sales motivation

Motivation makes the world go round. If you’re someone who’s in charge of leading their own sales team, it’s crucial that you provide them with enough incentive and motivational power to truly note some remarkable results. Of course, money is always a nice reward but there are countless more effective tactics to increase sales motivation other than financial gain that can make a huge difference for your overall business success – and employee satisfaction.

Best 25 Sales Motivation Strategies To Motivate Your Sales Team Click To Tweet

Chances are your sales team is the moving force of your business. That said, it’s only natural that you nurture and grow this force. Your essential members have to feel appreciated and respected for what they do if your goal is to help them thrive and improve their own skills. Regardless of whether you’re running an already established enterprise or are just starting out with a small business, the following sales motivation tips can prove to be the secret ingredient for success you’ve been searching for.

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1. Deepen the work meaning

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Selling products and/or services seems to be a rather straightforward process but it can have several different layers when it comes to finding meaning in work and how your salespeople understand their role within the company. Obviously, earning money for the enterprise is the ultimate goal, but it’s not deep enough to promote sales team motivation to the fullest.

On the other hand, providing your salespeople with success stories where they can clearly see how they’ve made a social impact on the community through their selling skills is a great way to help them recognize their own importance that doesn’t revolve around money only. Using customer feedback is not only an effective marketing strategy to get more leads; it’s also an amazing incentive that can boost the motivation of your sales department.

2. Make your sales team feel valued

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Everyone needs to feel valued and appreciated at work in order to maintain their productivity and motivation levels at their peak. A good start is, undoubtedly, praise. However, there are many other methods that you can use in order to let your salespeople know just how important they are for your company’s success. In that respect, part of your sales motivation strategy could involve the following incentives:

  • Include your sales team in the important decision-making
  • Provide more opportunities for skills and knowledge upgrades
  • Offer more flexible work schedules
  • Make sure that the compensation is fair and attractive
  • Be open to non-monetary rewards such as time off, project leads, entertainment choices, etc.

3. Sales motivation comes from teamwork

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It’s true that your sales team has to be competitive in order to conquer the demanding market. But that doesn’t mean they should compete against each other. Quite the contrary; to motivate your sales department and allow them to enjoy what they do while consistently maintaining productivity and focus, you should constantly encourage their team spirit and collaboration.

If different members of the team always try to one-up each other, the team will fall apart, colleagues won’t have a good work relationship, and ultimately, your business will suffer. But if you make it a point to foster their togetherness, they are bound to function better as a department overall; this will also make room for you to beat the competitors.

4. Appreciate the initiative

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Collaboration is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sales motivation tips. A great way to further motivate your employees and give them the chance to exercise their own entrepreneurial skills is to allow them to run their own ideas. Of course, you’ll probably have to check these out before giving a green light.

Trust your sales team to do the right thing and make a difference with their own creative and business effort; you’ll get to cultivate a positive atmosphere and loyal team that always have the energy and willpower to reach new lengths.

5. Even the smallest wins should count

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There’s no need to organize a whole party to celebrate a new meeting or whatever other accomplishments of your sales team; however, it’s definitely more than effective to acknowledge these small wins with recognition.

Verbal praise of often more than enough, but you can always bring a treat such as donuts or muffins to your sales department. This is how you can let them know just how appreciative you are of their efforts. After all, you get to build sales team motivation with the accumulation of smaller gestures – not just with occasional big ones.

6. Promote the tracking of small wins in-house

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It’s not uncommon for the sales team to face more rejections than they do wins. It’s just a part of the job. So, in order to boost the team’s morale and help your employees keep their own sales motivation high, don’t hesitate to encourage them to keep track of their own wins. No matter how little these positive experiences might seem in the grand scheme of things, your employees should always be able to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

For instance, you can suggest keeping a list of these wins that you can then mention at the weekly meeting for every salesperson in your team. After all, every good move is a success for your business; be that a step closer to understanding the industry, having a pleasant and promising conversation with a potential client, passing the competition on a certain matter, and so on.

7. Praise the team in front of everyone

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A public shout-out within the office can mean the world to someone on your sales team; especially someone who doesn’t feel confident in their own skills or lack the enthusiasm to believe in themselves. That said, don’t just stop your praising at the sales department perimeter; instead, openly and publicly give the worthy salespeople a shout-out in front of everyone in the office.

