I didn’t try out to be a cheerleader in high school [besides, Cheerleader X would’ve looked awful in a skirt]. I also had no interest in becoming one during my sales career.
I didn’t believe it was necessary for a sales team to look to me, as their sales manager, for motivation if providing for themselves and their families, as well as creating the life of their choosing, wasn’t enough to keep them motivated.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.”
~ Ron Swanson
I learned, through the past decades, more about how people are wired. One very important thing was the importance of knowing if someone was able to adequately motivate themself. Those sales reps were good, very good, but they were also difficult to find.
It was difficult because every potential hire not only told me they were self-motivated, but they believed it as well. It was the trial of starting a life in sales that would, over time, reveal the truth.
That’s not to say I refused to motivate others when I saw the opportunity. But, it was typically for those who were not constantly looking for it [read: desperately seeking it]. I had no interest in enabling my sales team in ways that drove them further from finding the motivation they needed to discover within themselves.
But, allow me to mention, I know there are other schools of thought on this and there’s certainly some validity to each of them. I’m speaking from my experience.
For now, let’s look at a resource I found for you which aligns with my view on this subject. It shouldn’t matter that it’s from a woman in sales but, in a way, it does.
Women still deal with a lot of bias against them in sales, both from colleagues and management, but also from many buyers. If a woman succeeds in our industry, it does take an extra amount of self-motivation, and I say that with nothing but respect.
The bias we have against women is wrong; it’s harmful to them, as well as being indirectly harmful to the men around them.
I believe we all can learn from the truly self-motivated ones around us, no matter their gender.
Ali Powell (@AliPowell21) runs The WomenPreneurs website, where Powell writes the Women In Sales Blog. She draws from her career experience as a woman in sales industry and a woman in the tech industry, including 5+ years at her current employer, HubSpot.
Powell recently penned a post titled: “Motivational Sales Quotes Don’t Work, What Works is Hiring Naturally Motivated Sales Reps.” In it, she takes a very strong stand on the topic of motivating sales professionals. I wanted to tell you about it so I can hear from you, and hear your thoughts, over on Twitter (@SalesExecutiveX).
THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Powell’s post is this:
“My personal stance on this is that it is not your company’s job to motivate you as a sales rep.”
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE
You may or may not agree with that statement, but we can all agree having strong self-motivation is a huge advantage in our business. Finding that kind of person to add to our teams is vital for the health of any business.
The meat of this post is in the tips Powell offers “for finding and recruiting sales reps who will be motivated to sell your product or service naturally, just by being who they are as a human being.”
These are the 5 tips, and questions to ask, she gives us, but be sure to read the post in full to get her details for each tip:
- Look for someone who understands your product vision or what your product solves for.
- Is that person a helper?
- Does this person know how to get pumped up on their own?
- Do they like to solve problems on their own? Does that get them excited and keep them going?
- Do they want to be the best in their job and in life? Do they care about more?
No, we shouldn’t need to motivate our people, but sometimes we need to do it for the purpose of understanding if they’ll turn a corner and will be a part of our long-term plan.
Again, I’m very interested in your honest thoughts about this topic. Thank you for sharing them with me…
[Reading Time For Powell’s Post: 3:00]
QUESTION ::: How much motivation, in any form, do you need [or want] to receive from your sales manager?
Let’s talk about it…