How to Motivate Young Sales Reps

Shweiki teams up with correspondent and media sales expert Ryan Dohrn of360 Ad Sales and Brain Swell Media to present a must-watch webinar on strategies for successfully motivating the youngest generation of sales reps.

or Click here to download the presentation!

Study: Will More Money Cause People to Perform Better?


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In one MIT experiment, researchers were trying to determine if money truly was the greatest motivator to complete a task. MIT’s motivation experiment produced some revolutionary results when it comes to motivating salespeople. The study concluded that yes, money is indeed a motivator when the task is mechanical in nature. But when people begin to complete tasks using logic, or soft skills, money becomes less and less of a driving force.

Once the task, the MIT researchers concluded, moved into cognitive thought, the answer really was not money. What’s interesting to consider is how that applies to salespeople.


What Actually Motivates


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Motivation can be broken down into a range of categories represented as a performance pyramid, and often one can consider true motivation as more of a feeling than a want. If business leaders are looking to build a team of hungry, fully motivated salespeople, then they are going to need to shape their work environment into an atmosphere where every employee wants to work and thrive.

One can consider three motivational categories:

1. Affiliation
2. Mastery
3. Purpose


Often sales managers and business executives pitch products to salespeople without any opportunity for return consideration. Instead, leaders should actively include sales reps (and other employees) in business processes. Younger sales reps usually have the desire to be part of a team; they don’t just want to be told what to do. By taking the opinions into consideration and making them part of the process, one is more likely to create an eager and enthusiastic team.


Typically, everyone is on a quest to learn more and be better at their job. Sales training is typically not very expensive, and—as an investment in one’s team—it’s money well spent. When salespeople (particularly young ones) are well trained and constantly improving, they’re likely to recognize that improvement and strive to continue getting better.


When it comes to purpose, in this situation, it’s about helping an employee understand what their contribution means to the company. Purpose-driven motivation is keeping the idea fresh in the employee’s mind that the company is just as invested in them as they are in it. It’s important for a salesperson to know what an important role they play, and it’s up to their supervisor to make sure they’re aware of how their work is affecting the big picture. One way to do this is through a soft conversation.

Soft conversations are non-formal conversations that take place between employer/employee or manager/rep. While soft conversations can be used to reinforce any idea, a purpose-driven soft conversation could involve discussing with an employee how their sales contributions help to pay other employees’ salaries.


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Ryan Dohrn

Ryan Dohrn, CEO of Brain Swell Media LLC

Ryan Dohrn is an Emmy award winning TV producer, has overseen over 3,000 Web site builds, is a nationally acclaimed speaker, has been featured in USA Today, on ABC, CBS and FOX TV stations, on and has personally impacted millions of dollars in online and related media revenues for media companies large and small.

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