Sales people are generally emotional creatures. And it’s that emotion that motivates them to jump out of bed each morning, venture out into the world, and create something from nothing. While each of us has our own unique list of inward-focused motivators that fuel that emotion—giving our kids their best chance at success, owning our own home, paying off student loans, etc.—those are mostly about why we’re out there, not about who we sell for.
The simple truth is, most of us would refuse to work for a company that doesn’t inspire us or align with our moral code. So, along with our personal set of internal forces, we are clearly motivated (or, more importantly, not) by our organization. Which begs the question: how can an organization provide real, tangible purpose for its sales team? I’m not talking about trip contests and prizes, those are givens. Don’t even show up without them. It has to be meaningful and much more substantial than that.
Here are three effective motivators an organization can offer:
Build a corporate culture that stands for something and stand by it. Culture is that unmistakable difference that sets a sales organization apart, “what makes it tick.” And if company leaders aren’t actively shaping that culture, it will create itself. But will it attract the people you want? An effective culture stands for something. It’s usually the essence of the company’s DNA. The best ones are a radical, disruptive force of continuous change in the marketplace. And once yours is established, make sure it is well defined, so the next generation can understand and live by it.
Set up employee ownership. Imagine a company owned 100% by the employees, and 100% of the employees own some portion of the company. It’s always been one of my goals to create such a company. Not because I’m exceptionally altruistic, it’s simply better for business. I know ownership inspires sales people and I’m fairly certain that would be true for every person. Folks are bound to be more motivated if they were also shareholders. In such a company, that would be the ultimate reason to put the shareholder first!
Find a cause that employees will actively engage in and support. Rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. to feed the kids, get them off to school and get ourselves ready to face a day of uncertainty can suck up every last ounce of energy. But, what if there were something bigger at stake? What if pushing through rough patches made a difference beyond our own private little bubble? What if our sales efforts were directly tied to the well-being of others who have no chance without us? What if our sales jobs were tied to a cause that could actually make positive social change?
What if an organization offered a game-changing culture, 100% employee ownership, and the ability to support a higher cause? Now that would truly be interesting.
Find a company with values and a mission that align with your own and you will find it much easier to build a network, pitch to potential customers and close the sale. If this has fueled your fire, we here at Beyond are interested in talking to you. Send us your resume today.