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5 Modern and Practical Tips for Motivating Sales Teams

You may be meeting your sales goals now, but how long will it last?

Just about anyone who’s ever had a position in sales will tell you that it’s a demanding, exhausting, and stressful career.

You may even hear former salespeople say that despite constantly meeting deadlines and breaking records, it was never enough for the big wigs.

Without much appreciation for their efforts or incredible accomplishments, they were simply expected to keep doing it again and again, year after year.

Unfortunately, this is how most salespeople currently feel about their job and it’s our responsibility as sales leaders to keep them motivated and fulfilled.

High turnover rates shouldn’t be accepted as some kind of grim reality, but instead as an indicator of how we’re performing ourselves.

But, how? What should we do to keep our best salespeople from always walking out the door?

5 Modern and Practical Tips for Motivating Sales Teams

1. Recognize Hard Work (Not Just “Accomplishments”)

Some days you win; some days you lose.

The unpredictable nature of sales can make this career extremely exciting when goals are met and awfully disappointing when they’re not. Salespeople are goal-oriented and very competitive by nature—and not just with others but also with themselves.

As leaders, we need to recognize their hard work and encourage them, even when they fail to meet sales goals. We need to mentor them and show them how to do it better next time.

If not, we end up treating them like Pavlov’s dogs, building up nothing but positive reinforcement and expecting them to reach a new sales goal every time we ring the bell.

2. Build Trust

Trust isn’t easy to gain.

But, the quickest way to obtaining trust is by being transparent and open with others on a regular basis. Share your fears, failures, and past embarrassments with your sales team.

As a sales leader, you have experiences and memories that are worth more than gold when shared with the rest of the team. Talk about the time you lost a $10,000 deal because you got sick from bad sushi and had to go to the bathroom in the middle of an important call.

If it’s true and can be valuable for teaching a lesson to your team, share it!

3. Gamification (Individual and Team)

Gamification is the process of turning work and everyday chores into something like a real-life video game. With leaderboards, points, prizes, and fun ways to win, you can make reaching sales goals into the best thing since Mario was invented.

Along with leaderboards to drive competition between employees, post team leaderboards that also build a team spirit regarding goals. One of the hidden dangers of gamification can be driving sales teams apart with too much inner competition.

Done just right, however, and you’ll have a formula that keeps work fun and interesting.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Nothing causes despair like unrealistic sales goals set by an out-of-touch manager.

Setting goals like doubling sales within a month don’t just cause your team to lose hope in themselves, but also in you. Making outrageous sales projections will make your team doubt your ability to lead—and quite possibly your sanity.

Therefore, set realistic goals that you know for sure your team can accomplish. As your team continues to achieve small goals in succession, they’ll grow in their self-confidence and build trust in you, their leader.

When you and your team look back, you’ll be able to take pride in how far you’ve come as a team.

5. Be Creative with Rewards

A recent study shows that employees actually respond better to non-cash rewards than pure money.

Washing the top salesman’s car in the office parking lot or walking their dog for the next week are examples of rewards that money can’t buy.

In case you can’t come up with any rewards on your own, ask your team what they would like to see as a prize and what would mean a lot to them.

You may be surprised to find out that your salespeople know exactly what they want!


Sometimes, offering a slight raise or giving a bonus to the salesman of the month aren’t enough to keep your sales team motivated and eager to chase new sales goals.

Instead, we’ve learned that trust, recognition, realistic goals, and creativity are the key ingredients of a motivated sales team.

Being open and transparent with your team, as well as making the office a fun place to be, will keep your salespeople content and motivated in their career.

To learn more about managing a sales team in today’s market, check out our recent article on outsourcing and how Sales Buddy can generate hot leads for your business, guaranteed.

About the Author Corey Singleton

"As a business owner, I put big money into sales and marketing without ever really knowing what results I was going to get. Tired of this ambiguity, I decided to create a new kind of sales support company: one that provides a guarantee.

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