Doug Dvorak's Blog

Stop Complaining and Start Motivating

Promoting effective employee motivation takes a complete understanding of the factors involving what motivates different types of employees. Sales managers realize that the key to increasing productivity and employee contributions is instilling a high degree of motivation. This applies not only to each individual salesperson, but also to the entire team. There are many ways to motivate a sales force while maintaining a positive atmosphere leading to increased productivity.

Defining Motivation

Someone who is highly motivated has a characteristic at work leading them to have a positive outlook with increased levels of effort. This is especially true when facing certain obstacles. Those who stay motivated and positive will consistently be far more focused on their goals and efforts compared to those who aren’t. Professional sales managers should make sure that everyone can see the desired outcome if they are performing at a much higher level.

Importance of Goal Setting

Managers can create an atmosphere of positive thinking and motivation by having specific goals which are reachable by each individual. When such goals are met, the salesperson should be rewarded accordingly. It’s important that each person understands the goal in mind and tries each day to work toward achieving it. The employee should have continual feedback regarding how they are performing along with suggestions on how to perform even better.

Positive Reinforcement

A few examples of giving positive reinforcement to your sales organization is to increase pay based on performance, bonuses, promotions and acknowledgment of hitting goals in front of others. However, some managers also will include certain negative reinforcement techniques. These often are criticism or threat of job loss. All negative reinforcement typically follows poor job performance; it’s not generally suggested as it can create a negative atmosphere and lower morale. The idea is to keep your sales force in a positive mood and highly motivated to succeed.

Recognition Techniques

The opportunity to receive recognition can be a very powerful motivator for most people. Recognition can come in many forms including annual award ceremonies, vacation packages, cash rewards and many other motivating methods of acknowledging success. Even employees who receive recognition for small actions will feel more inclined to achieve more difficult tasks. This is of course in the hopes of receiving further recognition. Some sales managers will also use fear as a motivating technique to try and encourage higher output, however most people these days believe fear will only have short-term benefits.


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