Such a small gesture won’t take you too much effort; still, it holds great sales force motivation as the colleagues will continue their congratulations even after you’ve retreated into your own office.

8. Find the time for team-building activities

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If you’re looking for a good sales motivation practice, remember that engaging team-building activities are always the right answer. However, it’s also important to find the best team-building activity for everyone. Keep in mind that not everyone enjoys the same things as you might.

This is precisely why you should leave yourself out of the team-building planning. Give your team the freedom to choose activities that feel the most appealing and entertaining to them. It’s only then that they’ll be able to benefit from this fun pastime.

9. Positivity goes a long way

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One of the biggest challenges for the salespeople has to do with almost day-to-day rejection and a plethora of other negative situations. It’s these challenges that can make even the most optimistic person feel drained and lose confidence. But, as mentioned, this is a normal part of working in sales.

That said, you as a leader of your team have to be the one to bring back the positivity whenever it might seem to be dwindling. Yes, you should acknowledge all of the frustrations, the stress, and worrying that your team is going through; but you should never let them obsess with the negative either. Use positive language and maintain a calm demeanor as you address the issues, point out the silver linings, and generally focus on the end company goals.  

10. Help build other skills

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Some salespeople are hoping to move up the career ladder at some point. It’s your responsibility as their leader to show them how to do so. Provide them with opportunities that will let them learn new skills. Of course, don’t force every single member of your team to act like this; some people are more than happy in their selling role and aren’t looking to move up to people management or change a career industry.

That said, make sure that the growth opportunities you provide are all on a voluntary basis; that way, different kinds of people within your sales team can make their choices on their own and pressure-free.

11. Enhance the education possibilities

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When it comes to sales, things change rather rapidly. Every business has to invest in continuous education if they wish to stay afloat in today’s demanding market. That said, don’t hesitate to find different educational opportunities for your sales team. Also, free up their schedule so that they can attend seminars, webinars, etc. This is a great way to show just how invested you are in your own employees.

Of course, the overall sales team motivation is bound to increase when your salespeople know that they can count on you to point them in the right direction in terms of education instead of being left on their own to pursue these events.

12. Be a leader who has their team’s back

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Micromanaging is far from helpful and should never be the first method you choose to use at work. However, it’s still extremely helpful for your team to be involved in the sales process just enough so that they know they can ask for your help whenever. Make it clear that you have their back all the time so that your employees aren’t scared of coming to you with potential problems.

This is considerably better for business in general as there won’t be any unpleasant surprises waiting in the shadows. You’ll also get to boost employee morale and motivation as they won’t have to work under the pressure of never being able to ask for help or advice.

13. Provide several incentive options

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As mentioned, different incentives and motivational practices will work differently on different people. After all, just because everyone on your team may be great at sales doesn’t mean that everyone shares the same likes and personality traits. In that respect, the best way to boost the sales force motivation would be to allow them to pick and choose their own incentives.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to fear the inconvenience of the free choice. We already stated potential incentives that you could use; so why not pick out a couple of generally appreciated rewards and then give your sales team the opportunity to choose among that selected group?

That way, you can stay within your budget and still manage your employee expectations effectively. Just make sure that the goals you set for these incentives are realistically manageable and reachable.

14. Be a coach – not just a leader

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A true leader is the one who has enough knowledge of the industry to also coach their team with ease. Don’t forget that coaching won’t work its magic if you just happen to provide guidance and advice when your team is having some difficulties. The true value of your knowledge and coaching abilities as a leader lies in your consistency to provide advice and information during both good and bad situations.

15. Foster collegial relationship between departments

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Among the best sales motivation tips are not only the matters of collaboration and respect within the sales department but also throughout the office; this especially involves departments that are bound to work together with the salespeople in order to achieve a specific goal such as Customer Support, Marketing, and so on.

That said, your job as a leader is to prevent any kind of finger-pointing and general animosity between these teams. It’s important to help them understand that their goal is a joint one. Essentially, they can bring the best results only with mutual respect and collegiality.

