Happy employees are productive employees, and employee motivation is one of the biggest factors that invariably leads to success in most businesses. In fact, a disengaged employee costs $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary.

Sales is one area where motivation is vital. While continuous training is key to improving the skill sets and knowledge base of your sales team, all of this is a waste if you can not motivate your sales people to give their best every single day.

However, this is easier said than done. The levels of motivation a sales rep has will depend on a variety of external factors. As sales leaders, you need to understand the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team and instill motivation in them. It requires careful planning and execution, as failure to do so might cost businesses heavily.

Here are some of the ways in which organizations can achieve this.


The importance of employee communication is often overlooked, but it can be one of the most powerful and informal ways of connecting with people. The right words and honest sessions of interaction can change the way people view their surroundings. Sales leaders need to step up every and talk about issues that matter to people across levels; face-to-face interaction is always better than sending out an email.

Your staff needs to know that they are valued and personal communication could be a great way to show that you appreciate them for their hard work. One important way to do this is to hold regular feedback sessions instead of annual performance reviews.

Provide incentives

Sales is a tough job. Getting out there every day and being incessant in one’s approach to crack deals requires long working hours and extra hard work. Such efforts should be appreciated with incentives, duly agreed in contract. There is nothing more frustrating and demotivating than working for extra hours on a regular basis and getting nothing in return. But without provisions for extra work outside contract like stipends or welfare packages, employees are likely to lose their passion overtime.

Recognize efforts

Monetary rewards for great work can definitely help increase motivation, but non-monetary rewards and recognition can also prove to be a great way of recharging your employees. This could involve appreciating your sales stars for their hard work in front of teams, giving rewards for their achievements and efforts, empowering them with ownership and providing flexible options at work. Great sales performers need to be treated as valued team members and rewards for them should go beyond just an annual bonus. Employees should know how their efforts have helped the organization move forward.

Set realistic goals

It can be incredibly disheartening and demoralizing to work on a task that is never ending. Progress needs to be visible. Managers should set clear, realistic and achievable goals for their employees, so that they know what exactly is expected out of them, rather than some vague terminologies being assigned.

Give individual attention

Teamwork is a key way to motivate sales people, but focusing on the individual can also improve engagement. Managers should take time out to talk to employees at an individual level to make them feel valued and wanted. While it’s important to praise an employee who exceeds expectations, individual attention should also go to those who are underperforming or seem to be overwhelmed by a task. Managers can coach them and give them a better sense of direction to help the employees work through their problems.

Ask for opinions

Surveying employees to ask for their opinion and keep them engaged is crucial for motivation, but the problem emerges when no action is taken on this feedback. The biggest mistake an organization could make is to create irrelevant employee surveys. Employees might feel that their opinions don’t matter, which can lead them to lose motivation and interest. Hence, any kind of survey data should be specific, relevant and actionable for any team.

Provide opportunities

Any kind of job becomes boring if it remains the same for a long period of time, and sales is no different. Stagnant and repetitive job profiles can make employees feel stifled and suffocated, and demotivate even the most ambitious of people. This is why it is important to keep providing opportunities for growth while on the job, that keep the lively factor alive. Providing training opportunities, access to resources, and investing in career growth through seminars and education initiatives could be great ways to make employees feel motivated to work harder.

What tips do you have to motivate sales people?

If you successfully run a sales team and have tips to help motivate sales people, let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, take a look at GetApp’s ranking of the top 25 sales management software, which can automate processes and provide a more efficient and effective way to motivate sales people.

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya is a Product Specialist at Capabiliti, a mobile-first training and engagement solution for enterprises. Passionate about Economics, Bhaswati also loves storytelling. She has a keen interest in start-ups, food and travel. In her ‘me time’ she picks up fiction novels, tries different cuisines or explores routes to less traveled places on the world map. Follow her on Twitter at @Bhaswatibh.