7 Ways Higher Sales Motivation Leads to Higher Business Ambitions

Scale Your Sales Sales Motivation

Business ambition is an internal strong desire to do something or achieve a goal. Peter Jones said he thought ‘everyone had an internal ambition, but it showed-up in diverse ways and all relevant’.  I said that ‘ambition is the very definition of entrepreneurship and if you have not got it, perhaps you should not start a business, because it will take every ounce of your ambition to succeed’. All businesses need to set an ambitious direction, and create goals Peter Jones said, “all my businesses, have annual goals, even Sage Plc review their goals and strategies within the year and adapted to changing circumstances”.

I sat on the  Business Ambition panel with Peter Jones; you know the tall entrepreneur on Dragons Den.  I can tell you it was an immense pleasure meeting him. Peter has an exceptional story and lots of insight and experience that he freely shares with entrepreneurs. The panel included Jeremy Corner, Kevin Poulter, Peter Jones and me, Janice B Gordon. We were talking about ‘Business Ambition,’ what it is, whether British people have it and how you can use it to navigate through the current challenges.


I wanted to build on the informative panel discussions and talk about business ambition in the context of scaling your sales.

To achieve your business ambitions, you must have stated goals.  A mission-critical goal in all companies is the sale of your products and unless you have sales targets you will not progress in the ambition set for the company. Whether your sales ambition is to sell more volume or value by getting more customers and build the customer relationships, selling is most often central to every business goal, ambition and purpose.

Britain has a global reputation for home-grown talent with great creatives and innovators of world-leading products.  Let us not forget that part of the British success story is in the diversity of its culture, which brings with it skills new perspectives, knowledge of home cultures and a driving ambition for success.

The research undertaken by EY, documented in a Diversity & Inclusion white paper published by the Association of Professional Sales (APS). The study compares the performance of 22,000 account teams, reports, in the diverse groups, sales growth was on average 10% faster, and profit margins were 6% higher. Another significant cost-saving for a company whose most valuable asset is its personnel, staff retention was up 7% in the inclusive teams.

There is evidence that a wider variety of gender, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, create a more imaginative range of solutions and sales reps are essentially problem solvers.

Customers engage better with sales reps that they can relate to, Claire Edmunds says “Equally, the cultural match between seller and buyer is a predictor of sales success.”

As with any complex character trait, it is difficult to precisely screen for the right kind of ambition in a recruitment interview; everybody views the world is through his or her personal, cultural filter. When you look to recruit, Peter Jones advised us to, look for other people’s ambitions that align with the company’s aspirations and vision.  Select the right person for the right position, depending on their level within the organisation, having a ‘me’ or ‘we’ perspective is critical to making or breaking the position a success.

We or Me Focus

A sales rep is personally ‘me’ motivated, ambitious to achieve their quota target.  Sales reps view their customers as personally owning the client relationships. They want to be a winner and gain respect and recognition that sets them apart for their personal achievement. Many sales teams have the Mavericks, who want to tread their own path and resisting team engagement. ‘Me’ focus is one reason why a great many successful sales reps do not make great sales directors.

A sales director or leader is the team ‘we’ orientated. A leader asks about the team motivation and moral, and how your company will achieve their ambitions, rather than the director’s compensation plan. The sales directors job is to enable their team, to understand what motivative each sales rep and to support the sales reps to succeed. The measure of a sales director’s success is in the collective team effort and not the individuals.

I remember working in a financial service sales environment and my sales director kept all the best leads for himself and therefore secured a significant share of bonus on top of his director’s salary. Although the team was not involved in setting the quota or aware of the business goals, the director would question why sales reps missed their quota and demotivate the team. This sales director was personally ‘me’ motivated and put himself above the team. You can imagine it was not a happy team culture and turnover of sales reps was high. It was like the tail wagging the dog, the greater the team quota shortfall the more the sales director creamed off the leads. Problems will arise when you have a sales leader that has their personal agenda above their team focus.

Peter Jones said that he gets ‘a bigger kick out of helping other entrepreneurs on their business journey’, although he is the leader he knows he could not be successful and productive with his team.

Here are 7 Steps to motivate and aligning your sales team to successfully achieving the business ambitions.

  1. Set business goals and review your interim results, adjust to changing environmental factors and stay on target to achieve your business ambitions.
  2. Embrace a diverse workforce and sales team.
  3. Make diversity integral to your company and sales culture and communicate the ambitions.
  4. Hire on the individual’s personal ambitions.
  5. Enable your team to set clear targets, expectations, and assessments.
  6. Remember a sales rep and a sales director have an opposing focus.
  7. Assess your team’s level of satisfaction and build the morale.

If you would like to talk more about sales motivation, this is the first building block to Scale Your Sales. Scale Your Sales Motivation enables your sales team with new insight, knowledge and the confidence to stretch to the challenges and deliver on ambition.

You can discover how to harness your ambition and build a lasting, profitable business by downloading the free Sage Ambition eBook.

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Scale Your Sales Janice B Gordon

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