A sales leader's job is never done, but what allows the manager or executive to sleep at night is having confidence that they have the right team in-place, the right vision, the right messaging and most of all... SALES MOTIVATION.

Nothing drives sales results more than sales motivation.
You can have the most experienced and accomplished team in the world, but if they're not motivated, you'll probably not find sales success. You may have the most inexperienced team on the planet, but if they're motivated to make it happen... chances are the marketplace will reward their efforts.

But what makes one team motivated and another team unmotivated?
Let's start with green. Yes, money motivates! But study after study has shown that MONEY IS NOT THE LEADING MOTIVATOR of top performing sales professionals.

SALES RECOGNITION is the number one driver of SALES MOTIVATION.

We sellers are a curious bunch. Aggressive and bold, yet many of us would wilt in our pillows without the recognition that drives diligent performance.With money and recognition, it's not just about having monster opportunity or constantly being praised, given the best parking spot and for the more-common employees to treat you like a rock star; there are important nuances to how it all comes together.

HOW money and recognition are provided is almost as important as HOW MUCH money is provided. 

Many companies use the Compensation Program as a key driver of behaviors that drive sales success.

There's nothing wrong with that!  After all, as sales professionals we are highly predictable. Move the carrot, and our compasses adjust almost automatically. But the companies that garner peak performance from their teams on a year-in, year-out basis recognize that there's more to it than just a Comp Plan.

More important than compensation, most over-performing sellers prioritize RECOGNITION as the leading cause of SALES MOTIVATION.

Recognition programs can be simple, although different if your organization is a "Feed the Eagles, Starve the Turkeys" mentality versus something a tad more socialistic such as "One Team, One Goal," whereby the eagles get paid the same as the turkeys. (The latter being an environment that drives your Eagles to either fly away or stop flying.)

While COMP and RECOGNITION are the leading drivers for SALES MOTIVATION, there are lots of other considerations which you can make your mighty sellers motivated to overachieve.

A big one for experienced professionals is AUTONOMY. Situational Leadership calls for delegation and a lack of oversight when it comes to managing those sellers who clearly can perform at high rates without oversight. Micro manage those studs and they likely have an allergic reaction.

Conversely, developing professionals may benefit from COACHING AND MENTORSHIP. Setting aside additional time and energy to show that you're vested in the longterm prospects of your best sellers can be a huge motivator. They can't see the next vista without you giving them the insight and perspective.

Both AUTONOMY and COACHING / MENTORSHIP are outstanding augments to the COMP and RECOGNITION priorities.

There are lots of other things that motivate sellers, such as a structure that meets their personal needs. As a sales leader, are you close enough with your sellers to truly understand their personal weekly schedule challenges? I'm not talking about sticking your noise in their personal business; I'm talking about allowing some weekly tolerance for flexible schedules... not just for workload, but also for reporting or other corporate demands.

There are many others ways to motive a team, although frankly it's all a misnomer.

"Motivation" comes from within.

When people talk about SALES MOTIVATION, what they really are referring to is SALES INSPIRATION.

As leaders, we can only inspire.

So be sure to hire self-motivated professionals.

But there is no question, SALES MOTIVATION DRIVES RESULTS.

This article was written by Empowered Sales' Kevin Graham. Kevin has deep experience as a sales professional including decades representing leading technology brands, aggressive revenue growth, strategic wins, new logo signings and many, many President's Clubs.

Kevin serves as Managing Director of Empowered Sales Training and President of Video for Business Growth.

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Kevin Graham is KGWOW.