Be it a sales influencer or a sales expert, or someone who has done exceptionally well in the sales industry, all of them have a lot of positive things to say. They have metaphors over their fingertips, and to us, they might seem philosophical, but for salespeople whose statements are food for the soul.
Sales is fun, the ups and downs give you the dopamine rush, and there is always something new to learn or find out. But it is also a grind; you have to deal with multiple people in a day; some might be nice, while others might even cut the call on your face, and most importantly, you have to take it all, keep your calm and move on.
It is challenging and demanding, and it is almost impossible to keep going without motivation and support. Motivation comes from within, but a lot of it also comes from the surroundings. We might know it ourselves, but sometimes we need to hear "you can do it" from someone else.
"An employee's motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager." - Bob Nelson
For salespeople, motivation is like a breath of fresh air that replenishes their energy instantly. So here are 17 solid sales motivation tips to help you energize your sales team as well as yourself.
Sales is exhausting because the job needs constant effort. Salespeople must work daily to find more leads, enhance sales engagement, and close more. Continuous customer interaction is a part of it all, and it can be challenging in ways we cannot even imagine. It is all very realistic in the sales industry, from dealing with impolite customers to sometimes even listening to nasty comments. Every customer interaction is a different experience, and every salesperson handles it differently, but at the end of the day, it is all draining, positive or negative.
Among all this, motivation becomes a constant necessity for every sales rep to work better and maintain their sanity. So here I have listed tried and tested sales motivation tips from those working on the ground and from multiple conversations that I have had with sales people.
As a leader or even as a team member, always make sure that you have set crystal clear goals for your team as well as yourself. When the goals are clear, you know which direction you need to work in, and you put the efforts accordingly, making sure you do not lose your path in between. This not only makes it easier to achieve goals, but the process also fastens, and it gives a boost of confidence to you as well as your team. Also, when you are constantly hitting your targets, it acts as a motivation to wake up, show up at work, and start nailing at it.
Also, make sure that you are setting SMART goals. SMART stands up for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals. With these 5 things, you and your team will be able to achieve your targets as well as track them.
“Set realistic goals and track your progress. When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to break down your goals into smaller, more achievable tasks. By doing so, you can see progress over time and feel a sense of accomplishment, which can help boost your motivation.” - Hassan Rashid- Corporate sales trainer
Among several other reasons, one reason that Google stands where it is today is because of setting clear goals and targets. When Google was just starting out, as a one-year-old company, they had an Objectives and Key Results [OKRs] system where each team member had to set their metrics alongside the company's goals. This not only helped the company grow but also the team members along with it. Today, as we know, Google is the number one search engine across the globe.
Just like the OKR system, you can set sales targets for your team with Zixflow. Add targets for individual team members and also track them in real time. When you and your team will have a clear idea of what is expected from you, then you will feel motivated to work towards it.
What do you do when your sales target is not hit?
You analyze the system and find loopholes. Understand your team's perspective and the hardships they are facing and try to resolve them.
So what should you do when the opposite has happened? Or when someone has shown exceptional performance?
Among many, one of my favorite sales lessons from The Wolf Of Wall Street movie is to celebrate success, be it big or small. Celebrating success does not always mean having loud parties. It can be a small get-together as well, where you and your team sit together, catch up on things beyond work, enjoy a good meal, talk heart-to-heart, and celebrate a win.
So how will celebrations motivate my team?
Your sales team is on its toes at all times. When something good happens, and they get to celebrate, then it gives them a break from all the stress and acts as an energy booster. Next time when your team works, they will be motivated to work since they will know that in the end, they will be celebrating their wins or be under stress discussing where they lacked. Anyone would want the former; thus, your team will have the motivation to work towards the goals.
“Celebrate every milestone, no matter how small. Success breeds success.”- Chase H- Senior Account executive
Giving feedback helps your team members know what more can be done or where they might need to put in extra effort. Giving feedback also helps your team in leveling up since they will focus on upskilling themselves to do better. It acts as a motivation as well since it gives a push to them to reach their potential and see the extent they can go to. However, when it comes to giving feedback, make sure you are conveying it with a positive connotation so that the receiver does not feel disrespected and offended.
Microsoft is well known for its ‘Connect’ and ‘Yammer’ feedback mechanism. Connect is a program under which managers have one-to-one meetings with employees for providing feedback. Yammer is a social networking platform of Microsoft where employees can give feedback to their colleagues on projects.
“Call it what you will, incentives are what motivate people to work harder” — Nikita Khrushchev
As per Maslow’s hierarchy theory, every employee has physiological and safety needs at its bottom. So, the best way to motivate employees is to fulfill their needs.
