One could make the argument that self-motivation may well be the most crucial ingredient for sales performance. However evaluating motivation in a sales team is a complex matter. It's assumed that most sales reps are motivated by money of course and making their quota every month. However one must dig deeper and explore the internal and external factors that can affect motivation in a sales team. Too many viewpoints on motivation from a sales manager's standpoint fail to emphasize the importance of the sales rep's internal cognitive makeup. Knowing the sales rep's way of thinking is crucial. Internal motivation factors stemming from their individual makeup, personality traits and emotional state all play an important role.

The sales manager needs to understand what each individual rep's internal motivational factors are before assuming the external factors through bonus and rewards etc. It's important to also note that motivation can change from day to day. Motivation is not a blanket one size fits all for all the members of the sales team. Organizations would be well served to put more resources into this area. Your sales reps are the lifeblood of the organization and spend most of their time at work or thinking about work, so it would be indeed smart to investigate their internal motivational factors before considering the external ones.

In evaluating over 1000 sales reps over a two year period, the results indicate that the sales reps that were the most internally motivated were also the most likely to go the extra mile to ensure success. If a sales rep has a strong internal drive, they tend to look for solutions rather than problems. They understand that sales is a challenging profession that comes with highs and lows. The most internally driven sales reps are less likely to let the recession or market changes affect their performance. They possess an indomitable self-belief through the source of the internal motivational factor driving them. Just like a house's internal structure must be sound and secure before you paint the exterior, the same applies in this case.

The sales profession is an emotional roller coaster ride, a strong internal core maintains the self-belief and confidence necessary to keep pushing forward no matter the obstacles. The best sales reps have the internal emotional balance and stability to handle pressure situations. They trust their gut feelings and instincts and develop remarkable intuition. In their view, achieving the external motivational factors such as bonus and rewards are secondary, just mere icing on the cake. Sales managers must dig deep and really find out what gets their sales team's blood pumping even before the external motivational factors. The sales manager can then tailor an action plan that correlates the individual's motivation along with the organizational goal for a win-win situation.

Author's Bio: 

Henry Okwo is the Founder and CEO of SalesGymUSA, a Targeted Sales Training company. Henry is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley where he was a 2-time National Champion. He has over 15 years sales and management experience and has developed a specialized sales training program based on sports performance development to boost sales. Find out more targeted sales strategies to increase your sales results at Henry also conducts a daily mental workout on his blog,