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4 min read

Convert Sales Reps Into Elite Performers by Leveraging BQ

Mar 19, 2020 4:59:21 PM

You might wonder why some reps on your team have the experience, knowledge, and skills to be top performers, but they still aren’t hitting quota. That’s where BQ comes into play. A person’s behavioral quotient determines how they show up and get the job done. One aspect to BQ is how someone is motivated. It’s important to determine if your reps are intrinsically motivated, extrinsically motivated, or altruistic. It’s critical the environment they show up to everyday feeds their motivation. If you get to know your reps and how they’re motivated, your whole team can become elite performers. Let’s get into each of these motivators and how you can adjust your environment for them.


An intrinsically motivated sales rep feeds off of recognition and competition. They want to be number one and are going to compete to get there; ultimately winning the title and bragging rights. They want to be recognized for their hard work and know they’re appreciated and valued. You can recognize this person's accomplishments both verbally and through awards. You’ll want to acknowledge their efforts, small wins, and big wins both one on one and publicly. You should acknowledge their effort and wins in sales staff meetings in front of their peers and via group emails. An intrinsic employee might start to feel undervalued and become unmotivated if the company or manager begins to cut back on these actions. They might start to ask “Why should I go the extra mile? No one cares.” This is when you’ll start to see their numbers decline. It’s critically important to set aside time to talk with these employees regularly and give recognition for their hard work. Not just outcomes, but also the daily effort of the grind and hustle.


Someone who is extrinsically motivated is driven by external rewards, like money. They fight for the money they work for. Mentally, they correlate every ounce of effort to the potential dollars that can be earned. When you sit with this employee, you should talk to them about how to maximize or “break” the comp plan, so they can make more money with increasing their productivity. With an extrinsic rep, you might find their numbers start to drop when they feel something may affect their compensation negatively. This could be a comp plan change, a territory change, or a role change they interpret negatively. You’ll potentially see performance drop through their words, thoughts, and actions. Create a compensation plan that is exciting, drives high work ethic, productivity, and allows the extrinsic reps to clearly understand how their hard work translates into higher income. Then, they’ll transform into elite performers. 


Altruistic people are focused on supporting and serving others, and that’s where they find their motivation. Sales reps who are altruistic should opt out of a sales role and look for something in customer success. If your sales rep is altruistic they’ll perform best in an account management type of role. These reps want what is best for all of those around them, and if they are no longer able to service the clients after they sell them, you will start to see their performance drop… Because, chances are, they are still servicing their clients’ needs and not selling new business.

Have personal conversations with your sales reps and learn what makes them wake up in the morning and get going! Motivation is what fuels people to get anything done. Create an environment that fuels each of those motivators. It is possible to create an environment including all three of these motivators. As a manager, you need to ensure you recognize the intrinsic with compliments, reward the extrinsic with the right comp plan, and allow service opportunities for the altruistic. Experience, knowledge, and skills are all important factors in your sales rep’s performance, but feeding their BQ motivators will drive higher productivity and sales.



We've compiled an excellent guide just for that - Step Up Your Game: The Complete Guide to Effective Sales Management.

Mary Grothe, CEO of House of Revenue™

Follow me on LinkedIn  and Twitter @MaryLGrothe

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Mary Grothe

Written by Mary Grothe