19 Sales Motivation Techniques That'll (Actually) Motivate Your Sales Team in 2024

We all have our off days; that’s a given. But a string of days with low motivation can do more than just put us in a slump, it can seriously impact sales results.

That's why today, we're covering our proven sales motivation techniques that'll motivate your sales team.

When you start to feel yourself losing momentum, it’s a good idea to look at people who’ve been there, made it to the other side, and see how they did it.

These sales motivation quotes and techniques aren’t a replacement for setting goals and putting in hard work, but rather snackable pieces of actionable inspiration to set you back on track when it's time to motivate your sales team.

And because we believe progress is measured in action, we paired each of these sales motivation tidbits with a specific action item you can take today—to boost your productivity, give you a virtual high-five when you’re feeling low, and seriously motivate your sales team members when they're in a slump

What is Sales Motivation?

Sales motivation refers to the driving force that keeps your sales reps motivated to reach out to more prospects and (hopefully) close more deals.

In general, there are two different types of sales motivation–intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic sales motivation is when salespeople complete tasks because they are motivated by internal reasons, such as the feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. Extrinsic sales motivation is when your sales team is motivated by external factors, such as rewards or to avoid punishment.

Extrinsic sales motivation strategies include measures like handing out awards at a sales meeting, giving bonuses, or hosting a sales contest. Intrinsic motivators are a bit more difficult to provide, since they inherently come from internal factors. However, sharing motivational presentations or sending motivational quotes can be effective when used carefully. (I.e., don’t share cheesy quotes and think that's enough to keep your salespeople motivated!)

"Quality performance starts with a positive attitude." –Jeffrey Gitomer

4 Strategies to Boost Sales Performance

For sales leaders, increasing your sales team's motivation isn’t just about driving revenue. Motivated salespeople are happier–which is great for company culture employee retention, and also improves sales performance management. After all, who doesn’t want a job where they actually like coming to work?

Plus, a happier team makes your customers happier, which has a big impact on your bottom line. Here are several sales motivation strategies to help sales managers improve sales team performance and boost morale.

Build an Effective Sales Strategy with Clear Sales Goals

It’s hard to feel motivated to reach a goal when you aren’t sure what the goal is. To motivate your team, make sure you have a strong sales strategy and your team understands exactly what your sales goals are at both an individual and team level.

And yes, you’ll need to be more specific than “Get more sales!” Set clear, defined sales goals and make sure they have the resources needed to reach those goals. For example, if you’re hoping to increase sales by 25 percent in the next quarter, does that match past growth? Are you providing sales training or call coaching to help sales reps build their skills?

Pro Tip: Need help building your sales strategy? Download the Sales Success Kit, with 11 templates, worksheets, and guides to help you build your best sales strategy, right now.

Provide Comprehensive Sales Training

Comprehensive sales training is crucial for long-term success. Even the most experienced sales representatives can learn new strategies–no matter how long they’ve been on the job!

"Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot." –Jim Rohn

There are two main types of sales training: onboarding and ongoing.

Onboarding sales training is for new hires. It helps them understand your sales process, tech stack, and target audience. If they’re new to sales, this might also include teaching them cold calling strategies or taking a sales training course.

Ongoing sales training is for everyone at every level. Sales skills, like any other skill, can get rusty over time. Even your most experienced sales professionals may need to refresh their skills. Whether it's been a while since they’ve focused on prospecting or you want to introduce new sales call strategies, sales training should be an ongoing process.

Create a Culture of Honesty and Transparency

A culture of honesty and transparency increases trust and confidence in leadership. When your salespeople know they can trust you, they are more likely to be engaged with the team and ask questions when they’re stuck.

