Effective October 1, 2021, EnerBank USA ("EnerBank") merged with and into Regions Bank. Learn more here

EnerBank Blog

10 of the Best Strategies for Motivating Sales Reps

Posted September 7, 2015 by EnerBank USA

how do you motivate your team

Creating a system for success within your sales department is essential to helping your company grow. But one quick trick won’t save a struggling sales team.

A winning sales team is made up of more than superstar sellers. It’s a combination of many things, some of which include attentive management, well-built compensation structures and good fun.

Here are a few favorite tips and tricks for securing a stellar sales staff and keeping them motivated quarter after quarter.

1. Consider Your Resources

You need to organize sales territories so that there is ample opportunity for success, as well as challenges and learning curves. Giving your sales staff the resources they need to take advantage of these opportunities is paramount. On-the-go technology and accessible training materials will keep your sales staff sharp and well-educated.

2. Create Some One-on-One Time

Different salespeople require different motivations to get results. Ask your sales staff what motivates them by taking the time as a sales manager to connect one-on-one with each member of the team. This will help to create a trust relationship with your staff, and will pay off in increased motivation (even when sales quarters are less than satisfactory).

3. Establish Consistency and Accountability

Everyone has a bad day, week or even quarter once in a while. Although building a close relationship with your sales staff is important, you do not want to become lenient when it comes to expectations.

Once a suitable, performance-based compensation structure is in place, leave it there. Make sure your sales team knows what is expected of them by using a consistent reporting method, and eliminate excuses from your staff’s vocabulary.

Hold each member of the sales team accountable by using a public display of achievements and goals, as well as connecting personally with each staff member. Salespeople are highly competitive and are often motivated by accountability to management and peers.

4. Allow Autonomy

No one likes being micromanaged, so allow your sales staff to work autonomously—this will actually yield higher results.

Create checkpoints in the sales cycle that require staff members to follow up with you and the team. This holds each person accountable for his or her leads and sales made, but also gives each the opportunity to work at his or her own pace.

Fostering an atmosphere of trust will keep your staff happy. In fact, one in five employees feels that trust is the most important component of an employee-boss relationship.

5. Design Winning Teams

A group full of powerhouse sellers can create an unnecessarily harsh environment, while a group of consistent sellers will quickly stagnate. You need to build sales teams that combine various sales staff personalities in order to see the most productive outcomes.

Well-designed sales teams should motivate each other intrinsically. Star sellers should feel inspired by staff members performing just below them, and goal-oriented sales staff should have members of the team encouraging them. The better you can understand and organize your sales teams to compete well, the more results you’ll see coming from all sides.

6. Lead by Example

If your sales staff is getting complacent, showing up late to meetings or shrugging off goals, it’s time to lead by example. Even if you are not a salesperson, always showing up to the office on time and ready to work communicates to the staff that they should do the same.

Establish a strong community of accountability and open communication in the office to keep everyone honest and on their toes.

7. Don’t Just Say It, Show It

Verbal praise is essential to motivating any staff, but big displays of praise really motivate sales teams. Find a way to demonstrate successes to the rest of the office, such as by giving a loud announcement to the office when someone hits his or her weekly goals.

You may feel silly handing out prizes and leading team cheers at first, but you’ll quickly find that your crew responds well to these bouts of praise.

8. Get Creative with Prizes

Big prizes are important motivators, but small, frequent prizes can also boost sales without increasing company spending. Candy bars, lunches or leaving early on Friday are powerful ways you can reward staff members every day.

Regular winnings remind sales staff about the larger prizes at stake, and will hopefully replenish them after a hard day’s work.

9. Moderate Morale and Team Building

Although physical rewards are great, memories go a long way when you’re looking to motivate staff members. Take the sales staff out for a fun game of frisbee golf or bring in a ping pong table for some afternoon rejuvenation.

Using team building exercises to create memories with staff members will elevate morale as well as reaffirm each staff member’s accountability to the team as a whole.

10. Build in Competition

Salespeople are very visual and function well when eyes are on them. Make goals and accomplishments visible to the whole staff so that team members stay accountable each day for what they do and do not achieve.

Some friendly competition between sales staff members never hurts anyone as long as you make sure the competition stays fun. Don’t let the workplace become hostile by over-exaggerating successes or losses.


A happy sales staff is essential to the success of any business. Listen to each salesperson’s needs and wants, and make sure resources and opportunities are available. Have goals and accomplishments that are visible to the staff, celebrate wins and have fun.

Do you have a few motivational tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments!