It probably comes as no surprise for most of us to learn that sales employees are more motivated by money than non-sales employees. We count on it, in fact, and the design of most sales compensation plans is proof of this.
Beyond confirming this fact, however, Sibson Consulting's most recent Rewards of WorkSM (ROW) Study shows us evidence of other more nuanced ways that salespeople appear to differ from their fellow workers.
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
I find these additional differences interesting and wonder what lessons they offer us about motivation, engagement and retention.
Is a salesperson's very immediate connection to both the company's service/product and the customer a factor in the higher levels of engagement, commitment, affiliation and satisfaction that this group reports?
What about the direct feedback, recognition and reinforcement (both positive and negative) that results from the highly leveraged (higher proportion of variable versus fixed pay) and results-oriented compensation package - does this account for higher levels of engagement, commitment, affiliation and satisfaction? What about higher levels of trust?
Or is it simply in the nature of those people who are attracted to direct sales opportunities - along with the nature of this work and the methods by which it is usually rewarded - to be more engaged, committed, affiliated and satisfied?