Encourage honesty and transparency by:

  • Owning up to your own mistakes and shortcomings: Even recognizing small missteps encourages transparency from your team.
  • Asking for feedback: What does your team really think? The best way to know is to ask! Provide a method for anonymous feedback if possible.
  • Hosting all-hands and smaller team meetings: Many people find it easier to communicate in smaller groups, so consider break-out sessions or smaller group meetings to help your team bond and communicate more effectively.
  • Keeping your own promises: If you want your team to trust you, then you have to be trustworthy. If you promise something, make sure you deliver.

Offer High-Value Compensation Plans

One of the most effective ways to motivate your team is to pay them well. High-value compensation plans encourage salespeople to work hard and get things done. However, high value doesn’t always mean paying an outrageous salary.

High-value incentives can also include recognition, such as hosting a sales competition and giving the winner a coveted parking spot for the month or a special lunch. Other sales team incentives include more PTO, a four-day workweek, paying for gym memberships, or paid lunches.

The best way to know what is valuable to your team? Ask what benefits would excite them.

In addition to these strategies, leveraging the right tools can significantly enhance your team's productivity and morale. A prime example is utilizing a customer relationship management system tailored for sales teams, like Close.

Top Motivational Sales Quotes + 19 Actions to Drive Success

In sales, there’s no replacement for persistence. However, some days it can be hard to keep your spirits and motivation up. When those days happen, these 19 quotes and actions will help you seize the day.

1. "Don’t try to be a man of success, try to be a man of value." - Albert Einstein

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What this quote means in sales:

There’s a reason people react negatively when they feel a salesperson is being too "sales-y." A successful sales process should focus on the prospect, not you. How do you add value to their lives? How is working with you going to transform their job? There’s more to what we do as salespeople than numbers–aim to be valuable above all else.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Instead of obsessing over stats, become a great storyteller. Show your prospects the story of their lives before, during, and after they become your client and the transformative value you add.

Nail down this value story before jumping on your next call and become a "person of value." Rehearse and workshop how this story can play out in different scenarios to motivate your sales team and get them excited with the prospect of helping customers build a better future.

2. "You can't turn a no to a yes without a maybe in between." - Francis Underwood

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What this quote means in sales:

The path to a sale is never as simple as A to B. There’s a whole alphabet between your first conversation and closing the sale. Don’t get discouraged when you hit a wall asking for the close. Think about how that "maybe" is really just a "yes" in disguise, and use that challenge to fuel your sales motivation.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Create a list of common concerns that cause prospects to give a "maybe" and clearly explain why those concerns are unfounded. Educate and motivate your sales team to overcome these objections with a renewed sense of purpose.

Knowing these roadblocks and being able to explain the solutions clearly and confidently will keep the conversation moving on the path to a yes. "Maybe" is where great salespeople live. They know that anything other than a flat-out "no" is a step towards a yes.

3. "You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

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What this quote means in sales:

How you choose to live your days is how you choose to live your life. Are you willing to put in the time every day to reach success? Are you willing to miss that dinner or not go out for drinks because you’re working towards something bigger?

These are the choices that define who you are and how successful you’ll be as a salesperson. If this quote isn't a powerful sales motivation tool, I don't know what is.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Focus on habits, not goals. Frame your day around incentivizing and rewarding yourself for repeating a habit, like making your 40 calls for the day, instead of putting a daily dollar amount on a magic pedestal.

Create a repeatable process for yourself that you can do every single day without fail. This way, you’re focusing on actions you control rather than putting all the pressure on results that might not come. Share this perspective with your sales team to keep them excited to show up for work every day.

4. "You just can't beat the person who never gives up." - Babe Ruth


What this quote means in sales:

Simply put, success comes to those who refuse to quit. A little less simply put, behavioral economists discovered something called Time Inconsistency—which is the brain’s tendency to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.

Unfortunately, selling is less about winning every little skirmish and more about winning the war. In sales, this means pushing through down days, boosting your sales motivation, forcing yourself to do the work even when you aren’t "feeling it," and most of all—never, ever giving up.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your sales strategy. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of sales and lose sight of where you want yourself to be in a month, a year, hell, even five years. Commit to the long-term vision and never give up.

