organizations, the more bonuses and commissions that are earned, typically equals more in sales.
The company gets what they want by incentivizing the sales people to drive to what the companies wants with an individual sales goal or sales target.
Hopefully in your company it is a good commission plan and it is a plan that highly incentivizing sales people to not only attain their base level, but to aim towards something that far exceed it.
Since money is a “means” motivator, and something else is an “ends” motivator. What do you do now? How do you uncover it for your sales people to use it as a true motivator?
Let’s go back to the 10 questions that we talked about, we have referred to it a couple of times in this show. We taught you 10 questions to ask your sales people to uncover their true motivations. . We taught you how to ask these 10 questions in order to get a base level of understanding as to what drives them to meet and maybe exceed their performance standards.
There were 10 questions to ask you reps individually or in a questionnaire.
Question number 1: What drives you?
And if it is money, you need to ask your sales person the following: “Why does money motivate you”, or “What does money get you?”
As soon as you ask those questions, you are going to be able to find out what the driver is behind the “means” motivator in getting to the “ends” motivator.
It could be anything; freedom, how they keep score, financial independence, paying their mortgage, buying a new dishwasher for their wife, whatever it happens to be, then that is the true motivator. If you can get that out of your sales person, then you are closer to achieving excellent sales performance and true sales excellence.
To summarize, money is not the true motivator of your sales people, it is what we call a “means” motivator.
What you need to do is find out what the “ends” motivator is to the money.
This can be very easy to do by asking simple questions like, “What does money mean to you?”
Finding those things out and using those motivations to motivate your sales people to top sales performance.
You can also link a lot of these “ends” motivations back to the 7 Forces of Sales Motivation.
If you can uncover the “ends” motivator behind what money “means” and what it signifies to them, then you can motivate them more effectively and you’ll be that much closer to achieving true sales excellence.
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