Cash still king for sales professionals

Oct 14 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Forget flexible working, sabbaticals or spa vouchers. As far as keeping your sales people motivated, the mantra for managers is still "show me the money".

Research from UK recruitment site has revealed that good old fashioned cash still rules supreme, with more than a third (37 per cent) of salespeople saying that money is their main motivator.

More than half of those in the industry believe that receiving performance related "bonuses" improves their quality of life, with men more likely to be driven by financial benefits than women.

The nation's sales reps are also prepared to put in long hours in order to ensure their commission.

Almost six out of 10 sales professionals work between 41-60 hours a week in order to meet their targets, with 15 per cent working in excess of 52 hours. Men work the longest hours, always with an eye on reaching their targets.

The adrenalin rush from sealing a deal is also a key driver for the British sales rep, with a third saying that the thrill of achieving their targets is a key career motivator. More than a quarter (27 per cent) also say that they love the challenge their job provides.

But it is not all work and no play for sales professionals. Exotic holidays are one of the most popular outcomes of a hard-earned bonus, with a quarter of those surveyed choosing to splurge on travel.

A similar proportion opt to indulge their cash on socialising, while women are more likely than men to buy treats for themselves when they receive a big commission pay out.

According to the research, two-thirds of those working in sales receive commission every month, with more than a quarter receiving between 21 and 40 per cent of their basic salary as commission.

A lucky fifteen per cent get more than 60 per cent of their income as a monthly bonus.

"It's clear that 'show me the money' is a common mantra for the UK sales industry," said Mike Convey, website director for

"Whilst the majority of 1990s management theories placed an emphasis on non-financial benefits and work / life balance, employers need to be mindful that for the sales force in many companies, this approach is not the way to get the most out of individuals.

"Performance-related pay gives sales professionals a tangible link between how much they put in and what they can treat themselves to at the end of the month."