7 New Ways to Motivate Salespeople Through 20 Old Hurdles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

Sales Challenges

Trust me when I say that this is a great article, but before we get to it, I have a few post-vacation links for you.  

This is important!  We want you to be part of our next White Paper on Sales Force Effectiveness.  Would you kindly take no more than 5 minutes to answer some questions about the sales force at your company?  We won't even ask your name or email address!  

Hubspot's Sales Blog published this post with some professional follow-up email templates.  It's worth a look and it has one of mine...

The September issue of Top Sales World was published last week and my article about the Top Mistakes Salespeople Make on the Phone was named Top Blog Post for August.

Gerhard Gschwandtner interviewed me for SellingPower TV. You can see the 5-minute interview here.

I'll be speaking at Inbound14, September 17, and I'll be talking about How to Hire Great Inbound Sales/Marketing people.  You can register here.

Finally, my article about How to Hire Salespeople That Will be Great Instead of Great Salespeople that Will Fail was posted in EcSell Institute's Coaching Library.  You can hear me speak on this topic there next month.

 

Now for the article.

The ability to motivate salespeople is just as important as it has always been.  However, there are differences today that make it more complicated than it used to be.

In the old days (pre-2008), if salespeople were motivated, then they were probably motivated by money.  According to data from Objective Management Group (OMG), 54% of salespeople were money-motivated during the 1990's and first half of the 2000's.  Today, the data shows that no more than 27% of salespeople are what we now call extrinsically-motivated.  Even the name has changed!

But what about those who are intrinsically-motivated - those who are motivated by satisfaction, fulfillment, praise and recognition.  They want to change the world.  They love what they do and want to achieve mastery.  That motivates them.  OMG is able to differentiate between intrinsically-motivated and extrinsically-motivated salespeople, but how do you manage those who are intrinsically-motivated?  How do you get them to perform when they are interested in things that go beyond a commission check?

Perhaps this will help:

In the next release of OMG's suite of Sales Candidate Assessments, Salesperson Evaluations, and Sales Force Evaluations, we will be able to show you exactly what YOU can do to motivate your existing and new salespeople.  For instance, wouldn't you love to know if a salesperson:

  • Loves to win - or hates to lose?  It's a subtle difference, but you would take a completely different approach to motivate each of these two types of salespeople.
  • Spends money to force performance - or performs and spends the money as a reward?  Just like the first example, the difference is subtle, but your motivational approach would be different.
  • Responds better to being pushed by the sales manager - or prefers to push himself?  If you are familiar with the scene in "Facing the Giants", you'll have a good idea of what it means to be pushed to be the best.  
  • Performs better when closely managed - or when left alone?  Some salespeople cannot function well when left to their own devices.  They don't self-start or self-direct and need to be directed and/or be part of a team.
  • Performs better when competing against others - or when competing against her own expectations?  What if the mediocre salesperson would rise to the next level if the competition and the rewards were compelling enough?
  • Responds better to recognition - or satisfaction after meeting and exceeding goals?  For some, it doesn't get any better than hearing their name called out, receiving an award or plaque, reading about themselves on a website or being listed as the winner.  Others could care less about all of that because the self-satisfaction one gets from knowing they're the best is all they need. 
  • Is motivated by proving someone else wrong - or proving himself right?  There are some salespeople who can be motivated to achieve greatness just because someone told them that they would fail at sales, that they weren't ready for this role, that they couldn't sell that big account, that they wouldn't beat out that particular competitor, or that they could never earn that much money.
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Salespeople are different - very different - and the more you know about what will help them face and overcome the following 20 hurdles, the better:

  1. Adversity
  2. Rejection
  3. Better-Known Competition
  4. Disinterest
  5. Ambivalence
  6. Existing Relationships
  7. Preconceived Motions
  8. Lower Priced Competitors
  9. Insulated Decision Makers
  10. Liars
  11. Assholes
  12. Impossible Political Structures
  13. Unfair Terms
  14. Unwillingness to Answer Questions
  15. No's
  16. Maybe's
  17. Self-Limiting Beliefs
  18. Discomfort with Certain Selling Situations
  19. Fear
  20. Pressure
     

Image Copyright: texelart / 123RF Stock Photo 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales motivation, sales challenges, sales testing, sales assessments, objective management group

John Robinson's Secret to Overcoming All Sales Obstacles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

john robinsonObjective Management Group just completed it's annual international conference for Partners.  Normally, I wouldn't write about it, but this event was different.  Not most of it, but one magical hour of it.

