Both good and great salespeople have the skills and knowledge necessary to become great, so the answer lies somewhere else.
Numerous studies show that the single most important factor in lifting good salespeople to become great salespeople is the sales manager’s performance.
Central to being a high performing sales manager is the ability to appropriately recognise a salesperson’s performance – to answer the salesperson’s question, “What’s in it for me?” Whether it’s a trip to Hawaii, a financial reward for a big sale, or a plaque on the wall, providing some kind of tangible benefit is usually seen as both necessary and sufficient to motivate high performance.
There are, however, intangible rewards that can have an even greater impact on motivation, and provide the sense of personal fulfilment that keeps salespeople energised and committed.
The most important thing a manager can do in this regard is to provide meaningful recognition that is personal, specific, and timely.
Since what individuals find meaningful varies greatly from person to person, managers can
be most effective when they understand the sources of individual motivation and customise recognition and rewards accordingly.
Managers who can do this see the results when their salespeople are inspired to deliver the above and beyond effort that raises performance from good to great.
Words by Ross Wilson
(Distributed by NZ Sales Manager magazine.)