How To Motivate Successful Salespeople

How To Motivate Successful Salespeople

The key motivators of successful salespeople are often asked about by
managers attending management training courses. If these can better
understand, they will be more effective at managing these successful

Personal success clearly comes before team performance

Top salespeople are rare. What really distinguishes them from others?
Over a period of 22 years the Gallup Management Consulting Group have
carried out studies which reveale the following key abilities and

Attribute 1: Concluding sales negotiations

The ability to conclude sales negotiations successfully is
principally the result of an amazing amount of persistence. Top
salespeople do not allow themselves to be discouraged by failure. They
accept that double the amount of sales negotiations means double the
amount of failure.

They put up with the inevitable number of unsuccessful visits,
because they have absolute faith in themselves and the product and
services that they are selling.

Attribute 2: Self motivation

The reasons for top salespeople wanting to get to the top are as
different as the people themselves: money; recognition; getting to know
people; the desire to prove themselves; etc. The one thing they have in
common, however, is that there is a fire burning in them. It is not the
sales manager who has lit this fire, but it is he who controls the
amount of air that fans the fire and makes sure that it is not

This inner motivation is stronger than any motivation package a sales
manager can introduce and makes it possible for top salespeople to
achieve excellent performances.

Attribute 3: Self discipline

Clients are demanding and there is tough competition. Against this
background, sustainable, long-term success is only conceivable if
salespeople work in the most organised way possible.

Reliability, meeting deadlines and diligence are the cornerstones of a
top salesperson's working style. They have tailor-made many of the aids
they have to help them accomplish this: forms, lists, deadline
overviews, presentation portfolios.

Attribute 4: Empathy

Offensive salespeople and power sellers are indisputably successful
in certain markets. In general, however, salespeople need to build up
and nurture a relationship with the client. This always entails looking
at the situation from the client's point of view and a good
understanding of the client's problems. A salesperson will only have the
patience to do this if they accept the client and emphasise the things
that both of them have in common.

If you have a top salesperson like this in your sales team, then it
is your job to make sure that they keep their "inner" motivation as
taught on all good management training courses. What is the driving
force that motivates them? Four "motivational factors" and the effect
these have on a sales team are mentioned in the Gallup Study:


Salespeople who are motivated by competition do not only want to win,
they want to be better than their competitors. The result is they make
no distinction between a sales person from a rival company and a
co-worker. They are fair, however, and their performance will also
inspire their sales team.

Ego drive

The ego of these top salespeople is the focal point of everything.
They want to be the best and get the glory personally. Team performance
means nothing to them. You can however motivate these salespeople by
making them mentors for young salespeople. They are exhilarated when
younger salespeople admire their expertise.

Love of success

This is the motivation that is most desirable to drum into team
thinking, but unfortunately team thoughts rarely enter the head of top
salespeople. Any salesperson who loves success feels motivated by the
task at hand alone. If they achieve a goal, their sights are
automatically set a notch higher. Colleagues' success does not bother
them, since the main thing is that the task has been accomplished.
Always ensure there are enough challenges to stretch your salespeople.

Service strength

The strength of salespeople who have this inner motivation is the
ability to create and build on client relationships. They are constantly
on the look-out for the optimum uses for their clients. These are the
ones who express with as much understanding as possible what it is the
customer actually needs and then goes out of their way to accomplish
this. In the sales team, this type of salesperson is often the work
horse who does the less well-liked tasks, because these are the ones
which are complicated and drawn out. You need to recognise the fact that
your top salespeople fulfil this role.

These are the key motivators and attributes of successful sales
people. Managers who hope to further develop their skills of motivating
and identifying successful salespeople can attend pertinent management
training courses.