Driving Bdr Success The Power Of Intrinsic Motivation

Published on August 3, 2023 by David Zhang

Driving Bdr Success The Power Of Intrinsic Motivation

In the fast-paced and target-driven world of B2B sales, organizations often hinge their motivational efforts on external rewards. These typically come in the form of bonuses, commissions, and other performance-based incentives. However, to drive true and lasting success for your Business Development Representatives (BDRs), it is essential to unlock a more potent and enduring motivator—Intrinsic Motivation.

Understanding Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation arises from within the individual. It's driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, rather than relying on external pressures or rewards. It's the difference between performing an activity because you love it and performing it because you want the reward that comes with it.

Why is Intrinsic Motivation Vital for BDRs?

BDRs often face challenging tasks, including cold calling, prospecting, and lead qualification, which can become tedious and disheartening, leading to burnout. Intrinsic motivation will:

  • Enhance engagement and productivity
  • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
  • Reduce turnover rates
  • Build resilience against rejection and stress
  • Lead to higher job satisfaction and wellbeing

Strategies to Foster Intrinsic Motivation

Developing intrinsic motivation in your BDR team involves cultivating an environment that supports their basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as per Self-Determination Theory. Here are practical strategies to integrate into your sales team management:

1. Foster a Growth Mindset Environment

Creating an environment that values growth and learning over immediate results can have a significant impact on motivation. Encourage BDRs to view challenges as opportunities to expand their skillset. Praise effort, strategy, and progress rather than just hitting quotas.

2. Empower with Autonomy

Autonomy is a fundamental ingredient for intrinsic motivation. Empower your BDRs by allowing them the freedom to approach their tasks in their own way. This can include flexibility in working hours, the ability to choose which leads to pursue, or freedom to innovate on sales techniques.

3. Encourage Mastery

By setting up your BDRs to become masters of their craft, evidence suggests they won't just perform better—they’ll enjoy their work more. Invest in regular training, offer constructive feedback, and encourage a continuous learning culture.

4. Set Up "Goldilocks" Challenges

Tasks should not be too easy or too difficult. Strive for challenges that are optimally matched to the BDR’s current skill level. As their skills grow, gradually increase the difficulty to maintain a sense of challenge and avoid complacency.

5. Provide Meaningful Work and Purpose

People are inspired to work diligently when they find the purpose in their work. Help your BDRs understand how their roles contribute to the broader objectives of the organization and ultimately to the success of your customers.

6. Celebrate Small Wins

Regular acknowledgment of small achievements can reinforce the intrinsic value of work. It's not just about closing the deal but appreciating the nuanced process of getting there.

7. Encourage Peer Learning and Collaboration

By allowing BDRs to work together and learn from each other, you help fulfill their need for relatedness while improving their skills and confidence. Creating a buddy system or a mentorship program can facilitate this process.

8. Support Work-Life Harmony

Recognize each BDR as a whole person, with a life outside of work. Encourage a balance that allows them time to recharge and pursue interests outside of their job, which can actually increase their passion and energy for work.

9. Incorporate Gamification

Gamification aligns well with intrinsic motivation when it focuses on personal progress and mastery rather than competition. Elements like earning badges or achieving levels can make the daily grind more engaging.

10. Personalize Incentives

Understand what individually motivates each BDR, as it may vary greatly. Ensure that personal and career growth opportunities align with their personal goals and values.

The Role of Leadership

Effective leadership is instrumental in nurturing a culture that values intrinsic motivators. BDR managers should focus on coaching and mentoring, rather than micromanaging. Aim to inspire and guide, while trusting your team to figure out the best path to success.

Maintaining the Equilibrium

While intrinsic motivation is critical, it doesn't mean that external rewards should be completely discarded. Extrinsic incentives can still play a crucial role, particularly in sales environments. The main goal is to ensure that these incentives do not overshadow or diminish the importance of intrinsic motivational factors.

Aomni: A Partner in BDR Success

A tool like Aomni can facilitate intrinsic motivation by providing BDRs with a sense of competence and mastery through instant access to accurate real-time data, leading to more meaningful interactions with prospects. It helps them personalize their outreach efforts with ease, thereby increasing their job satisfaction and overall success.


Cultivating intrinsic motivation within your BDR team is not a simple task; it demands deliberate effort and sustained commitment. However, by focusing on the strategies outlined above and integrating them into your organizational fabric, you can drive BDR success to new heights—success that's achieved not just through the lure of rewards but through the power of motivation that comes from within.

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