How to Keep Your Sales Staff Motivated

There`s nothing like having a hungry and motivated sales staff working for you, bringing in new customers and leads, while all aiming to be the very best. It`s a lot easier said than done, but by following some basic principles that a lot of managers either forget, or start to neglect over time, you can do a lot to motivate just about sales team out there. If money was enough to motivate a sales team in and of itself then nobody would be looking for ways to motivate their sales team, but it takes more than just money. Here are some other things you can do to motivate a sales staff besides just trying to throw money at the problem.

Remember, it`s a sales TEAM

It`s good to have people on your sales force competing against each other and seeing who can do better, but at the same time you don`t want them actually working against one another to a point where it ultimately hurts sales. If there is a way that you can incentivise teamwork as well as individual performance, you will see more salespeople starting to help each other out without having to be as worried about dipping into their own pockets by doing so. One way to do this is to offer prizes that everyone wins, not just the top sales person.

Find out what they need

It sound simple, but it often goes overlooked. Have you ever seen the show “Undercover Boss”? Just in case you haven`t, this is a show where the bosses of large companies go undercover as a new entry-level employee to find out what the pain points at of their staff. Granted, this won`t work for smaller companies, but rather than trying to go undercover to talk to your sales team to find out what they need – why not simply just ask them? It really is that easy. Ask them to come up with a few things that are frequently obstacles coming in-between them and making more sales. Go through the entire sales funnel with your team, and get their thoughts on each step of the process. It`s one thing to put together a sales funnel in a board room, but it`s another thing to actually talk to the people that are working with it each and every day.

Have an excellent reward system

Tiered-rewards systems work really well. For example, if an employee makes 5-9 sales they`ll get a gold watch. If they make 10-19 sales they`ll get a trip to Mexico. The numbers obviously depend on the value of what you`re selling, but it`s better to have really great prizes and not just a $5 Starbucks gift card – that doesn`t motivate somebody in the same way that a gold watch does.

It`s not just a one-time thing

Motivation for a sales team shouldn`t be seen as something that you can do once a year and be done with, it needs to be on on-going process. You should be touching base with your sales team often and have open lines of communication to stay on top of everything that matters. You can`t just water a garden once a season because it will dry up, it won`t survive without frequent attention and care. Think of your sales staff in the same way as that garden. Motivation is something that needs to be fostered and maintained over time.


Every sales staff is different, and there are countless styles of management. At the end of the day, it`s all about finding the one that best suits your team. Even once you have found something that`s working, always be open to making changes and adapting it. Always encourage your sales team to provide feedback and suggestions, too, because remember – they`re the ones who are out there on the front lines seeing everything first hand, so they know better than anyone what they need to feel motivated and to succeed.

About Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson is a business consultant and a sales manager from New Zealand. She is currently working with clients interested in broadening their investment portfolio by buying gold. Conversely, her favorite color is pink, not gold. You can find her on twitter at @jenniferjackson