7 minutes
March 27, 2021

Keeping your sales team motivated: Finding their internal genius

The best way to motivate your sales team is figuring out how to combine your rep's passion into their work, or in this case, into their selling.
Sabrina Jowders
Table of Contents

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Motivation is the key to your sales team's productivity. Since most teams have moved remotely, keeping your sales team motivated is more important now than ever before. There are more distractions and stress on your reps plates.

A recent study shows that 41% of workers feel burnt out, drained, or exhausted from their work since the pandemic hit. Last year only 24% of salespeople exceeded their quota; imagine what the numbers will look like by the end of 2020.

Many salespeople - and people in general- are really dispirited right now. People feel anxious, scared, unmotivated, and nervous about what is going on all around them and are struggling to focus on work.

Sales managers play a huge role in motivating their reps. Most managers don't realize that the best way to motivate your team is figuring out how to combine their passion into their work, or in this case, into their selling. You need to help your reps figure out how to find, and take advantage of, their internal genius.

What makes a good sales rep


Having confidence has always been what's made a great sales rep, but this is becoming more important now more than ever. Sales reps need to have confidence in themselves and confidence to try new techniques in their prospecting. They need confidence not to be dependent on copycat techniques and tricks and try their own approaches. When everyone uses the same email template because it's been working in cold emails, this template will stop working.

If things are successful, they are shared faster than ever; however, they are also copied faster than ever, which means they will stop being successful. The faster a good idea spreads, the faster it stops being successful because everyone is now doing it. Copy cat success doesn't last. Successful reps have the confidence to try new things they come up with on their own. Successful sales reps have their own voice. Whether this is incorporating sales videos, music, or your own tone of voice - start pushing your reps to put personality into their prospecting.

How to help reps find their own voice

As a sales manager, how do you get your reps to find their own personality in their work? One exercise Aaron Ross, Co-CEO of Predictable Revenue and author of "Predictable Revenue" and "From Impossible To Inevitable", suggests is a collaboration effort of sharing ideas.

Ross suggests you have a meeting with your team and have everyone go around and share ideas on things they have been wanting to accomplish. With most people still house locked due to the pandemic, there has never been a better time to start a new skill or do the things you've been putting off. Take the ideas you have put on the back burner and get some traction with it. Whether you want to make progress on writing stories, making music, trying to become a sales influencer, you get the point.

After suggesting, the individual will hear encouragement and acceptance -which brings them some confidence. Then, they figure out the next steps they will take to put some traction to this idea. Talking publicly about taking the next steps means there is more accountability. Basically, when your team talks about their personal ideas and then receives acceptance and a morale boost, it creates momentum and positive energy that encourages people to do it. The overall goal of this activity is to create confidence. This translates to when reps communicate with prospects or posting on LinkedIn; the confidence will start to show.

Your sales reps have hidden talents

Your sales team is full of unique characters with different skill sets, whether they realize their talents or not. Suppose you're a manager and want to get your reps more motivated, figure out how to get that stuff into their work. They'll like working more and be better at it as well. Maybe a rep wants to use a video prospecting platform and play their guitar in the video they send to prospects. We did this at LeadIQ, and 40% turned into booked meetings.

You don't necessarily have to incorporate something into your sales work; it can be as simple as talking about your passion, skill, etc. in your sales conversations. Managers and reps need to work together and talk about incorporating their passions or skills into their work. This personal connection with the rep and manager can help you figure out a way to increase motivation, which, in turn, will create better conversations and relationships with your reps and their prospects/customers.

3 things managers can do to help keep their reps motivated

  1. Better one on ones
  2. Set and track your goals
  3. Encouragement, appreciation & engagement

Better one-on-ones

To hit quota and, in return, grow revenue, managers must make sure their reps have the tools, training, and support they need. It's the manager's responsibility to coach your team when needed and help them hit their goals.
When one-on-ones are executed effectively, they can become a manager's most powerful tool. They are a proven means for building rapport, deepening commitment, refining skills, improving productivity, and, ultimately, increasing revenue.

Here are 3 things sales managers should be incorporating in their one-on-ones with their reps:

1. Asking about new opportunities in the pipeline/closing opportunities.

Not only does this provide insight into your rep's progress from your last one-on-one, but it also helps get the rep thinking about future opportunities if they have nothing in their pipeline after closing current opportunities.

2. Finding out other new progress/concerns.

To get on the same page as your reps, you need to understand their performance improvements - or lack thereof. This keeps you up to date on your team's pipeline and helps you identify your top and bottom performers, and give you some insight into why that may be.

3. Asking how you can support them.

What can you do to help your rep succeed? Be direct about asking your sales reps what they need. Once you've gotten their answers, it is also important that you take actionable steps to make this feedback a reality. When sales reps see proof of your support, they become more open, trusting, comfortable, and successful.

Every one-on-one you are a part of may be different. An approach that works with one rep may not work with another. Ensure you highlight each rep's needs rather than your own or what you believe their needs may be. Try to find ways to connect with each rep; the best way to boost team morale is by providing the appropriate training and support for each individual.

Set and track your goals

Sales activity metrics are essential, especially since many teams have moved to work remotely, as they showcase your sales team's performance and behavior. Tracking and setting weekly and monthly expectations for these numbers is crucial for your bottom line and for locating areas where your sales team is lacking and could use improvements.

"You can complete sales activities without getting any results, but you can't get results without doing activities." You have to make sure that your sales team is properly tackling the right tasks every day.

Encouragement, appreciation & engagement

Encouraging, showing praise, and providing engaging activities are all ways to help keep your team motivated. A study by the American Psychological Association found that feeling valued at work is linked to increased well-being and performance. Meaning, not only do your reps need to find meaning in their work, they need to feel their work is valued by their boss to stay motivated.

You can show your team encouragement in other ways than offering monetary incentives. Yes, employees are motivated by money, but that's not the only important thing. Other forms of encouragement include offering support or creating a friendly competition within the team.

You can show appreciation by proving to your reps that their work has value to the company. Praise is a good start; recognition and a simple "good job" can go a long way. Start praising your team when they hit their goals, and sharing/celebrating wins.

Engaging your team in something other than work is important, especially now. Set up virtual happy hours or have virtual game nights. Get creative! Anything that gets the team together to bond with non-work related activities will help get your team more connected and comfortable with each other.


Motivating your sales team isn't easy. However, motivation is the key to your sales team's productivity, so you need to make this a priority. Your reps have so much on their plates, now more than ever, and it's your job to keep them on track. Figure out how to combine your reps skills, passions, or hobbies into their work. Everyone has an internal genius, help your reps discover theirs.