Say, suppose one of your team members needs financial help for an urgent problem. Helping them will make them feel valued by the company.
Incentives can be monetary like salary, bonuses, commissions, etc, or non-monetary like recognition, gifts, awards, etc. For instance, Zappos, an online shoe and cloth retailer, is famous for its ‘Zollar’ program. Under the program, if any employee has done anything which includes the WOW factor in it, they are awarded a Zollar, which is a fake currency and can be redeemed for prizes and awards.
The work environment highly impacts the performance of employees. When employees feel that they are part of a supportive and inclusive work community, they are more likely to feel valued, respected, and appreciated. This sense of belongingness increases their motivation to work effectively in the organization.
Target has been rated as one of the best places to work at because of their inclusive and positive work culture. The company appreciates its employees for better performance and creates a positive work culture within the organization. This is done through open communication and proper engagement, like morning meets to discuss a plan for the day, and marketing chit-chat to discuss global events, which boosts employees' morale and provides them with a sense of belongingness as shared by one of the employees at Target, Karan Pratap Singh.
“One thing that keeps me motivated is learning from other successful sales professionals. By reading books, attending webinars, and networking with others in the industry, I'm constantly learning new tips and strategies to improve my sales skills and achieve even better results.”- Rohit- Head of Sales
When you encourage learning and development in your employees, it provides them with a higher level of job satisfaction as they feel growth in their careers apart from the monetary benefits earned. This provides them with a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
When the employees feel that they are growing beyond their work spectrum as well, they get motivated to give it back to the team they have worked with and grown with. Furthermore, if you help your team upskill, eventually, it will only help your sales grow since with more skills comes more expertise.
LinkedIn, a social media networking platform, provides all its employees' access to ‘LinkedIn Learning’, which is an online platform with thousands of courses on a wide range of topics, from technical skills to leadership development. It also invites its employees to various conferences and industry events to learn from industry experts.
To ensure that your sales team is constantly growing and learning, you need a SalesOS that not only makes your sales team's work easier with sales workflow automation but also helps your team learn and evolve with time. The Zixflow's learning section helps your team do that by providing them instant access to expert tips and tricks. Not only that, but you and your team can also add videos and learning lessons for the other team members. If you want a sales tip to be common knowledge in your team, then share the tip right away on the Zixflow's learning tab.
Do you know?
As per research, 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, with 77% reporting that they would work harder if they felt better recognized.
Recognition means appreciating and acknowledging your employee’s efforts, skills, and contributions. Providing recognition will make your team members feel valued, which leads to a sense of pride and satisfaction in their work. This will also improve the employee retention rate in the company.
Hilton Worldwide, a global hospitality company, runs a program called ‘Catch Me At My Best’. Under this program, employees are encouraged to catch their colleagues at their best and nominate them for recognition for any acts like delivering exceptional customer service or doing exceptional work in any front.
It is Hilton's recognition policy for its team that has helped them grow and come so far with a happy and hardworking team. Similarly, for growth, your sales team needs motivation, and for motivation, your sales team needs recognition. A token of thanks or a congratulatory speech can go a long way.
Setting real expectations is one of the most underrated sales motivation tips that gives results in the long run. Always try to have clarity about the goals that you are expecting from your sales team members. And those expectations should be realistic so that employees should feel that they can achieve the targets.
For instance, setting a sales target of 15 sales a day for a product like a lead-generating chatbot is unreal. Yes, the product is extremely helpful for a business, yet it takes a lot of convincing, to and fro, and an entire sales cadence to convert one lead. So set targets that are real; living in a fantasy land will only hurt your team and business.
Try to focus on the customers of the business, when a salesperson understands how their product is impacting customer’s life, it provides them a strong source of job satisfaction and motivation. Moreover, focusing on customer-centric selling enhances communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills among salespeople.
“Finding your motivation in sales is key to achieving success. It's not just about closing deals and hitting targets, but about genuinely believing in the value of what you're selling and being passionate about helping your clients”.- Lance W- Sr. Sales Manager
Amazon provides feedback to their employees based on customer feedback and satisfaction and also rewards employees who have provided exceptional customer service. This incentive gives a push to the team to give their best at work and also brings them closer to their customers, and that is what makes it one of the best sales motivation tips.
Your sales team needs someone to rely upon during bad days and someone to celebrate with on the good. Try to create a supportive culture within your organization where the mistakes of colleagues are not blamed on each other, but they help each other to complete their deadlines. Competition is important, but make sure that competition won’t start a blame game among your team members.
