It's definitely clichéd, but I think this is one of the most critical elements to successful sales management and that is to make sure you are tuned into the right radio frequency with your salespeople.

There's only one radio station that your sales executives like to listen to and that radio station is: WIFM. (You might say WIIFM, but let's not get too technical here...).

This is the "What's-In-It-For-Me" radio frequency. This is the only station they pay any attention to and if you're not broadcasting on it all the time, 24-7, then your sales reps are gonna switch you over to some other station on XM or Sirius radio...or worse yet, turn off the radio completely!

Keep this in mind when you go through the course material in SMMA, making sure that when you learn a new concept, think about how you will relay this to your sales team. Always think in terms of how you will discuss things with them...and what's really in it for them.

Because they really don't care about anything else.

Here's the dilemma you're getting it from all sides; your boss is telling you daily that he's "$6 million in the hole", your Sales VP is calling you and emailing you as to "why your team's closed accounts in their pipeline last month was so weak" (because he has numbers to hit too, y'know) and you know exactly how much in sales YOU need to get to at least hit quota so you can bring home some kind of a commission check this month because your spouse needs money to pay for that brand new dishwasher...

Your salespeople don't care about any of that.

People are selfish by design, they think primarily about themselves first. In fact, in a study done by AT&T, the number one word used in telephone conversations (I'm not sure if they were eavesdropping here or what) which beat the number two word by a ten to one margin is the word "I".

People care about themselves first. always

And sales people care about themselves first, second and third. Your needs and those of your bosses don't even crack the top three.

So when you get on the phone with them bitching to them about their sales numbers, what do you tell them? Do you tell them about how your VP wants this, your Director want that and you want the other?

They will tune you out because they just don't care at all about any of that...

All they care about is how THEY are going to hit THEIR sales number and how THEY are gonna pay for THEIR dishwasher that THEIR spouse keeps bugging THEM about...

And the sooner you understand this and start using techniques and language that IS ON THEIR RADIO FREQUENCY; you will never get them to perform to their fullest capabilities.

But as soon as you do talk to them in a language that they easily understand, and do it all the time (not some of the time), but ALL of the time, they will "pre-program" you on all their favorites and preset buttons on every radio they own.

This is very important to keep in mind when you are talking with your sales team, because after all, how you communicate with them largely determines how good of a leader and sales manager you are.

So just talk to them in their own terms.

To find out more about how to sales motivation, visit my blog about sales team motivation at

Author's Bio: 

Ralph Burns, a consistently top-performing sales manager with over 20 years of sales and sales management experience.