Salesforce Motivation – Definition, Importance, Factors, and Methods

What is Salesforce Motivation?

Salesforce or Sales Personnel motivation refers to giving inspiration and encouraging a salesperson intrinsically to stimulate his/her interest to do work motivated to achieve sales goals.

In fact, salesforce motivation is a psychological aspect. It’s a process of making salespeople act in the desired manner. It is the art of inspiring and encouraging the salesforce to apply their efforts to achieve sales goals. It is an inner impulse that induces a salesperson to move to act in the interest of the sales target that the sales organization desires to meet.

Sales managers achieve sales results through salespeople. In other words, sales managers’ performance is judged upon the composite performance of the salesforce. In fact, these sales managers give certain sales quotas/levels to salespeople to achieve.

Though sales person’s performance level requires their ability, skills, training, knowledge, and experience, their needs, drives, and goals are paramount to performing the best. If these are well met, they lead them toward motivation and produce a satisfactory level of performance results.

Why Motivating Salesforce is Important?

It is natural that people work better when they are motivated. So the salespeople also need to be motivated. Motivated salespeople directly or indirectly drive positive sales results to the sales organization.

In fact, the high performance of salespeople is the function of the ability of salespeople and motivation. In common, the importance of salesforce motivation can be pointed out below:

  • Increased Creativity: Motivated sales teams tend to think outside the box, leading to creative solutions and approaches in their sales strategies.
  • Working Hard: Motivation fuels a strong work ethic, encouraging individuals to put in the effort required to achieve their sales targets and goals.
  • Working Smarter and More Adaptive Selling Approach: Motivated sales professionals often adopt smarter and adaptive selling techniques, staying abreast of market changes and adjusting their strategies accordingly.
  • Use of Win-Win Negotiation Tactics: Motivation can drive salespeople to seek mutually beneficial outcomes in negotiations, fostering positive and sustainable relationships with clients.
  • Higher Self-Esteem: Motivated individuals often experience a boost in self-esteem, contributing to increased confidence and effectiveness in sales interactions.
  • Enhancement of Relationships: Motivation plays a crucial role in building and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues, leading to long-term business connections.
  • A More Relaxed Attitude and Less Negative Emotional Tone: Motivated sales teams are likely to approach challenges with a positive mindset, resulting in a more relaxed attitude and reduced negative emotions in the workplace.
  • Profitable Operations: Motivated salespeople are driven to achieve success, contributing to the overall profitability of the business through increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  • High Level of Productivity: Motivation is a key driver of productivity, as motivated sales teams are more likely to stay focused, meet deadlines, and consistently deliver high-quality work.
  • Minimization of Conflicts: Motivated individuals often prioritize effective communication and collaboration, leading to a reduction in conflicts and a more harmonious work environment.

Factors Influencing Salesforce Motivation

Salesforce motivation, in a real sense, comprises all the internal urges that make a salesperson strive to do a thing. So, the factors influencing the salesforce are numbered and explained below.

Salesforce Motives

Motives are the key determinants of a salesperson’s behavior. Therefore, a sales manager first should try to understand salespersons’ motives, and then deal with them accordingly. These motives are classified into two different categories.

  • Primary and Secondary Motives: The primary motives serve the biological function of organisms. But the secondary motives are social in nature.
  • Internal and External Motives: The internal motives start from the ego needs of the salesforce. External motives arise from being influenced by family and constraints.

Financial Motives

To motivate their salespeople, most organizations provide commissions or bonuses. Salary with the commission, on the other hand, is the most useful kind of payment because it gives financial certainty as well as the motivation of increased earnings for higher sales.

However, in some situations, salesmen are compensated on a commission-only basis. The logic behind it is “Increase your earnings by your sales achievements.’ However, a commission may vary significantly, depending upon sales achievements. Some examples are as follows.

  • Sales revenue or profits are based percentage of commission.
  • A set percentage of all sales, even of different first products.
  • The starting point for commission, e.g. the first sale.

Fair Setting of Sales Quotas to Salespeople

Salespeople are obviously motivated by sales quotas that are set fairly. “Fair” here refers to quotas that are set on an equal basis for all salespeople who are able to meet them. If at all possible, salespeople should be allowed to participate in the committee that sets sales quotas.

Similarly, if the quota is to be increased or decreased based on the feedback of territorial clients, the sales manager should schedule another meeting with the salesforce. Salespeople might be incentivized by providing extra payments if their quota is increased. Payment should not, however, be reduced if the sales quota is shortened.

Meetings Between Managers and Salespeople

In order to motivate salespeople, sales managers must have the opportunity to meet their salespeople in the field, at head office, and at sales meetings/conventions. This activity works a lot for salesforce motivation such as:

Such meetings allow sales managers to understand the personality, and problems of each salesperson. These lead sales managers respond accordingly to meet their expectations. In fact, meetings in the field provide an opportunity for sales managers to decide on the needed training programs for salespersons and launch them accordingly. By this, salespersons’ deficiencies can be bridged and their confidence level boosted to achieve rewarding performance. This results in extra effort for employing motivation.


In practice, motivating sales managers and salespeople based on promotions differ significantly. A sales manager’s responsibilities are broader than those of a salesperson. A sales manager must be able to assess and manage salespeople’s performance, as well as encourage and train them.

However, salespeople must be able to maximize the sales quotas that have been allocated to them. To put it another way, the sales manager is promoted on merit for stimulating his or her team, whereas the salesman is promoted twice.

The first route follows the normal managerial career sequence. Salesperson > Senior Salesperson > National Account Executive. The second route is rewarding for outstanding sales success.

Sales Contests

Sales contests are a popular way to motivate salespeople among the many sales incentives available to consumer salespeople. Those salespeople who exceed their quota, enhance sales of a slow-moving product, or bring in new clients are praised and given special awards. This acknowledgment inspires them to attain even greater sales goals. Fairness in contest evaluation must, however, be ensured.

Salesforce Motivation Tools

All those practices/activities that the sales manager brings into use to motivate the salesforce are referred to as salesforce motivation tools. They are also known as the salesforce motivation mix.

These tools are grouped into five categories. Since each category includes a set of separate tools, the category is itself a separate mix. In this sense, salesforce motivation is the set of five different mixes.

  1. Non-Financial Rewards
    • Achievement Rewards
    • Challenging Assignments
    • Psychological Rewards (Praise, Recognition)
  2. Special Financial Incentives
    • Sales Contests
    • Bonuses
    • Sales Trips
  3. Basic Compensation
    • Salary
    • Commission
    • Fringe Benefits
  4. Leadership Techniques
    • Leadership Styles
    • Personal Contact Effort (Territorial meetings, calls)
  5. Management Control Practice
    • Performance Evaluation
    • Quota
    • Contests

Hence, ultimately the goal of salesforce motivation is to motivate salespersons internally to drive positive sales performance to the organization. And, for this, the sales manager should strategically read, lead, and motivate his salespeople.

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