Motivated sales teams have energy and confidence, keeping your organization running, irrespective of whether your business is at peak or slowing down.

Sales leaders deem the art of motivation as a unique qualitative asset in boosting their teams’ energy and confidence. However, motivation is a challenging tactic; it is influenced by many external factors, and every employee requires different motivational strategies and incentives.

A study by Gallup suggests that 87 percent of the global workforce is disengaged. Another report entitled “the 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement showed that global employee engagement dropped from 65% in 2015 to 63% in 2016. Employee engagement levels are at an all-time low, indicating a drop in commitment to jobs and the continual interest to attain goals. 

To rectify this trend, this article will discuss unique ways to motivate your sales team, tailored to their happiness and overall business success.

Creative ways to motivate sales team

 Ways to motivate teams - Image Credit:
Ways to motivate teams – Image Credit:

1. Establish trust with your sales team

The first step to motivate underperforming sales staff is building trust. You can re-inspire your sales team by having an honest and open conversation about their goals and challenges. 

You can also build trust by interacting with your team in a nurturing, consistent manner. This approach can take many forms. For instance, you can adopt value-driven leadership by aligning your company’s mission and vision to your sales force’s personal values. Let your personnel take on new business from clients whom they feel to fit into the company’s culture.

You can also motivate your sales team through the public display of appreciation. You can tell your employees that you trust them or give them specific compliments. 

Celebrate both small and big milestones with them and adopt an open-door policy as a show of openness and transparency. Using words, such as “Thank you” when conversing or holding an “appreciation day” can go a long way in demonstrating your appreciation for the sales team.

There are many ways to establish trust with your sales team, but adopting value-driven leadership strategies and expressing gratitude is crucial to encourage motivation at work.

2. Understand how your subordinates like to be managed

As a team leader, you must understand your sales force’s personality traits and work towards being an effective manager despite their diverse attributes. 

In the same way that salespeople apply different selling tactics to different prospects, so should effective managers fit into their direct reports’ way of working. 

Instead of forcing strategy and communication on all your sales team, you can consider asking them the following questions to understand the best way to manage them:

  • How often would you prefer to interact with me? On a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis?
  • How would you like me to give you feedback?
  • What kind of feedback would you prefer?
  • Will you let me know if I do something offensive to you?

You can modify these questions to suit your team’s needs, but try to be as honest in your intentions as possible. Adjusting your leadership style to suit the personality traits of your sales staff can foster a healthy relationship with you and customers, leading to improved sales.

3. Set goals and track them daily, weekly, and monthly 

 Goals - Image Credit:
Goals – Image Credit:

How does the power of small wins and daily, progressive steps, compared to big sales, sound to you as a leader?

According to findings by the Harvard Business School, the progressive principle helps to boost a team’s morale, emotions, and perceptions. As your team experiences a sense of progress frequently, they are more likely to become creatively productive in the long run. 

Daily progress, including the small wins, can boost your team’s positivity and motivation – managers should encourage and recognize their sales force for making minor steps towards a given goal.

Have your team set daily goals and track them by writing down every positive encounter they had with a customer, a new prospecting tactic they learned, or a deal they closed. This practice can enable your team to remain motivated even when the bigger goals are not going according to plans.

When setting weekly goals, make them tangible and link them to business strategy. Establish metrics for improvement and encourage your sales team to employ the necessary skills daily to realize the goals. 

Track three wins every week through an email – have the team send the email to you or a performance champion. Celebrating weekly wins would help to motivate underperforming sales staff.

The monthly goals should be accompanied by higher-value rewards for extraordinary results. You can reward and motivate the best performers either with cash or with physical commodities (such as a trophy or a TV set). This tactic helps to motivate your sales team by acting as a reminder of what they went through to earn the reward.

4. Promote connectivity

Focus not only on what makes your customers happy but also on what delights your sales team. 

Try not to promote the happiness of one group while neglecting another. 

According to a study by Hibob, 69% of employees are likely to reject a job offer if they discover that the prospective company’s workers are generally unhappy. This finding is supported by research by Harris Poll, whose report showed that 60% of employees were happier at work when they saw their colleagues happy. 

Motivate your sales team by focusing on both your clients and the positive engagement across all employees. This approach will inspire your sales force to affect the client experience positively.

How do you motivate sales team with incentives?

Goals & Incentives – Image Credit:

You can motivate your sales team using extrinsic rewards (money, badges, gold stars, competition, etc.) or intrinsic incentives (gifts, time off, belonging, autonomy, learning, etc.).

According to the Aberdeen study, non-cash incentives are better than financial ones; up to 31% of top performers are more likely to accept non-cash options, making this approach more effective in motivating your sales team.

As a sales manager, you can ask your employees to vote on their most preferred type of incentive. Doing so would make the sales staff more involved and excited to be a part of the performing team.

You might be wondering if incentives would create heavy costs for your organization. 

In fact, rewards motivate performers and underperforming sales staff, generating adequate revenue to cover the compensation cost. 

Indeed, Jeremy Bentham’s Carrot and Stick motivation theory encourages the use of rewards (carrot) to elicit the desired behaviours. This model also requires the use of the stick (penalties) to push employees to achieve their targets. 

