As a new sales manager, one of the early mistakes I made was thinking that I could "motivate" my salespeople. In my experience, motivation comes from within. I believe the most we can do for our sellers is inspire them.
Nothing motivates like achievement. Ever have a seller close a big deal? They don't need a motivational speaker when that happens. They are on fire. They can't wait to get back to the office to tell you about it; they usually call you to share the good news.
Our job as managers should be to train, coach and equip our sellers. In short, prepare them for achievement. When they achieve, they are motivated to achieve more.
Iconic management guru Peter Drucker said: "We know nothing about motivation; all we can do is write books about it."
In order to influence your sellers’ thinking, you have to know what they are thinking. In order to inspire them, you need to know what's important to them. We typically think it's about money, recognition and status. While those factors are contributors and important, it's usually something much deeper, more personal and more powerful.
The key to finding what "it" is for your sellers can be found in a simple question: “Why are you doing this besides the money?” Don't just accept the first answer they give you; it usually requires a little digging.
When you reach that level, you are reaching the core values and purpose of your seller. Can you see how knowing this information can help you guide them to greatness? Be willing to ask your sellers, "Why are you doing this besides the money?" and see what happens!