6 Effective Ways to Motivate your Sales Reps

Motivation is a huge part of sales performance. Like athletes, sales reps perform at their highest level only when properly motivated, incentivized and celebrated for their work. As a sales manager, it is your job to understand your team and industry and determine the best way to motivate your reps to ensure consistent, desirable results.

Recently, we came across this question on how to motivate inside sales reps in the Inside Sales Expert group on LinkedIn. We found the tips — from some of our favorite sales leaders — to be very helpful in terms of motivating our own sales team. There are, of course, many different methods to motivate your reps, but these are some of our favorite tips suggested by the sales professionals and experts on LinkedIn.

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1. Rep-specific coaching sessionsGary Milwit, David Craig White, Carsten Schnier, Joshua Gibson, Fadel M and Sharon Sullivan

The fact is that your sales reps are all unique and are therefore motivated by different things.  You should get to know the personalities and character traits of each of your individual reps, so you can determine where their motivation stems from.  While one rep might be motivated solely by money, another might be motivated by new challenges or positive reinforcement.  When you learn this key information about your reps, you can cater your coaching specific to their individuality, thus ensuring maximum productivity.

2. Monetary compensationJoe Warren, Christian Stilson, Christine Anderson and Bharat Chaudhary

While many of us don’t like to admit that money is a prime motivator in life, the inescapable truth is that money makes the world go round.  One way to positively use monetary compensation as a motivator is to implement an incentive-based plan, tying salary and bonuses to the rep’s contribution to the company’s sales revenue.

3. An appropriate level of autonomyDan Thompson,  Flyn Penoyer and Sharon Sullivan

While it is important to give your reps direction in terms of assigned tasks and individual goals, you should also encourage them to be autonomous in their decision making.  One tip for doing this is to allow them to be part of the coaching and consulting process, letting them collaborate with you on what specific tasks and goal plan you set for them.  In this way, when they achieve their goals they get more satisfaction knowing they’re not only achieving YOUR goals but their own personal ambitions as well.

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4. Recognize achievementsRosa Griffin, Marc Silver, Steve Windham, Grant Epstein and Dan Thompson

When your reps achieve or exceed their assigned goal quotas or a difficult task it is important that you appreciate their hard work and dedication.  Human beings need positive reinforcement to fuel their confidence and self-esteem. If your reps feel like you appreciate them, it encourages them to work even harder for you and the company so as to receive continued approval.

5. Increase productivity, decrease spare or wasted timeDan Thompson

Although this may seem obvious, a productive work environment leads to increased individual productivity and subsequently better performance from your reps. It is important that your reps always have an assignment to work on because too much downtime can cause their minds to drift and take away from the quality of their work when they are especially busy.  The key to this is balance, so while you should make sure your reps always have something to work on you definitely shouldn’t bombard them with too many tasks, as this will have similar repercussions as having too much downtime.

6. Inspire vision Flyn Penoyer, Steve Benedict and Cathleen Poissant

Successful sales companies and businesses in general owe their companies’ success to the vision or sense that they’re not just individuals at work but rather a part of something truly extraordinary and bigger than themselves.  If your reps believe in you and your company’s creative vision and aspirations it will reflect in the quality of their work.


While there are numerous ways to motivate your sales reps, we found that these tips from sales professionals are among the best practices.  What incentives do you utilize to motivate your sales reps?

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