The importance of non-financial motivators to pharmaceutical sales representatives

05 Jul 2013

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.