Culture matters. Growth matters. Mission matters. They all matter. You have to do this.
And that may be enough for most of your early employees. They may even be OK with low salaries, and not even care that much about money, or where it is all going, or who they’ll report to, most of your earliest folks.
But to a true sales professional, a successful one, really only two things truly matter at the end of the day to motivate them:
- They need to see the top reps making real money. Like, really good money. That will show everyone it is possible. That it can be done. And that maybe it isn’t even that hard if you hustle, listen and learn. Not everyone needs to make huge bucks. But the top 10%-15% do.
- A great VP of Sales / boss. Sales is a risky career. You can get fired at any time, and there is so much turnover. A great boss backs up her team. Promotes her top performers. Backfills those with promise, but gaps. Etc.
When I see a combination of (x) a great leader in sales + (y) the top few reps making real money … then I almost always see (a) almost no attrition on the sales team and (b) a high performing sales team (i.e., strong quota attainment + revenue per lead).
The difference isn’t small. I’d say roughly, these sales teams often perform 2x-5x better than other teams.
That’s a lot.
So by all means, do the team bonding. And product does matter. But what a sales rep wants is a product with market pull. That the market believes in. That they can sell, and make real money.
Quite possibly the best advice on this subject I've ever seen
I was on a sales team where the lead guy was literally making 50% of the ENTIRE COMPANIES profit into his pocket
One day they cut his pay plan and the air went out of the room, he left that afternoon
— Graham McBain (@grahammcbain) January 8, 2020