In that respect, you might want to foster situations that allow these departments to communicate more; maybe even take part in the team-building activities together and generally enjoy group victories as one big team.

16. Introduce the gaming factor

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Games are the fun and exciting part of working in the sales team. Even though we mentioned that there shouldn’t be competitiveness between the team members, occasional competition in the form of a game can effectively boost sales team motivation. And there are plenty of different games you can try, be it daily/weekly/hourly contest, brackets, and so on. However, in order for these fun competitions to yield positive results, you should keep in mind several different factors.

Essential game elements:

Keep it short. No department will have the energy and willpower to deal with the competition if it drags on for too long. Since this is a type of a game, make the game relatively brief so that the motivational effects are immediate.

Go simple. As a game challenge, your competition should focus on one single thing at a time. This can be something like making more calls or getting more appointments, but never anything too complex.

Keep track of the results. In order for this motivational tactic to work its magic, your employees should be able to see how they fare against each other in real-time. Therefore, make sure that you utilize software that can show the numbers from the game’s beginning to the end.

Always involve entire teams. The game of competition won’t be enjoyable or motivational enough if it’s one person for themselves. Actually, dividing your salespeople into random teams is a much better method that will keep everyone engaged and entertained more. After all, not every single person will feel interested in this type of game if they have to go at it alone. But when they have true camaraderie on their side, they may as well surprise you with their tenacity. And to make things even more exciting, don’t hesitate to let the executives in on the fun.

Switch things up. The true power of contest-type games is in their novelty. In that sense, you should always switch things up to keep the engagement and motivation of your sales team at peak. You can change the rules, goals, prizes, and whatever else you deem interesting to keep the whole concept fresh.

17. Consider an individual-focused approach to management

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It’s important to be fair with your team management’s skills, but no two people are the same. As such, you might want to adjust your management practices in regard to the person you’re focusing on. Essentially, forcing just one way of management may actually hurt the morale of the team. And we all know by now the increasing importance of sales motivation. That said, your best approach to manage the entire sales team is to start by managing individuals in a manner that fits their work style the best.

Consider how and how often they like to interact, as well as whether they prefer to be talked to in private. Maybe they appreciate face-to-face feedback more or find it less intimidating to learn of it through email. Ask yourself about the level of involvement they expect from you during the selling process; how willing are they to ask for help on their own? These guidelines will help you create flexible management that actually works!

18. Grow the feeling of importance

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It’s not just your job as a leader to provide guidance and new educational opportunities to your salespeople; you should also help them grow personally when it comes to their confidence, competence, and the feeling of importance. As mentioned, the individual-based approach is the best solution in this case as well.

Your goal should be to help individuals realize their unlimited potential in order to function better as a team. Praising has been heavily emphasized already, but it’s necessary to make it clear just how effective it can be for building the employee’s confidence. Furthermore, make it a point to mention their irreplaceable role within the company and industry; this will help you foster the much-needed feeling of importance that automatically builds motivation as well.

19. Support the heroic mindset

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Feeling like a hero at work can become a sales force motivation you’ve been looking for. And in order to help your salespeople feel like true heroes, it’s imperative that you allow them the freedom to exercise their own creative and critical thinking; they can propose solutions in difficult situations and generally use their courage to take risks. The more they believe in your products/services and the good your company brings to the market, the better your team will become in taking these heroic actions.

20. Foster self-care as a priority

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Sales motivation is not just about what you can do to make your employees work full-speed during work hours. In order for your motivational practices to yield successful results, it’s crucial that you also include the notion of work life balance and self-care in the mix. What’s more, self-care has to be an undeniable priority for your selling heroes.

As stated before, this particular job deals with many setbacks and negative experiences on a daily basis. And in spite of all that, your sales team gets things done. This is precisely why you have to let them know that their mental, emotional, and physical health is irreplaceable and always comes first.

21. Do what you can to support healthy living

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Continuing with the notion of self-care, it’s rather unfortunate that most people who work in an office setting nowadays lead a primarily sedentary lifestyle. This also tends to mess up with their diet. It’s obvious that this could lead to a plethora of health issues. While you can’t change the nature of desk work, you can do everything in your power to create a healthier atmosphere and simultaneously increase sales motivation.