Healthy competition is always a good thing to have in your company, but you need to make sure that the competitive spirit never becomes nasty, and it should not ruin the relationships within your team. Especially in sales, the competition is cutthroat, and it can get overwhelming and even depressing at times to compete fiercely in such situations.
A positive work environment will help your team stay together and motivated. So every team member, as well as team leaders, should ensure from their end that they are not doing anything which can negatively impact the work culture. Individual accountability can make a lot of difference.
No one enjoys being in a rut, and in the sales industry, if one lacks consistent growth, then one can soon lose motivation to work. The idea of growth is what drives everyone, so make sure you do not hold back in providing opportunities for growth to your sales team. Giving an important client a close or trusting their judgment are baby steps towards growth that you can start from.
Try to provide career growth opportunities to your members, as it provides a sense of purpose, direction, and progress. When employees feel like they have a clear path of advancement within their organization, they are more likely to stay committed to the work and engaged as well. And when your sales team is engaged, then so are your clients.
For instance, Amazon is famous for its career growth opportunities provided to its team. They provide job rotation programs that allow employees to gain experience in different departments and roles.
When employees are better equipped with the resources they need to perform job duties, they are more likely to be creative in the workplace.
Google provides on-site fitness at their workplace including yoga and pilates. Moreover, it also provides childcare facilities to parents who have small children, as it eliminates the need for them to worry about finding and paying for childcare.
However, providing resources does not always mean providing over-the-top luxury stuff. Providing your team with the tools they need to succeed at their job is good enough as well.
For instance, you can reduce your sales team's burden by providing them with a SalesOS that helps in sales process automation. This will give them the bandwidth and some space to breathe and think of creative ways to close customers. When your sales team does not have to worry about customer data management or adding leads manually, then they will get to do what they enjoy, i.e., sales! Nothing motivates anyone better than the job they actually enjoy doing.
Celebrate the individuality of employees like their unique talents, skills, etc. If any of the members are bringing a new perspective to the table, value it and appreciate them for doing so. When employees feel that they are themselves at work and their individuality is appreciated, they feel respected which results in motivating them.
For instance, if your sales rep brings you the suggestion that you should pursue a client and they see the potential in them while you do not consider that suggestion. Everyone has their own skills. Maybe your teammate understands interpersonal communication better, and they feel that you can close the client with your skills. At times give them the benefit of the doubt and embrace what they are bringing to the table.
When employees compete with each other, they adopt a goal-oriented mindset and focus on how to outperform their colleagues. This can help them to work harder and smarter, and put in extra effort to achieve those goals.
For instance, Nike organizes internal contests and challenges that incentivize employees to come up with innovative ideas. Nike also organizes ‘NikeFuel’ that allows employees to track their physical activity and earn points as rewards. These contests help the team members develop the willingness to win, which eventually showcases in their work as well and helps them do better.
Competition is extremely important for driving results. The competitiveness within your team is what motivates them and pushes them to do better than before. But the same competition can also become a wall among your team members, so every sales rep, as well as sales managers, must encourage healthy competition, or else the competitive spirit will do more harm than good.
When one has autonomy in planning their day, it motivates them to make the most out of their day, which also enhances their productivity. Your sales team has to deal with multiple prospects every day, and they need some space from all the work to maintain their sanity and find better ways of dealing with the prospects. So allow your sales team to have that space by letting them have a flexible work schedule that helps them give their best without affecting the business in any way.
At Zixflow, we have a remote work policy for our entire team, which allows them to have a flexible schedule and also helps them improve their work-life integration. This policy has helped our team to stay in control of their day and also helps them improve their productivity day by day.
When all the members work as a team, they share a common goal. This sense of shared objective can motivate them to work harder, as they feel that they are working towards something meaningful.
To create a team sense within your group, try to address by using ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘you’ in meetings. If your team accomplishes anything, try to share credit with others, and in case of any failure, don’t blame anyone individually.
To encourage teamwork within your sales team, make your sales process more transparent, and you can do that by utilizing a sales tool that brings all your sales tasks to one place and helps your team understand where everyone is standing in terms of work. It keeps your entire team on the same page, also enhancing team collaboration. When the team works together, they see each other thriving and working hard, and that instills a sense of motivation in every individual. Also, since the sales rep feels that they are in the same boat as their colleagues, they are able to relate to each other more and thus are able to motivate each other as well.
Last but not least- Try to lead by making yourself an ideal example for your team members. For this, first of all, you need to demonstrate the behaviors that you want your team to emulate.
Among all the aforementioned tips, the best sales motivation tip is to increase collaborative efforts, and you can do that with a modern sales operating system that is transparent and collaborative. We have one for you- Zixflow. Take your free demo of the modern SalesOS and watch your team become more confident, collaborative, and motivated.