5. Engagement: Why do the job?

My personal opinion is that salespeople get a bad rap. Many people think that we’re just out for money. We don’t care how many people we burn, and we’re all slick talkers. There’s the old joke – “How do you know when a salesperson is lying? When they’re talking” – is still widely believed. Sales is hard. Sales management is harder!

While there are certainly bad salespeople out there that fit the old “Always Be Closing” profile (I’ve worked for a few!) I think many salespeople actually want to understand why their work is meaningful, just like employees in other parts of the business do.

There’s some great research from Objective Management Group, highlighted in this article:

“In the old days (pre-2008), if salespeople were motivated, then they were probably motivated by money. According to data from Objective Management Group, 54% of salespeople were money-motivated during the 1990s and first half of the 2000s. Today, the data shows that no more than 27% of salespeople are what we now call extrinsically-motivated.”

Studies show that employees today, especially millennials want to be engaged in their work. They want to feel valued. “In businesses with highly engaged teams, profitability increased by 21 percent, sales productivity by 20 percent, and output quality by 40 percent.”