How to motivate your sales staff and hit your sales goals

John Sherman

What’s the secret to sales success? Your people!

If a sales manager is not being supported by his/her team then the company is almost guaranteed to experience revenue problems, to say the least.

So how do you motivate your sales staff? Providing incentives and positive reinforcement are two great places to start.


Understanding the Way Motivation Works Within the Workplace

Take a moment to consider what a customer appreciates more: a well-planned business structure or outstanding customer service?

If you’re having trouble hitting the goals that you’ve set for your company, it may be time to reevaluate the ways that you’re approaching your business.

It is too easy to get lost in the numbers and forget about the HUMAN elements that drive sales and result in returning customers.

Determining what customers respond to is more about personality than logistics. Countless studies have proven that clientele good customer relationships drive business growth.

Customers will pay a premium if they’re guaranteed a positive experience.

Ensuring customers are receiving top-quality service lies on the shoulders of a company’s employees. When an employee feels good about their job and the work they are doing it will be evident in their attitude and treatment of others.

Working to motivate your sales staff is a sure fire way to increase their performance about the jobs they’re doing. Consistent motivation will also help promote a greater sense of accomplishment and work ethic.

When developing a motivation strategy for your business, there are several different techniques you can experiment with. Some common approaches are things like:

  • Incentive
  • Encouragement
  • Optimal working conditions

Providing Your Employees with Incentives

  • Contests
  • Bonuses
  • Group Goals 

1.   Competitions

Goal-driven competitions are a great way to provide incentive and assist the company in reaching targeted sales quotas.

2.   Quarterly Bonuses

When quarterly bonuses are on the line, sales staff will be more ambitious about their work. It’s that simple.

Offering bonuses that are based on an individual’s work over a longer span of time will encourage them to consistently try harder. Everyone could use a little extra money and many sales staff members will be less willing to risk the total bonus amount because of a poor quarterly performance.

3.   Group Goals

When a business owner makes their team a part of the overall plan, there is a higher chance of success.

Letting your sales staff know what the goals for the company are and how the results can benefit everyone is a great way to provide an incentive for hard work. The big picture does indeed matter.

Not only will your staff feel like they’re part of something bigger, they will have a better understanding of where the business is going and how they can improve their commissions over time.

Offer Your Team Encouragement

Sometimes authority figures forget to reward good behavior. This goes for parents, teachers, and yes, bosses.

When an individual is only recognized for poor actions and effort, it lessens their self-esteem and does very little to foster motivation.

Human nature is a fragile thing and people are easily beat down when they are only receiving negative attention. Positive recognition, however, can boost someone’s confidence and provide them with the drive necessary to become a success.

Even if it’s a simple action, sales managers should take the time to thank their team for the hard work they do each day. Showing gratitude really does have a positive effect on your people. .

These types of positive encouragements will benefit the company overall and help you to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team by promoting a culture of positive action.

Foster Satisfying Working Conditions

Reevaluating the working conditions of your sales team and making sure they’re provided with the things they need for a positive environment is vital to your company’s success.

Author Frederick Herzberg discusses a variety of different factors that can promote either satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the workplace in his book, The Motivation to Work. Some of these are:

  • Employee salary
  • Relationship with boss
  • Company policies
  • Connection to their peers

Taking the time to think about these factors is imperative to a good business environment. If sales teams feel fulfilled by their working conditions they will have more motivation to do their jobs well.

When a boss notices that certain areas of the job or workplace are lacking, they should do something about it asap. This might include investing in better office furniture or even taking the hard-liner approach of eliminating low performing or negative individuals.

Motivation is a Driving Force Behind Company Success

Implementing a greater sense of purpose amongst your team will have a positive effect on your company’s success and reputation.

Whether you’re offering incentives or showcasing gratitude and respect, your sales team will become more focused and determined to succeed—and this will give them the necessary push to start hitting their numbers more consistently.


Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
Latest stories and insights