SalesScreen Discovers A Startling Perception Gap Between Sales Managers and Reps

The survey uncovered a massive disparity between how capable sales managers think they are at motivating their teams and what their reps thought.

As the quarter rounds to a close and we look forward to the next set of challenges in sales, SalesScreen has just released their premier sales study. They surveyed sales reps and managers from companies of all sizes and across multiple industries to get a strong snapshot of the current sales climate. Most notably, the survey uncovered a massive disparity between how capable managers think they are at motivating their sales teams and how well their teams feel like they are being motivated. Let’s dive into some key stats, findings, and action items that their team uncovered.

The Motivation Gap

Arguably the biggest discovery in this survey is the fact that 60% of managers say that their reps have low motivation levels but 86% of sales reps say that they are motivated. But what does that mean? This means that even though most sales managers think that they are motivating their sales reps efficiently, they are actually falling far short of their goal. For industries that struggle with retention issues, this disconnect could be a serious issue. This in turn can easily lead to an environment of hostility and a mentality of “us vs. them” that can easily kill company culture.

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Motivating the Individual

One of the more fascinating deep dives tackled by this survey is the idea that sales reps can be grouped by different psychological drivers. SalesScreen utilizes Bartle’s player type methodology, which identifies the drivers which motivate video game players to win. Bartle organized these drivers into four groups; achievers, killers, socializers, and explorers. According to Bartle’s studies, socializers make up a majority of players and killers make up the smallest segment.

When applying these types of motivation and asking reps where they identify, the study echoes Bartle’s metrics, with 39% of the respondents identifying as socializers who are motivated by collaboration, recognition, and bonuses. On the other hand, killers, who were the smallest segment of respondents, only make up 14% of the average sales force and are more motivated by winning competitions, leaderboards, and one-time monetary rewards. In a previous report, SalesScreen discovered that most sales managers fall into the killer personality type, and so most managers are masters of motivating that player type. Unfortunately, other personality types might not be so lucky, which can lead to certain sales reps having a distinct advantage while others feel completely unmotivated.

The Real Power of Recognition

The final questions of the survey asked sales reps what actually motivates them. Their results found that regular recognition in the workplace could be the secret weapon that managers aren’t utilizing. Their study found that 71% of poorly motivated reps said that they had not been recognized at all in the past three months. This report shows that recognition programs are some of the most beneficial and long lasting strategies for any sales team.

All in all, this report is filled with useful insights, detailed infographics, and in-depth research for sales reps and managers alike. The report is currently free and you can access it here. For any sales managers looking to motivate their team, enhance their sales numbers, or just want to boost retention rates, this report is chocked full of strong data and industry knowledge.

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