Every time I think of sales reps, I think of Glengarry Glen Ross. Always… Be… Closing. Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. Could it be that there is more to motivating sales reps than cash?
Ann Bares at Compensation Force has an interesting post up regarding the motivation of sales representatives. Ann cites a recent Rewards of WorkSM (ROW) Study that points to the fact that sales reps may be motivated by more than just money. Here are the details from the study:
The ROW Study found that sales employees, compared to non-sales employees, are:
- More engaged (57% versus 51%)
- More committed to their company (68% versus 62%)
And, of course,
- More motivated by compensation (82% versus 62%)
Moreover, they have:
- A greater sense of affiliation with their organization (67% versus 60%)
- Higher career satisfaction (57% versus 52%), and
- More trust in management (59% vs. 55%)
Interesting numbers, and Ann correctly points out that the data is worth pondering. First up, Sales people ARE more motivated by money than your normal employee. That’s good to know. I might have lost faith in the basic instincts of humanity if that were not the case…
More importantly, since sales reps put it on the line to sell your product/service everyday, they’re more engaged, satisfied and committed to your company than other types of employees. They also have a higher degree of affiliation with the company (and whatever brand you are selling as an employer) than other types of employees.
It’s interesting data, and certainly contrary to the stereotype of the mercenary sales rep. It’s good to know that sales reps have all these positive attributes when it comes to engagement and affiliation.
Here’s the 64K question. Look at the spreads noted above when comparing sales reps to all other types of employees. The motivation of compensation still dominates the landscape, so what type of percentage increase will it take for the normal sales rep to give up the warm nest of affiliation and satisfaction for more money?
I’m guessing that number is 20+% if all other items (benefits, product, perks, etc.) are equal.
What’s your number?
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.