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Edible Elephants and Massive Sales Results


Massive Sales ResultsUgh! Another day…another dollar??

You’re a sales pro. You are supposed to have this down cold.

Let’s not kid ourselves though, no matter how many power-point presentations you see, no matter how many motivational quotes you read, sometimes you just feel.


Yeah. I said it. (Well, I wrote it anyway.)

Does not matter if you feel up to it or not? Not really. No matter what, you have to suck it up and get it done.

Being able to dig down, pull ourselves up and conquer the lazy slug-like streak that lives in each of us is what separates us from the wanna be’s. That’s how you got where you are. You’re a sales leader for a reason.

It is not just you though, is it? You can control you. After all, you live with you. You spend a lot of time with you. The real issue is in how you motivate others.

The Mount Everest of Pachyderms

Remember the old joke about eating an elephant? You know, you are supposed to do it one bite at a time… bah- dump-dump. Even if that pesky elephant is roughly the size of New Hampshire, you still have to ring the dinner bell and get your people on board.

To that end, here are some things that you can do to help your team chow down on elephant-sized helpings of success (in spite of low energy days),

Create a Feeling of Solidarity– Humans are social beings by nature. According to one Stanford research study, when team members felt that they were bonded and engaged in a common goal, their intrinsic or internal motivation was measurably increased. Even when they worked alone and only came back to the group to collaborate.

By how much? A whopping 48-64%!

Gregory Walton, an assistant professor of Psychology, stated that, “The results showed that simply feeling like you're part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges,” said Walton. Moreover, the results reflect an increase in motivation – not a sense of obligation, competition or pressure to join others in an activity.

Ask– You can get more juice from your sale people by doing the seemingly unthinkable: Ask them! Try asking them what makes your team want to perform better. This stuff really works. A major Rice University study found using a simple checklist of questions helped people to perform better on the job. They suggested asking things like; what inspires and challenges them on a personal level?

Recognize! Why do we want to drive the newest and shiniest car? On one hand, it gets you from here to there. On the other, it gives us (say it with me), status. In a recent article, Forbes Magazine noted that beyond the feelings of job security and the size of their paycheck, team members wanted to feel recognized. Self-worth is a massive motivating factor.

Headhunt the Best– That same article also noted that, “Employers should actively headhunt job seekers who always escalate their goals through intrinsic motivation. When doing any form of executive recruiting, they should seek out those who not only engage and embrace career challenges, but who enjoy the journey along the way.”

In other words, you cannot drill motivation into people, but you can build upon it. The “it” factor is elusive, but that is what you really need to tap into if you are going to build a winning team. Even the best sales leaders will struggle if their team members don’t have a fire in their belly.

Be sure to follow our blog for more insightful articles and help building your sales team.

Plus, if you need help recruiting the best, give us a call. It’s all we do.

Jamie started ProActivate 12 years ago after serving as VP of Sales at CareerBuilder for 5 years and prior to that serving in leadership positions within the traditional staffing industry for 10 years. In both of those models, she noticed a gap in the marketplace for sales leaders to proactively protect their revenue as it relates to sales talent. At ProActivate, she works with leaders of sales organizations in numerous ways such as to be prepared if a top performer were to leave or promote tomorrow, to replace C players with A players, to propel growth into new markets or launch new products, or for some it is to do more with less.


One Response

  1. Very awesome read, good advice and very good pointers. It is hard to motivate others when they have no passion for what you’re motivating but taking the motivation you’re trying to help build them with can actually help build self if only followed.

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