Keeping your Sales team motivated

Jenni Lea-Jones

Oct 3, 2021

3 min

We all have different drives and different goals. Different things motivate different people. For some, it can be working hard, climbing that career ladder, and finally getting your dream job. For others it might be simply getting through another hour of spreadsheets so that they can finally have that coffee and Krispy Kreme they’ve been thinking about since the moment I… sorry I mean…they... woke up this morning.

Seeing as everyone is driven differently, choosing just one thing to motivate an entire team may not have the best results.

Offering cash bonuses is all well and good, but research has shown us that that actually does very little to improve performance. It feels like it should, I mean after all, who couldn’t do with a little bit more cash? But when it comes down to it, people tend to work harder when there are other unexpected incentives.

If you really want to keep a team motivated it helps to mix things up a little, offer surprising rewards and benefits in order to keep your sales team energised and motivated.

Here are just a few ideas we’ve put together:

The Deeper Meaning

Working in a sales team can often feel like you are merely a cog in the machine for lining the company’s pockets. And if that is the case, why would you work harder? 

Try to remind your team about the benefits of the actual product. 

How is it helping the customer? Or other factors, like how it helps the environment? Send your team regular testimonies and feedback from clients. This will help them to feel as though they are personally making a difference when they sell and this’ll change their attitude towards the product they are selling.

Being Valued

Nobody likes to feel that the work they do isn’t appreciated. But luckily, there are lots of things you can do to show that it is.

Include the team in any decisions that have to be made. Whether it’s something seemingly small like which teabags to stock in the break room or something bigger such as how to organise work time. When people feel like they have a voice within the company that is actually heard it can make them feel more valued within the team and more likely to want to contribute more.

On this note, you can ask for feedback from the team regularly. Encourage them to tell you what they like and don’t like about their work. What would they do differently if they could do anything! You’ll be surprised at what things your team comes up with that you would never even have thought of. And that gives you the chance to make some small changes that could make a huge difference. Maybe someone hates that their desk is near the toilets. Maybe someone would like to start 5 minutes later because of train times. You’ll never know the little things that could make your team happier unless you ask! Anonymous survey tools such as SurveyMonkey can help you to get some honest answers.

Show your team that you value their contribution by celebrating even the little wins. You can do that in a company email, letting everyone know who did something great today, or even better go public! Give your hard-working team members a shout-out on the company’s social media. Let the world know who went above and beyond. Not only does that give your team members a real sense of achievement and show them that they are valued, but it also gives your clients a positive view of your company.


We mentioned that cash isn’t necessarily a good motivator when it comes to incentives. But studies have shown that people do respond to experiential rewards instead. 

Some fun reward ideas include:

A lie-in

Reward your team member with two hours off on a Monday morning for example. There is something so satisfying about not only having the free time but knowing that while you are lying in bed for those extra two hours, all of your colleagues are hard at work!


Be their assistant for a morning, do some of the data entry or admin that everyone hates. Or agree to cook lunch for the team or bake a cake! We all love it when the roles are reversed and we see the boss let their hair down. Also, giving them something like this personally shows the team that their achievements really are important to you.

The Lizzie Davies Conference Room

Have a bit of fun with your rewards! Instead of the usual “Employee of the Month”, do something a bit different. Temporarily name the conference room after the person who’s worked the hardest this week! Or watch a film together on a Friday lunchtime and the best worker that week gets to choose the film! When competition feels fun, people are more likely to participate.


Experiences are far more memorable than just a basic cash bonus. Rewarding someone with an experience will have a great effect on morale and motivation. They also give your team something to talk about! Offer prizes such as concert tickets, cinema tickets, or an online adventure game. These are the kind of things that people wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves and so it feels like a big deal. You can even get gift cards from places like Ticketmaster so people can choose for themselves what they would like to see. You know, in case they don’t share your love of ABBA… What do they know about real music anyway… am I right?

Seeing as everyone is motivated by different things you could offer up a mixture of these ideas and more as a reward for reaching a particular goal and give the winner the choice of prize. That way people will be more driven to go for the thing they particularly want. Like… oh I don’t know… a big box of Krispy Kremes? 


By Jenni Lea-Jones


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