We have had great, world-reknowned keynote speakers in past years like, Guy Kawasaki, Dan Millman, Robert Kriegel, and Verne Harnish.  They've been thoughtful, entertaining, insightful and helpful.  But this year, we were fortunate to get John Robinson to speak.  Who?  Never heard of him?  Let me take a moment to introduce you to John.  First, please watch this 26-second video on YouTube.

John is a very likable, intelligent, entertaining, engaging, motivated, savvy, resourceful, determined, resilient and successful 42-year-old.  John is just like you and me in every way and exactly like what you want all of your salespeople to be.  As a matter of fact, he was a successful General Sales Manager at a television station in upstate NY.  He is just like us in every way except one.  He was born without full arms and legs - a congenital amputee - and has faced more resistance and obstacles than we could ever know.

Sure, you can get the obvious message that, "If he can do it, you can do it."  It goes much deeper than that.  You can even get the message, "After seeing John Robinson, what possible excuse could you possibly have for not succeeding?"  His actual message is, "Get Off of Your Knees."

But when it comes to sales success, I took away an even deeper message.

He said, "Every obstacle is an opportunity."  

The difference between John and everyone else is that he doesn't merely say an obstacle is an opportunity; he believes that they are opportunities and as a result, behaves as if they are opportunities.  Whether you think in terms of strategy or tactics, consider how an approach changes depending on whether you believe the target or subject is an obstacle or an opportunity.  For which would you rather plan?

If you simply eliminate the concept of obstacles, and approach all situations as opportunities, your entire world changes, doesn't it?

That is the real magic that John Robinson can manifest!  Thank you, John.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales challenges, sales objections, Guy Kawasaki, verne harnish, john robinson, robert kriegel, dan millman

Bad Things That Happen When You Leave it Up to Your Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

path of least resistance smallHere are the 10 most common things that your salespeople will do when they aren't managed effectively, or, in many cases, when they are only managed on an as needed basis.

  1. They target who you want but call who they're comfortable with.
  2. They say they will ask questions but begin by presenting instead.
  3. They say they need help closing but they don't have enough quality opportunities in their pipeline.
  4. They say they're on top of everything but the information in their CRM is three weeks old.
  5. They agree to sell your complete line of products/services but continue to sell only what they're most comfortable selling.
  6. They tell you they understand and can leverage your value proposition but their strategy nearly always results in trying to win on price.
  7. Their forecast is what you wanted but the actual revenue always falls considerably short of the goal.
  8. They talk about finding new business but don't make any new calls.
  9. They talk about selling more consultatively but their idea of consultative is a list of 50 unrelated questions.
  10. They tell you they are out making calls when, in fact, they were out looking for a job!

How many of these 10 do you observe on your sales force?

We observe most of these - and more - when we begin working with companies.  The scenario that never ceases to amaze me though, is all of the veteran salespeople who put the following challenge on the top of their "I need help" list:

"Getting prospects to return my phone calls"

This particular challenge raises two thoughts.  

On the one hand, of course, I'll always help.

On the other hand, I'm thinking, "Are you kidding me?  Of all the things we could help you with, you want help getting phone calls returned?  How lame!  And how long have you been selling?"

It's just one more example of just how much selling has changed in the last five years while most salespeople haven't adapted to the change.  Most are still selling exactly as they were five and ten years ago, with the exception that they are relying more and more on email instead of the phone.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Email is great.  But you can't have a real-time, meaningful conversation, with both parties understanding each other, via email.

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, sales challenges, Sales Accountability, selling via email, sales problems

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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