To succeed, sales managers will need to learn new roles and reinvent
others such as applying flexible motivation approaches in working
with a multicultural, hybrid, diverse sales force. Many organisations
invest a great deal of time and money in designing incentive schemes
that are failing to achieve their objective of motivating employees.
Large amounts of money are spent on financial incentives, while
ignoring non-financial incentives. As companies become increasingly
cash-strapped, using non-financial motivators may be the solution.
Self-administered questionnaires were completed by a sample of
100 pharmaceutical sales representatives from three South African
companies. The questionnaire made use of a four-point Likert scale
to rate the importance of various non-financial motivational factors.
The respondents indicated that ‘good relationships with customers’
and ‘being well informed’ are the two most important non-financial
motivators. The study also showed that demographic groups differ
in the importance they attach to non-financial motivators. ‘Having
power over other people’ was a more important motivator for sales
representatives with a lower educational background. ‘Growth
and promotion opportunities’ were more important to males,
while differences were found between various age groups and the
importance they attached to ‘flexibility of their jobs’. The results
of this study could influence the structure of motivational schemes at pharmaceutical companies and enable management to recognise those factors that might lead to increased performance levels.