Why It's Not About "Motivation"

All sales people want to be successful.
They want to win – to exceed their goals, to max out their incentive plan, to be in the top of their peer group. Yet many sales people continue to perform at average levels. Is it a question of motivation? No. In most cases, if they knew how to perform at a higher level they would. As one bank sales manager said, "My average performers want to win, they're good people." But in most cases they don't know how to win.

They need a more complete system
A better system of tools, support, and motivation: one that develops the strategies, tactics, skills and behaviors that will enable them to win. Providing this system is the primary responsibility of the sales management team in a bank.

In the ideal sales force all salespeople are intrinsically motivated. They have within themselves all the attributes to be highly successful in a competitive sales environment. Each salesperson has well-developed cognitive skills, language skills and social skills. In addition, each has a high degree of personal discipline, a passion and interest for selling, and a sense of urgency to get things done. What percentage of a typical bank sales team has all these attributes?

In most banks only 10-15% of the sales force matches the ideal
These highly motivated, talented individuals need minimal guidance to be successful in developing business. But the rest of the sales team typically does not have the same skills or level of internal motivation.

More than "goals & money"
Most inexperienced sales managers think they need only two "motivators" when working with average performers – goals and money. But when we look at the best performing sales forces in banking, we see a combination of support structures and extrinsic motivators at work. Successful sales managers provide their teams with clear direction, ongoing guidance, feedback, recognition and peer influence.

Intrinsic Attributes and Motivators

Support Structures


Critical Thinking Skills

Clear Direction

Challenging Goals

Language Skills

Ongoing Guidance

Visible Accountability

Social Skills

Immediate Feedback

Monetary Incentives

Aptitude for Technology

Recognition of Performance


Personal Discipline

Peer Influence


Passion and Interest



Sense of Urgency



We work with our bank clients to build the sales and sales management processes that produce sustainable sales performance.

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