You can assemble a world-class sales team and yet still fail to deliver and crush quota. Motivation, desire and hunger are the often difficult to quantify ingredients that will really make a difference and impact to the bottom line. If the team has individual members that can self-motivate this will have an impact right across the organisation. Before you can understand how motivation as an impact it is important to understand the individuals within the team. The individual’s life circumstances and outlook will have a huge impact into how they behave and why they put in the extra effort to ensure that they do the work that will get the deals. A great salesperson will still perform well within a poorly run and functioning sales team however often individuals will struggle over a long period of time and mean reversion will take place. Mean reversion is where over performance in the short term will always revert to the longer term average and that average is a result of their market/team.
Sales managers will know and understand their team members both in the office as well as their personal lives. When I talk about personal lives I mean not the micro details but macro perspective i.e. what really makes them tick. A detailed analysis of an individual’s background can also give insight into motivation and resilience in tough times. A professional that has a hard upbringing and has had to fight their way into different opportunities will often be more resilience as they have built up this strength over a period of time. They will have a point to prove and lack the ego that can often get in the way of hard graft and changing markets. In recruitment we always look at the individual but also tried to understand where they have come from and where they will be going over the long term. A track record of success particularly working for a number two or number three in the market and even a challenger company will show the ability to deliver results against the odds.
I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with many great sales leaders who have helped shaped my career. At the time I may have not realised the reasons for their approach and questioning that now it is understood and clear. A great sales manager is respected and understood but not always liked as they are thinking about the bigger picture and able to make short-term actions which are always not popular at the time. Healthy internal competition will often raise standards and challenge individuals to perform at a level which is consistent with the highest achievers. This is why analysis of sales metrics including activity as well as results will help drive motivate and inform a sales team.
Having an understanding and impact on what business actually does and the impact on the client’s needs to be understood and appreciated. A client’s success means success for the business and a celebration of the impact of the individuals contributors had to the business is important. We often forget and take for granted that our actions as individuals and as a sales team as a whole have a huge impact on our clients who appreciate is what we do and the results that we get.
The motivation is often deep within most salespeople and it is up to the organisation particularly sales management to help the individual understand what they’re striving for and how the business can help with these personal aspirations. We all have the capabilities to do great things but those around us and within our teams can help us to become truly great.