From the practical perspective the starting point in looking at motivation of a sales teammight be considered as looking at issues of job dissatisfaction and satisfaction. This, as the reader will recall, is basically looking at the motivation-hygiene theory as it applies to the sales environment. Ideally factors that cause demotivation should be neutralized or otherwise tackled if they are seen to detract from efforts to input positive motivation. Then we can move forward with a framework for practical positive motivation.
Every job will include a number of interesting (motivating) and uninteresting (demotivating) factors, and each individual performing job functions is likely to have different views on which factors fall into each category. To maximize individual and team productivity, and continuously improve performance, managers must develop job content and provide an environment seen by each salesperson as motivating and rewarding in terms of each of their collection of personal drives and needs. As a starting point to positive motivation we must analyse the job functions, activities and working environments, and establish the typical motivating and demotivating factors.
Demotivating factors should be eliminated or neutralized before motivation can begin. Figure highlights a range of typical demotivators, which can most frequently can be categorized under the headings of:
In addition there are a host of attitudinal indications through changed or modified behavior the manager might spot.
It is a useful management exercise (sometimes monitored by a human resource department) to record and plot demotivationalindicators that can be quantifiably measured (such as absence, sickness, staff turnover). These might be graphed, and variations from levels considered normal can be highlighted for further investigation of root causes as a precursor to corrective action.
Now that we have identified a range of potential demotivators, some of which can be labelled as hygiene factors, a basic practical approach to motivation of the salesperson is to focus on providing:
We will build on these in the next section.
A framework for practical motivation
Before the sales manager can start to motivate a salesperson to achieve anything, the salesperson must know what is expected of him or her. The table following highlights some things the sales manager can address in developing a motivational selling environment. Then the sales manager can work at motivation by recognizing the major motivational drives within each salesperson (see Table), and working to help the salesperson increase the satisfaction of his or her main motivational drives.
The manager’s motivational role
The sales manager is key in the motivational process. He identifies the motivational drives within his team, and offers ways to increase satisfaction of personal needs. The sales manager has a range of tools he or she can use to motivate the sales team, including those listed below.
The manager’s leadership role
The sales team will look to their sales manager for leadership in addition to motivation. Leadership means providing direction (particularly by example), and guiding actions and opinions. The authority that accompanies leadership may derive from severalsources:
A manager’s claim to leadership is commonly based on a mix of these factors.
Recognition as a leader commonly comes when team members realize the manager can and does help them achieve their own goals and objectives. As a leader the sales manager must:
Motivation through involvement in decision making
The management style adopted may be influenced by the manager’s views of the ability of team members to understand issues and make constructive comment. Some managers believe that they alone have the skills and experience to make decisions. This somewhat cynical view is unlikely to be very motivational.
If you, as sales manager, want your sales team to take ownership for decisions and their implementation then it is important to involve them whenever appropriate in the decision-making processes. Discussionamongst team members who have experience and relevant input to make on subjects usually produces better decisions, and active involvement helps produce a more cooperative environment and a team committed to implementing the decisions they participated in making.
In deciding whom to involve in the decision- making process, consider:
In arriving at decisions within the sales team it is often useful to check that each of the stages in Figure is covered.
Sales Management Related Tutorials
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Sales Management Tutorial
Roles And Functions In The Sales Force
Sales Structures And Organization
Motivational Management In The Sales Force
Sales Management By Objectives
Motivating Through Rewards And Incentives
Providing Appraisals And Feedback For Motivation, Training And Discipline
Communication In The Sales Force
Sales Meetings And Conferences
Recruitment And Selection In The Sales Force
Basic Sales Training
Field Sales Training
The Planning Process
Sales Force Administration
Sales Management Control
Merchandising At The Point Of Sale
Key Account Management
Alternative Sales Or Distribution Operations
Developing International Markets
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