How To Design A Salesforce Motivation Program?
Designing a salesforce motivation program is challenging because a lot of complexities arise during sales operations between and among two levels of salespeople.
The first level requires the motivation of an individual salesperson and the second is the motion of the entire sales force in a selling firm. In order to design a salesforce motivation program, sales managers should determine and coordinate the following stepwise activities.
Determine the Degree of Motivation Needed for the Levels of SalesPeople
The sales management should determine the degree of motivation needed for individual salespersons on the basis of their efforts for their performance. It is because the efforts and performance of one person to the next differ significantly due to many causes, maybe job-related, family atmosphere, his/her psychology, and many more.
At first, these reasons are to be traced out and then determine the degree of needed motivation.
Determine the Suitable Methods on the Basis of Motivation Theories
Sales managers must possess depth knowledge about different motivation theories – hierarchy of needs theory, dual-factor theory, expectancy theory, sales force motivation theory, and so on. But while motivating an individual salesperson or entire sales force, the sales manager should develop the best-suited method creaming from these theories.
Some important theories to design an effective salesforce motivation program are discussed.
The Hierarchy of Needs theory was developed by A.H. Maslow. He categorized the needs of working people into five different levels – physiological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization.
According to him, a person moves toward the satisfaction of higher-level needs if one lower-level need is satisfied. The satisfaction of upward trend leads individuals toward motivation and when they reach the top level of need satisfaction, they start feeling motivated.
In order to apply this theory in motivating salespeople, the sales manager should move toward gradual satisfaction of these levels of needs. However, effective motivation results from an accurate assessment of the needs of individual salespeople under the sales manager’s supervision.
The Dual Theory of motivation was developed by Herzberg. He categorized five levels of Maslow’s hierarchical needs into only two types – Hygiene factors and motivator factors.
According to him, hygiene factors can only cause positive motivation but cannot motivate. The real motivators are the factors that stop individuals from going frustrated and make them move toward energetic efforts. In fact, a person judges all the motivator factors in terms of job satisfaction.
He/she always will have the assignment of work as he/she expects achievements and recognitions while performing, and expectations of required responsibility of his/her duties and no credit to others. He also compares whether he has an interesting value in working against others. Therefore, the sales manager should consider these motivator factors to succeed in creating and maintaining motivated salespersons.
Expectancy Theory was developed by Victor Vrom. He mentioned three concepts of motivating working people – expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. The basic assumption of this model is that choices made by a person among alternative courses of action are lawfully related to psychological events, which result in certain behavior positive or negative.
According to him, a valence occurs at zero if a person has different outcomes. If he/she prefers not attaining the outcome, the valence becomes negative. The valence appeals positively when he/she tends toward attaining second-level outcomes after the achievement of first-level outcomes.
Instrumentalities are efforts/input that make valence positive. Expectancy is the probability that a particular action will lead to a particular first-level outcome. Therefore, the sales manager should consider sales persons’ valence so that they can apply efforts for both levels of outcomes.
Salesforce Motivation Theory was developed by Churchill, Ford, and Walker. They integrated some of the ideas of Dual Theory and Expectancy Theory together to develop their theory of salesforce motivation.
In fact, these personalities have emphasized the consequences of motivation on one hand and suggested to sales managers how to motivate salespeople on the another. According to them, highly motivated salespeople apply greater effort and achieve high performance that leads them toward gaining rewards. Ultimately, they feel satisfied with their jobs. Ther suggestions to the managers are mainly two:
- Convince salespeople by saying that they can sell more by working hard or receiving training.
- Convince them that rewards are worth efforts and performance. These are added value of their extra effort for increasing sales.
Depth knowledge of different motivational theories leads the sales manager to determine the most suited method for motivating salespeople in the right way.
Develop a Well-Designed Salesforce Motivation Program
After determining suitable motivational methods, the sales manager should develop a well-designed salesforce motivation program. It should be coordinated with other sales management activities. In that course, managers can also consider the inevitable rejections that salespersons have to suffer from buyers in everyday activities.
In addition, salespersons feeling of isolation while they are assigned in geographically scattered territories should also be taken into account because such a feeling may cause de-motivation and the salespersons may not apply their higher level of efforts. Sales managers should not forget that an effective motivation program requires a deep understanding of salespeople as individuals, their personalities, and value systems. This means sales managers should mention sufficient space in the program to provide the circumstances that will insist salespeople motivate themselves.
Sales managers should mention the salesperson’s role in conflict resolution schemes in the designated motivation program. The well-designed salesforce motivation program should never ignore the salesperson’s tendency toward empathy of sales managers.