The Carrot & Stick Theory – Image Credit:

When implementing this theory in your organization, it is advisable to mix both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic motivation is good for disinterested or underperforming sales staff, but intrinsic motivation is even better as it encourages the internal desire to meet sales targets – it is self-rewarding.

How do you motivate sales team without money?

According to a report by Motivating by Appreciation Inventory, more than a third of remote workers prefer rewards in the form of oral or written words of affirmation. Indeed, about half of the general employee population expressed the same sentiments.

Even when on a tight budget, you can still motivate your sales team by recognizing their achievements publicly. A report by the National Library of Medicine shows that a higher salary is not always the best answer to improved productivity. Instead, the most appropriate approach is to use recognition programs capable of boosting employee morale. 

Self-motivation is more likely to produce superior results compared to extrinsic rewards. Intrinsically motivated sales teams will want to surpass their targets not because there is money to earn, but because they can’t stand not being winners. 

How can you achieve this kind of motivation with no money?

 Team support - Image Credit:
Team support – Image Credit:
  • Public display of appreciation/recognition – point out achievers during your daily, weekly, or monthly meetings. Appreciate hard-working sales representatives for contributing to the company’s success. Positive messages, such as “Good job!” go a long way in rewarding employees for their efforts.
  • Sales leaderboards – encourage healthy competition by posting the names of top sales staff per month. 
  • Set goals collectively – create goals with your team to make them feel that the targets are theirs and that they are not being imposed on them.
  • Job ownership & accountability – grant responsibility for individual goals and gather feedback from your sales team. This tactic will make the employees feel they have a meaningful impact on the company’s success. It shows employees that they fit within the big picture.
  • Be creative – have some fun with your team, such as going for trips or attending sports games. Get ideas from your sales team on how to inspire them and implement different fun activities at a time.
  • Autonomy – grant your sales team a level of independence and trust. This is an intrinsic reward, allowing your direct reports to use a mix of sales tools and techniques and to prioritize their daily schedules. This practice is better than micromanagement as it enables your sales force to make decisions and solve problems at an appropriate level.

Sales team motivational quotes

Motivational quote - Image Credit:
Motivational quote – Image Credit:

Sales team motivational quotes come with all-round motivational education. You can spice them up with ideas from leading motivational speakers or motivational videos

You can share the quotes in a daily email, by posting them on the company’s intranet or whiteboard, or in your daily meetings.

6 motivational sales quotes

  1. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
  2. “Today is always the most productive day of your week.” Mark Hunter
  3. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
  4. “Become the person who would attract the results you seek.” – Jim Cathcart
  5. “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
  6. “Prospecting – find the man with the problem.” Ben Friedman

Sales team motivation activities

This collection of team building activities will inspire your sales team to grow closer, appreciate their nature of work, and lead a healthy lifestyle. The goal is to boost their morale and to encourage positive engagement with one another. 

Here are the leading ideas to implement.

  • Provide a snack-area

This space acts as a water-cooler where all your sales staff can meet and communicate openly around random topics, including funny news, sports, books, etc. For remote teams, you can host this platform on Slack or Zoom video

  • Hold conferences
 Business conference - Image Credit:
Business conference – Image Credit:

Let your sales team go for a trip where they can learn new things outside the office setting. Pay for their airfare and accommodation, and you can be sure they’ll return refreshed and ready to implement better strategies to achieve their targets.

  • Play games

Games can motivate sales teams by equipping them with sales closing tactics, customer problem definition, critical questioning, and audience identification. You can use them as icebreakers to demonstrate the key to effective selling. 

Games, such as Dice Exercise, Gamified cold calls, and Hangman, are cost-effective, they consume less time, and have an element of public interaction.

Motivate sales team email sample

When drafting an email to motivate your sales team, your goal should be to boost their energy. As such, keep in mind these factors to make the email more effective:

  • Use your words carefully and responsibly.
  • Avoid writing negative words or failures on previous tasks.
  • Use positive words and show confidence in your team.
  • Assure them of your support.
  • Give them some level of freedom to make decisions around their tasks.

You can use the below sample and modify it to suit your team’s needs.

Sample motivational sales team email/letter - Image Credit:
Sample motivational sales team email/letter – Image Credit:


Motivated sales teams are crucial to business success. Going by statistics, employee engagement has been dropping over the recent past. As a sales team leader, you can employ both extrinsic and intrinsic reward programs to keep your employees happy and motivated all year long. 

Not all strategies require spending money. The best method is to encourage self-motivation and the internal desire to meet targets. You can do so through the public display of recognition, setting goals collectively, and promoting job ownership and accountability. Taking part in motivational activities and sending motivational emails every once in a while can also encourage the right attitude towards work and towards coworkers. 

To start you off, you should consider using the Grabb system, which allows you and your team to easily and cooperatively set sales targets, and to provide the information necessary for job ownership and autonomy.

Curious to learn more about how Grabb Ai can help you boost your sales team’s engagement, motivation, and overall sales growth? Let us know, we’ll be more than happy to help.

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