Sales isn’t an easy game. To stand a chance, you need to be super determined and ideally riding high on positivity. This essential energy is commonly known as sales motivation.
Maintaining a healthy mindset in sales is an ongoing challenge. It’s only natural to get a little down when the economy is working against you and all you seem to hear is rejection.
To help you make it through the tough periods and build up that feel-good spirit, we decided to compile a list of tactics you can use to rekindle your own sales fire — and help out your coworkers.
What Is Sales Motivation?
Sales motivation essentially describes the mental drive required to convert prospects into sales.
All good salespeople have it in abundance, although motivation can come and go depending on a variety of factors. According to research by the RAIN Group, most sellers are motivated by:
- Compensation — Money in the bank
- Incentives — Extra time off, for example
- Achievement — Feeling like a winner
- Altruism — Wanting to help other people
- Advancement — Opportunities for promotion
- Creativity — Freedom to try something new
- Recognition — Awards and peer appreciation
- Leadership — Taking ownership of a team
The amount of motivation that is linked to each factor varies between reps. Some people gain great motivation from the opportunity to help clients, while others will be more interested in personal accolades.
The factors of motivation can even change over time in the same salesperson; for instance, folks with families are more likely to be motivated by compensation and time off around the holiday season.
Why Does Sales Motivation Matter?
Being an effective salesperson is ultimately about approaching every sales conversation with the right attitude, and going the extra mile to make deals.
However, maintaining that high level of intensity month after month does not come naturally to most people. The most effective sales managers understand this, and take steps to inject some additional motivation.
Compared with the average rep, elite salespeople are twice as likely to have managers who make an effort to motivate their team. And 55% of top performers believe that managers are effective at creating and sustaining maximum selling energy, compared to only 32% of other sellers.
Of course, individual reps don’t have the power to choose their managers. But there are certain steps that every sales professional can take to maintain good motivation.
13 Sales Motivation Tips You Need to Try
Not sure where to start? Here are some essential strategies that are proven to boost motivation and send you in the direction of sales success:
1) Focus on What Motivates You
Earlier in this post, we looked at the eight primary factors that are known to motivate salespeople.
The thing to remember about this list is that it only provides a general overview. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to motivation.
While some of these factors will motivate pretty much everyone, only certain parts of the list will apply to any individual.
If you want to improve your personal motivation levels, it’s important to find out which factors matter the most to you. This information will allow you to start setting goals that feel like they are worth chasing.
2) Start Writing Down Your Long-Term Goals
Speaking of goals: you really need to start writing them down.
In an analysis of 400,000 sales professionals, RAIN Group found one big difference between the top 5% and bottom 5% of performers:
Every single person in the top group had personal written goals.
In contrast, only 16% of those in the bottom group had written down their aims.
The moral of this story is that defining clearly what you want to achieve should be a top priority. Just by writing it down, you make a statement and create some kind of personal accountability. It can also help to clarify your aims in your own mind.
3) Set Yourself Short-Term Challenges
Writing down long-term goals can be a good way of giving yourself something to aim towards. Yet, we tend to lose sight of the bigger picture during the daily grind.
SETI (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence) scientists know this all too well. They spend their entire career working towards something that might never appear. So, how do they stay interested?
Researchers found that in a day-to-day sense, the scientists were mostly motivated by interest in tasks, and short-term gratification such as positive feedback from coworkers, or overcoming a small problem.
As a sales professional, you can apply the same principle to your own work. Create bitesize challenges that interest you, whether that’s making commission or finding new ways to close a sale.
The hitting of those tiny targets can feel pretty amazing, and it can take you closer to your longer-term ambitions.
4) Celebrate the Small Victories
Another way to infuse the daily grind with a little more excitement is by celebrating the small victories.
Salespeople traditionally get recognition for delivering a certain number of sales at the end of the month. However, this doesn’t necessarily recognize the good work that happens around any given deal.
So, reward yourself for getting them done.
That could mean booking a day off every time you succeed so many times, treating yourself to an Uber ride home, or just buying a bag of your favorite chips.
It might seem kind of silly, but you’re actually training your brain to associate the most mundane sales tasks with something good. And that’s pretty powerful stuff.
5) Create a Process
One common side-effect of low motivation is cutting corners. When we get on a losing streak, apathy can set in and standards begin to slip.
To climb out of this vicious cycle, it’s a good idea to create a process.
This list of tasks should read like a sales manual. Everything that might lead to a sale should be covered, including those extra courtesy calls.
If you can force yourself to follow this sheet for a short while, there’s an excellent chance that results will start turning in your favor. In the world of sports, top-level athletes adopt exactly the same mantra. If you want to be the best, you need to do the small things right on a consistent basis.