Use that vision of the future to inspire you when life gets you down. Pass this process on to help motivate your sales team and keep them focused on just how great they’ll feel when they are standing at the top of the (metaphorical) mountain.

5. "Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action." - Walter Anderson

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What this quote means in sales:

We’re all procrastinators at some point. But the guilt and frustration we feel from not starting are often worse than the pain of actually doing the work. The anxiety we feel when faced with a huge list of prospects or massive sales goals can seem insurmountable, but something amazing happens once we get to work: The fear goes away and the to-do list becomes more doable. Use this sales motivation quote as a constant reminder to take action rather than getting bogged down in fear and anxiety.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

List the one thing you can do right now, no matter how small, that will move forward. When you're all in a slump, do this activity in a group to motivate your sales team and pinpoint a specific action you can all take to gain momentum.

It might be as simple as making one call or sending one email. Try to get even more specific. Instead of saying, “I’ll call 5 prospects on Wednesday,” say, “I’ll call 5 prospects on Wednesday between 10–11 am.” Breaking down bigger tasks into small items makes it easier to get started.

6. "Success is never owned; it is only rented—and the rent is due every day." - Rory Vaden

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What this quote means in sales:

In sales (and in life) there’s never a good time to rely on past achievements. Today’s success came from what you did yesterday. And if you sit back and stop doing what got you here, it’ll be gone as quickly as it came. Your sales quota refills at the beginning of each month, right?

Use this reminder as sales motivation to come out the gates strong every single day. You owe it to yourself and your business to put in the work and keep paying your dues.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

What ‘rent’ did you pay for your past success? Was it dedication? Taking risks? Constant education and personal growth? Whatever it was, start your day by making a big payment in that same form of rent that's worked in the past.

Recognize the skills and qualities that got you where you are today and repeat them daily. Write them down and make sure you set aside time for them every day. Run through this activity with each new member during your sales training and do refresher sessions during retreats to motivate your sales team.

7. "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee

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What this quote means in sales:

There will always be a new tool, task, or other distraction vying for your attention. But every second spent on an unimportant task is a second taken away from working towards mastery. Focus is our greatest asset on the path to success.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

What’s your ‘one kick’? What skill or technique, if mastered, would bring you and your team the greatest level of success? Take a moment and think about what you put your energy into every day and whether you’re working on the right skills.

In the past, I’ve gone so far as to set a reminder every few hours to ask me if I’m working on the right thing at this moment, or if I let distractions take over. Make yourself a force to be reckoned with and motivate your sales team with rewards for implementing this same high level of self-awareness.

8. "Pressure is a privilege." - Billie Jean King


What this quote means in sales:

Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders? That’s a good thing. Pressure means you’re in a position where the actions you take truly matter. You’ve set goals that are challenging.

You’re motivated to be better than yesterday. Remember pressure is a byproduct of your own success—and you can channel that into a constant source of sales motivation to do the work every day.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Create a ‘small wins scrapbook’—a collection of recent successes that you can look back on to remind yourself just how far you’ve come and why you’re feeling pressured to do more today.

It’s easy to move on after hitting another goal or making a sale without taking the time to appreciate your hard work. Celebrate the small wins and motivate your sales team by highlighting those wins in a public forum. (Even just a call out on Slack!)

9. "Change before you have to." - Jack Welch

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What this quote means in sales:

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, the best you’ll get is what you already have. The human brain is hardwired to take the path of least resistance, which often means sticking to business as usual, even when you know change is necessary. The only thing guaranteed in business is change–so use this as sales motivation to innovate and improve your processes.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Write down the one thing you know in your heart you need to change to improve your success. This might be something you’ve had on the back burner because there’s not enough pressure to make the change.