That said, if your budget allows, it would be more than appreciated to equip your office with ergonomic furniture. Keep your office kitchen filled with fruit and healthy snacks and drinks. Also, you can get a gym membership for your employees who’re interested in introducing more physical activity to their routine. After all, they may be more inclined to engage in exercise when they can go to the gym together with their colleagues.

22. Introduce individual brainstorming sessions

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To capitalize on the importance of sales motivation, not all of the methods you use should be heavily group-focused. Aside from the mentioned individual-based approach to management, you should consider the same kind of practice when it comes to idea brainstorming.

This is an interesting fact, but it seems that brainstorming for creative ideas and solutions work much better when you allow individuals to exercise their creativity and critical thinking on their own than in groups. What’s more, the most effective results are often noted when the employee is approached with a brainstorming opportunity in private. Of course, you can still have your main weekly or bi-weekly meetings with everyone, but don’t hesitate to try out this particular method as well.

23. Celebrate uniqueness and differences

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Speaking of individuality, one of the best sales motivation tips in general is to let your employees express their unique personality; and do so however they see fit. True, a certain dress code might be necessary from time to time; when the sales team has to take part in the client meetings for example. But on a day-to-day basis in the office, they should be allowed the right to present themselves in a way that’s the most comfortable.

Remember, just because someone likes tattoos or piercings, enjoys extravagant outfits, or prefers bright hair colors, doesn’t mean they can’t do their job superbly. What’s more, constraining their freedom of expression could easily cause your employees to lose the much-needed confidence. They might even view themselves as less than enough for the job. This can cause some serious pressure and stress, and a considerable motivation drop.

24. Create an ambiance of productivity

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We’ve already mentioned just how helpful ergonomic furniture can be for sales motivation. But there are more sales motivation tips on a similar matter. In general, the look and feel of the workspace can considerably affect the employees’ ability to concentrate, achieve peak productivity, and remain motivated day-in and day-out. That said, you can start off your office makeover on a simpler note, by introducing colors and hues that generally spark motivation in people.

Furthermore, a much-needed addition to every office is greenery. Plants have the amazing ability to clean the air and promote feelings of calmness and unrelenting focus. So, to break up the sterility of your workspace, make sure to introduce greenery wherever possible. You can also encourage your sales team to take care of their own plant in particular.

Finally, don’t disregard the importance of a personalized work area. If your employees have their own desks/cubicles, make it clear to them that they can play with additional decorative bits and bobs; as long as they don’t become too distracting.

25. Utilize available technology

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Another external factor that can seriously affect the sales motivation of your team is the matter of technology. We live in a digital age with many a tool and software at our disposal. For starters, you should make sure that the main technological equipment you use meets the latest standards in the industry. For starters, this will ensure faster and more productive work for your salespeople. Secondly, it will also provide better security for your business overall.

But it’s not just the gadgets that can make or break sales motivation. Too many repetitive and seemingly unnecessary actions can all break the focus of your employees. Poor focus also prevents them from maintaining high levels of productivity. This is where various CRM software and tools can help. These typically automate a bunch of processes that have to be completed on a daily basis but don’t actually contribute to the quality of the work. What’s more, every sales team tends to make and receive a bunch of phone calls. Therefore, integration of VoIP communication systems might prove to be a game-changer.

Finally, think about the organization of important documents and communication within the office. These days, almost anything can be stored on the cloud and sent digitally. In that respect, you don’t have to burden yourself or your employees with mountains of paperwork. And when it comes to in-house communication, not everything has to be done via email. There are plenty of chatting tools that you can use and categorize; for instance, one messaging app for casual communication between colleagues and another for work-related matters. That way, you’ll effectively avoid the issue of important matters being overlooked or ignored due to the number of unimportant messages in the chat.

To conclude…

The importance of sales motivation cannot and should not be overlooked. Leaders who make this kind of mistake often set their business up for failure in the long run. Making room for your own business in the market where sales make the tables turn is challenging and requires consistent effort. However, it’s not impossible, far from it, when you consistently cultivate and nurture the force that’s responsible for your success in the industry, which is none other than your sales team. In the end, being a leader in title only won’t lead your team or enterprise to success. 

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