6) Try to Improve Your Environment
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant amount of research done on the way we react to our working environment. The results generally indicate that noisy workspaces reduce productivity. Bad light and ventilation also have a negative impact on output.
Poor productivity is generally linked to low motivation. If you want to put yourself on the right track, improving your working environment is a good place to start.
Obviously, it’s relatively unlikely that you can convince your boss to sanction a major overhaul of the office. But you can make your little corner better by adding a desk lamp, wearing noise-canceling headphones, and even decorating your desk with some houseplants. If you don’t really have green fingers, photos of your nearest and dearest can do the trick.
These small changes can really lift your mood when things aren’t going to plan.
7) Embrace Collaboration
Another common finding of workplace research is that communication between workers is an important factor in productivity. This is particularly valid in the world of sales, because it often requires the input of more than one person in order to close a deal.
While healthy competition can improve motivation, the bottom line is that working well with your fellow team members is vital.
This isn’t always easy, of course. But if you make an effort to connect with other reps who you get on with, it’s likely to have a positive effect on your mood. In addition, you will have someone to ask about any challenges you’re currently facing — or just a friendly face to go up against in your next sales contest.
8) Copy the Best
Is there one person in your sales team who consistently puts up great numbers every month?
Rather than demoralizing yourself by comparing stats, you can actually think of this as an opportunity to improve yourself. All you need to do is play a little Simon Says.
More specifically, copying the working habits of the most successful sales reps is likely to help you start closing more deals. And for most of us in this industry, hitting sales goals is a big motivator.
9) Become a Mentor
As we mentioned before, not everyone is driven by the same factors. While some people will feel a massive uptick in motivation from personal success, other people are team players or motivated by the opportunity to help others.
If you fall into one of the latter categories, you may find that mentoring less experienced reps in your team is a rewarding experience.
Obviously, it’s not a good idea to start randomly telling people what to do. So, if you want to try this idea, it might be worth asking your manager if there’s anyone who could use a little help. Alternatively, you could put up an open invitation at your next sales meeting.
Although being a mentor doesn’t change your own role, it can provide added stimulation and a reason to learn new sales skills. A fresh impetus, if you will.
10) Get Off Your Chair
We think of sales as an entirely mental game. And in most regards, this is an accurate assessment. However, it’s worth remembering that your body and brain are linked.
If you spend all day sitting at your desk, you’re at a higher chance of developing a list of health conditions. It’s also likely to make you feel more lethargic, and excess energy can generate anxiety levels. None of this is good for your motivation.
For this reason, it’s a really good idea to spend at least 60 minutes of your working day on your feet.
This doesn’t necessarily mean standing still. In fact, walking around while you’re making a call is a great way to get in some dopamine-releasing exercise, and shake off those nerves.
11) Learn Something New
When you’re chasing commission, it’s common to find something that works and start repeating it over and over again. While the initial flush of success might provide a hit of motivation, the monotony will eventually have the opposite effect.
If you find yourself in this kind of rut, try learning something new. You can take the lead yourself here by ordering a book of sales tips from a thought leader, or finding an online course about sales strategy.
That said, most sales leaders are very happy to assist you in professional development, so it’s worth approaching your manager about sales training.
Not only can education provide new stimulation, chances are that it will make you a better rep in the long run. And that’s pretty motivating stuff.
12) Take Care of Yourself
Hard work can take you far in sales, but it can also bring you down. It’s almost impossible to maintain a positive attitude day in, day out if you are constantly tired or stressed.
At some point, it’s important to give yourself a break. When you feel yourself sinking, try to take a few days off — or at least avoid working overtime.
While you might not make quite as much this week, topping up your batteries is likely to mean you’re more motivated on your return — leading to better sales performance over the course of the year.
13) Try Using Better Tools
Great salespeople will generally close deals even if they are using a janky CRM or outdated tools.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. No amount of motivational sales quotes will make up for an outdated or convoluted sales process.
If you’re frustrated with the way things are done, it may be worth approaching your manager with a suggestion for an upgrade.
Alternatively, you could build a personal sales enablement toolkit to get ahead of the competition. There’s every chance you will see an overall return on your investment.
Datanyze: Motivate Your Team Today With Better Data
One example of where great tools can make all the difference is in cold calling and emailing.
This is potentially one of the most demoralizing tasks in sales. Even if you’re using great templates, you’re likely to see a high rejection rate.
However, you can significantly improve your chances of success by grabbing good intel on each prospect before placing a call or hitting send
Datanyze makes this really easy. Our free Chrome extension allows reps to collect vital information about prospects from any LinkedIn profile or company page. Our database contains over 120 million professionals, with accurate data that comes from GDPR- and CCPA-compliant sources.
Just as importantly, it’s super affordable: premium subscriptions start at just $21/month.
Sign up free today to give it a try and see for yourself how good data can transform your fortunes on the frontline of sales.