Now, tell yourself this one thing is going to destroy your career. Every day, look at that one thing and ask yourself ‘Do I really want to wait until I have to do this? Or do I want to be the person I want to be on my own terms?’ Being willing to make changes keeps you motivated and improves your performance.

10. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein


What this quote means in sales:

It takes a deep understanding to be able to create something simple. Think of Steve Jobs, who famously made Apple engineers make every function on the original iPod accessible in 3 clicks, just because he knew that simplicity was the key to massive sales.

I think it worked out pretty well for him. A deep understanding of how to sell (or use) your product will bring success, which will serve as sales motivation to keep pushing forward.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Test your pitch’s ‘simple factor’ by taking it outside your bubble. Call up your parents, partner, or even a friend in a totally different profession and try it out on them.

Do they know what you’re talking about? Can you answer questions that come up that you might think are ‘obvious’? Can you keep it simple? Encourage your direct reports to run this experiment and use the results as a teaching opportunity to motivate your sales team to become an experts on your product.

11. "Everything we want is on the other side of fear." - George Addair

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What this quote means in sales:

Fear is a sign you’re on the right path. Trying new things, taking risks, and going after the unknown are all scary experiences–but they can also help increase your sales motivation. That's because those feelings are exactly what we need to grow. We can’t let a little fear stand between us and what we want.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Write down the biggest fears you face every day and play out the worst possible scenarios. Are you afraid of a large prospect turning you down? Take it one step further and imagine them yelling at you or even calling your boss to complain.

Imagining an extreme outcome to our fears lets us realize just how inconsequential they are and helps us power through. When someone on your team is lagging behind, use this activity to help them overcome their fear and motivate them to grow professionally.

12. "There is no such thing as failure. There are only results." - Tony Robbins


Photo credit: Randy Stewart

What this quote means in sales:

No matter what you do, the fact that you did something is more important than the outcome. Every action helps us move forward, whether it shows us the right path or clarifies what we shouldn’t do.

The only real failure is in not acting because we've neither achieved a result nor grown. While this principle can be applied in all areas of life, it's a particularly useful bit of sales motivation when you're facing several failures in a row.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Change your perspective of "failure" by realizing that a mistake means you learned something. Start by listing out your past five ‘failures’. Now write down what you learned from each one.

Did a prospect turn you down because you messed up your pitch? Maybe you learned that you need to do more prep before a call or rewrite a section of your sales script. It might be painful to revisit those experiences, but as you become more comfortable spending time in your own "failures" you’ll realize they are stepping stones on the path to success.

Use this activity to motivate your sales team to focus on the benefit of activity goals versus only looking at financial sales targets.

13. "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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What this quote means in sales:

Salespeople face more negativity than almost any other profession (just be thankful you’re not a politician!) It’s easy to let that negativity slow you down. But the problem is by emulating others, the best we can ever be is Number Two. To be truly great, you need to be yourself and lean into leveraging your own unique strengths to sell better.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Make a list of the moments when your unique selling style worked or times when you went with your gut and came out with the win. This will motivate younger members of your sales team to have more confidence in their approach.

Remember too, that many factors in the selling process are out of your control and that a ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. Stick with the positives and aim for that top spot.

14. "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life." - Jean Luc Picard

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What this quote means in sales:

No matter how hard you prepare, how well you pitch, or how much work you put in, sometimes it’s just not your day. That’s it. Life can be chaotic and trying to rationalize every little event will drive you crazy. Beyond just being a useful piece of sales motivation, this dose of reality will help you recover from mistakes and failures in every aspect of your life.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Separate yourself from your losses. The next time you get a no, instead of analyzing what you did to lose the sale, look at it from a few different angles. Was there something going on in your prospect’s business that made them not want to buy?

Or are there changes happening in the market? The key is to look at the bigger picture and identify contributing causes. As personal development guru Zig Ziglar puts it: “Failure is an event, not a person.”

