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Influencers Invited Sales Blog

The Mind of the Sales Rep

All sales people are in sales for three reasons. These three reasons are what motivate them every day. They are…Money, Freedom, and Recognition.

Everything else, and we mean ALL other goals, tie to these three motivators. If this was not true, then your reps would be accountants, or teachers, or engineers, or some other job that kept them in a cube all day and had a fixed income. It is your job to exploit these reasons and use them to motivate your team. It is important that you do not assume you know the order of importance. Money is not always the most important. Each sales person is different and depending on their personal situation, these may have a different order of importance to each member of your team.


Sales people choose the profession of sales because they want the potential of “unlimited” income. They want to make 6 figures. They want to be masters of their own success. They measure themselves and their self-worth by how much they make. It is their primary score board of self-worth. Your job is to help them work their compensation plan to the fullest potential. That does not mean work around the comp plan! That means work to the comp plan. When they see you are willing to help them get every nickel they have rightfully earned, they will go out and get more business.


Exploiting these motivations also means not doing things to block their goals. For example, we have seen senior sales managers take teams of highly experienced and tenured sales people and require them to be at their desk at 8am every morning. While the company’s work hours may be 8am to 5pm, sales people usually enjoy the freedom to run their own schedule. This should absolutely be allowed after they have EARNED THE RIGHT.

Earning the right to manage their schedule boils down to one simple principle…PERFORMANCE IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM. In sales, everyone is either “above the line” or “below the line.” The rep is either over their quota or below their quota. There is no other measurement that matters.

Let’s be honest, if a rep is over their quota, what do you care where they are at 8am? If you feel the need to “control” your team, you should resign now because you will drive yourself crazy trying to “control” sales people. If you can’t trust them to be self-motivated, self-starting, and working towards their goals, then get rid of them and find the ones who will.


Recognition comes in many forms. Recognition can range from the big company paid trip at the end of the year to a simple name call out during a conference call. Here is what you need to know as a manager…Recognition should be frequent, sincere, appropriate, and should come in different forms.

Most sales people do not fully understand how powerful this motivator really is to their own happiness and self-drive. It is the one motivator they themselves have a hard time putting a value on about why they are not satisfied. Reps will come into your office and complain about working too many hours and not making enough money, but rarely will they complain about recognition because it so much less tangible than the other factors. Make it tangible for them. If you don’t believe how important recognition is to your team, then stop doing it and watch their morale disintegrate.

There you have it. It is really that simple. Figure out what is important to each member of your team and coach accordingly.

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