It’s always interesting to ask someone “Which of these does your company prioritize first, motivation or targets?” Because this seems to vary quite a bit, and there’s a perfectly rational explanation for it, as well as for why only one of them is correct.
When you’re managing a sales team, you want everyone to be on the phone, meeting with potential clients, networking and just about anything in between to drum up new business, as well as retain existing customers. After all, you as a manager have targets to meet and investors, managers or even just yourself to satisfy. What many companies seem to think is that targets spark motivation. The idea that you sit with your team, go over the targets for this quarter and consequently every salesperson in the room will feel the adrenaline rush and gust of motivation needed to hit those targets! Right? Wrong… Let me put it this way, if you focus on targets before motivation, you’ll have neither. If you focus on motivation before targets you’ll have both.
Motivation Always Comes First
Let me give you an analogy to put it in perspective. Imagine a race car representing your company. Your company’s targets are the engine that goes in the car. It’s meant to boost growth and accelerate your company. It’s what makes your car go fast enough to win the race. There is only one problem, and you may have guessed it… the race car itself is your team’s motivation. I could even go so far as to say there are various degrees of motivation which would in turn decide if that car war was a Fiat Panda or a McLaren F1! But I’ll leave that for another time. Right now just imagine motivation as something which either is, or isn’t. Which means, if you have all your targets set, you have the biggest, fastest, meanest beast of an engine ever built, how do you intend to win the race without a car to put it in?
Many might say “well the analogy could just be inverted; the car could be targets and the engine could be the motivation.” Let’s use the same analogy to show why this is not the case. You have the same car, the motivation is there, but you have yet to fit an engine. No matter what engine you bring, as long as it fits in the car, it will make it go around the track. It may not be the best engine for the car, but at least you will eventually reach the finish line. On the other hand, if you don’t have the car, but the engine is ready, no matter how small or insignificant it is, it will not go around a race track on its own.
Targets cannot exist without motivation, whereas motivation can exist without targets. If you are an entrepreneur trying to set targets for yourself, make sure you have a proper car to fit that engine in first! If you manage a sales team and would like to dominate the market and win the race, make sure you have the baddest car of them all to handle that engine! (By that I mean you need to make a significant investment in motivating your team)
That’s all about race cars for now, but be sure to check out my other posts and let me know in the comments if you agree/disagree. If you have a business and would like me to cover a topic in one of my blogs, contact me directly or let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow for all the most recent updates and tips.