15. "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln

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What this quote means in sales:

Productivity is about more than just the amount of time spent working. It’s not about just doing, but doing the right things in the best ways possible. Why do more work when you can get the same results in less time?

Keeping this quote as a post-it note next to my monitor has served as a very helpful sales motivation reminder to slow down and make sure I'm prepared before hopping onto a pitch call with a prospect.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Spend the time now to save yourself exponentially more time in the future. Does that mean hiring someone else to find your leads or implementing a new CMS that will let you work better and faster with every future client?

What about investing a few hours to create a beautiful pitch deck that will help you connect with prospects for months to come? Before diving into your next task, think of how you can first sharpen your own axe. Encourage your sales team to think critically and identify opportunities to streamline their sales process.

16. "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson


What this quote means in sales:

Don’t get in the ring with Mike Tyson! Seriously though, on the flip side of our previous sales motivation technique, Tyson’s fists are the perfect metaphor for a problem so many of us fall into: over-preparation.

We believe that just because we’re prepared it means nothing can go wrong. But that’s not the case. Things change and even the best plans need to be flexible.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Plan for the unexpected by setting up systems so someone always has your back. What’s a system? Simply put, it’s the backbone of your sales plan that can guide you back onto the right path when things fall apart.

The act of simply having a sales system in place will motivate your sales team to experiment more. Client angry with you? Have a system in place for discounts you can offer on the spot. Call with a prospect go worse than expected? Have a system of follow ups in place to smooth things over and push them back towards the close.

17. "Losers focus on winners and winners focus on winning."


Photo credit: Madchester

What this quote means in sales:

Haters gonna hate, but those who achieve real success only focus on pushing their own limits. Chasing someone else or obsessing over what they did can blind you from real opportunities in your own career. Use this sales motivation technique to keep your eye on the prize that matters most.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

When you start comparing yourself to others, take the emotional context out of the equation, put your ego aside, and turn those feelings of inadequacy or jealousy into a positive learning experience.

Encourage and motivate your sales team to improve their own metrics, rather than obsessing over how to beat the person sitting across from them. Moreover, what can you learn from that person to increase your own productivity or make yourself more successful? The best revenge is to be a better version of yourself.

18. "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." - Martin Luther King Jr.


What this quote means in sales:

Even a small step gets you closer to your goals. This sales motivation technique is particularly useful amid multiple rejections or massive, soul-sucking deals. The path to success is taken one step at a time, and even if you don’t know exactly where you’re going, moving in any direction (except backward!) gets you closer to achieving your goals.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Find your momentum tipping point. There’s a mental process called the Zeigarnik Effect, which kicks in when you are close to finishing a task, propelling you towards the finish line.

What is it that pushes you or your team towards the finish line? Hemingway would always stop writing mid-sentence so when he returned to work the next day he knew where to start, effectively forcing himself into "must finish" mode. How can you use this tactic to motivate your sales team to start each day with a full battery, charged up and ready to accelerate into the day's tasks?

19. "When people give me all these great compliments, I thank them, but still go back to my room and practice." - B.B. King


Photo credit: Piedmontstyle

What this quote means in sales:

Extrinsic motivation like praise and monetary success should always be secondary to intrinsic motivation. What truly drives you to keep at it every single day? When the praise fades or the sales dry up, what will keep you going? Tap into that underlying factor to really find your true well of sales motivation to keep you moving forward in the long-term.

Take action to motivate yourself + your sales team

Find your core motivator. Write a list of the things that motivate you to keep at it every single day. Is it the money? Pride? Personal growth? Praise from your team or boss? Be honest.

Now categorize them by extrinsic and intrinsic and rank how important each one is to you. This activity should give your team a great tool to return to any time you feel your sales motivation waning and need a reminder of why you work so hard.

Put These Sales Motivation Techniques into Action

Sales motivation is a well that runs dry sometimes. These sales motivation techniques and action items serve as a guide to put you back on the path to success, motivate your sales team, and start seeing real results again.

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