What Are the Best Tips for Sales Motivation?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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The best tips for sales motivation involve a combination of cash incentives, adequate commission structures, public recognition, and a positive relationship between salespeople and management. While each representative will be motivated by a unique set of rewards, sales employees tend to enjoy working for organizations that recognize their achievements immediately. Cash incentives can be an effective motivator if they are structured in a way that is perceived by most as equitable.

Many hold the perception that cash is the best method for sales motivation. A potential financial reward can prove to be a strong motivator when it is used with non-financial incentives. Research demonstrates, however, that using cash incentives as the only type of reward for good performance can deter the efforts of some sales representatives. This is due to the fact that financial rewards only fulfill a person's basic physical needs and neglect his needs for achievement, belonging, and self-development.

Public recognition is an effective tool for sales motivation since it provides representatives with affirmation of their performance. Positive feedback also sends a message of appreciation and validates a representative's place in the organization. Those employed in the sales profession tend to be competitive and being elevated among their peers can be a strong motivator in terms of self-esteem. Repeated public recognition can also help establish certain representatives as mentors in the eyes of their peers, which can provide opportunities for further professional development.


Quite a few sales professionals are motivated by development opportunities, making this an effective sales motivation technique used by managers. Some give high-performing salespeople the opportunity to develop procedural guides, train new hires, and develop and present optimal work methods. This staff motivation method helps relieve monotony and caters to the need to learn new skill sets. Professional development opportunities might also motivate a sales person to increase his performance level if he thinks that it will lead to a promotion.

A healthy, open relationship between management and staff is an important factor when it comes to sales motivation. If representatives do not feel that their concerns are listened to and addressed, morale can suffer. When morale is lowered, performance may also drop since the staff feel that their efforts do not matter. Managers can establish trust by soliciting feedback from sales representatives on which procedures are working and which aren't, communicate expectations and results, and follow up on staff concerns.


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