Sales is a high-pressure field, and maintaining motivation, energy, and drive is incredibly important for success. It is normal to feel discouraged when a deal doesn’t work out, but the ability to stay upbeat and productive when the going gets tough is what sets apart truly great salespeople. Sales team leaders and managers have a responsibility to help their teams stay motivated even during difficult pushes and slow seasons.
Psychologists who study motivation speak in terms of two general categories of motivation that influence everyone: intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Career analyst Dan Pink does a great job explaining how these affect business in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation.” Understanding these motivation types can be a great tool for sales leaders.
1. Intrinsic Motivation is driven by a desire to learn, grow, and master skills, and by the belief that by pursuing an activity, it is possible to reach personal goals.
2. Extrinsic Motivation comes into play when money, social acceptance, or negative consequences like punishment are the main drivers behind a given activity.
Everything from a pat on the back to a structured financial reward system can be used to increase both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors for a sales team. The best sales leaders should always be learning more about what motivates every individual on their team, but there are a few basics that tend to be consistent across sales teams in every industry.