What Motivates a Sales Rep?

Markus Lehto

Blog / What Motivates a Sales Rep? 

According to Dan Pink, motivation is affected by three factors:

  • “Autonomy”, or the feeling that you can affect your own environment
  • “Mastery”, or the feeling that you are good at what you do
  • “Purpose”, or the feeling that your work has deeper meaning

Sales reps have traditionally been motivated by money – the more you run, the more cash you get. Money does in deed work as a motivator up to a certain point. But only up to that point.

Money motivates people to do mechanical work and engage in a quantifiable process, but does not inspire creativity or get them to commit to a common, long-term goal.

The biggest problem with money is the same as with other quantifiable incentives. Price, quantity and quality are not genuine competitive advantages in business. Nor does money alone suffice as a motivator, because sooner or later, someone will pay more.

¨Change is happening faster than ever, but will never be as slow as it is now.¨

A good salesperson is the company’s future

Change is happening faster than ever in, but will probably never be as slow as it is now. For this reason, every organization must think hard about how its own sales team commits to joint work.

On a personal level, it is salespeople who best know the client, as well as how the client’s business is doing. A good salesperson is worth their weight in gold during the current, continuously accelerating and disruptive change process, no matter the industry. In fact, they are essential to the future of an organization.

¨the appropriate tools have a motivating effect on any work¨

It has been proven that the appropriate tools have a motivating effect on salespeople. They speed up the learning of new things, increase the feeling of expertise and help people to do more business. Furthermore, well-functioning tools make information about the client available to an entire organization.

At best, a salesperson’s discussions can be useful in product development, budgeting and invoicing. An entire organization works more effectively on the basis of good sales tools.

So, should we pay more attention to the motivation of our sales staff? How can we increase a salesperson’s opportunities to affect their own day-to-day life? How can a salesperson come to feel that they are good at what they do?  

Oh yes, and what is the ultimate purpose of your organization, for that matter?

Markus Lehto

Markus Lehto

Marketing & Communication Director

Markus has over 15 years of experience in marketing communications. His passion is to create better communication and to help people understand each other better. Markus is one of the founding partners of Showell.