6 Sales Managers Share Creative Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team, Part I

February 20, 2020

In the sales world, a commission is a strong motivating factor — a hefty paycheck is the hanging carrot that allows many salespeople to deal with rejection after rejection before landing the big sale. 

But how do sales managers motivate a team to keep crushing their quotas month after month? To start, SnapDocs Sales Development Manager Maria Pougiales-Posey said leaders should get to know their direct reports as individuals with different personal and professional goals.

“If you want to hold your team accountable and motivate them, it’s important that you care about them as people rather than just quota-carrying reps,” Pougiales-Posey said. 

And part of treating reps as individuals rather than deal making-robots involves investing in their career development and supporting their continued learning. For instance, Vendavo gives its reps one-on-one training directly related to the next role they hope to occupy. These initiatives are only a few of the creative ways Colorado sales leaders push their teams to keep finding success.

 

SnapDocs team
SnapDocs

Sales Development Manager Maria Pougiales-Posey said she pushes team members at SnapDocs to pursue their ultimate career aspirations, even if that means they want to work in a different department. The leader said she encourages staff to network across the company to get the knowledge they need to chart their ideal career path. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

As a manager, if you want to hold your team accountable and motivate them, it’s important that you care about them as people rather than just quota-carrying reps. I always check on how team members are doing, how they are feeling in their roles, what they have going on outside of work and how I can support them as their manager.

When your team sees a quota it can be intimidating, especially for folks that are brand new to sales. I’ve found that setting smaller goals to achieve a bigger goal motivates individuals and provides day-to-day purpose. Setting smaller goals allows them to have achievements throughout the month and helps sales development reps (SDRs) stay motivated and find greater fulfillment in the role.

It’s important to create an avenue for discussion and preparation for their next career move.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

SDRs are typically an ambitious bunch and have their eyes on the next step of their careers. So it’s important to create an avenue for discussion and preparation for their next career move. Encourage them to set up coffee dates and shadow sessions with folks from other departments they might want to explore. See if those departments have side projects that SDRs might be able to do so they can better understand if that path is right for them. These practices enable SDRs to keep performing in their roles while continuing to develop their professional skill sets and remain motivated. 

 

Vendavo Chief Revenue Officer Joe Marcin
Vendavo

Chief Revenue Officer Joe Marcin said Vendavo’s culture is a key factor that drives its salespeople. Marcin said creating a work environment based on trust and celebrating shared successes encourages team members to operate at their peak performances. Yes, “ringing the bell” really matters.

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

Creativity, recognition, trust and community. The best salespeople take a genuine interest in creatively helping customers solve complex problems with technology. And when they’re successful, reps like to share their stories with their peers and receive recognition from their leaders.

As we strive to fashion a culture of recognition and trust, we “ring the bell” to celebrate our wins, share our success stories and recognize our salespeople for their accomplishments. “Celebration of community” is one of our values that builds stronger teams, increases joy and empowers success for all.

The best salespeople take a genuine interest in creatively helping customers solve complex problems.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

Professional development is different for each salesperson. Some employees aspire to become coaches and some aim to work with larger, more strategic customers. Others look for more complex, global opportunities. Each path requires a different approach to developing the skills needed for success and requires one-on-one coaching to make it happen. Since internal promotion is an important aspect of our company culture, it provides great motivation for our sales staff who seek new challenges in their quest to reach their peak potential.

 

ServiceCore team
ServiceCore

ServiceCore President and Chief Revenue Officer John Gadeken said day-one training is an important part of setting sales reps up for success. And once they’re ramped after a few weeks, Gadeken said more experienced salespeople coach junior employees on best practices and how to create lasting wins. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

Our sales culture and benefits aim to create a great team environment. We do a team lunch once a month where we don’t talk about work, we focus on getting to know each other. And if we’re able to hit our quarterly targets, we do a big team activity to show everyone how much their hard work is appreciated. Our unlimited vacation policy encourages our reps to produce great results rather than just putting in the hours. It’s a bit old-school, but we also have a big white board in the middle of the sales section for everyone to see, promoting friendly competition among the team.

Our senior reps help coach junior reps on overcoming common objections.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

We break up our process into a few phases. On day one, our reps undergo rigorous, in-house industry training. Next is product training to get reps up to speed on our niche industry. This is typically followed by a few weeks of shadowing senior sales reps and doing mock calls. Reps are then coached on answering industry and product objections.

After the initial training phase, we provide ongoing training on prospecting, negotiations and closing, with each topic directly related to our specific vertical. As a team, we focus on learning from lost deals. We share knowledge and our senior reps help coach junior reps on overcoming common objections.

 

Nylas team
Nylas

Lou Salfi, VP of sales at Nylas, said employees at the company are given an educational stipend to advance in their professions however they choose. Additionally, Salfi said staff can attend frequent knowledge-sharing sessions and get face-time with leaders. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

Great work deserves acknowledgment and leaders publicly share the details of an individual’s great work on company channels. This recognition helps build an employee’s personal brand within the company and enhances their opportunities for advancement.

Bringing the team together for offsites and social gatherings creates opportunities to build personal relationships, share best practices and develop friendly competition with peers.

Face-to-face conversations in-the-field with prospects and customers are energizing.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

We provide continuous education via weekly informal sessions where staff are taught content and skills related to best practices in their position. Salespeople also receive mentorship through one-on-one meetings with direct managers and cross-functional leaders in the company. These meetings provide staff with opportunities to ask questions and learn from the best about how to grow their careers and achieve success.

Traveling to industry events provides reps with opportunities to network with peers and learn from industry experts about other employees’ craft. We find face-to-face conversations in the field with prospects and customers to be energizing, rewarding and highly educational.

 

Duda team
duda

VP of North American Sales Adam Ferris said salespeople at Duda are given the full scope of how the company is operating at all times. Ferris said giving the entire team insight into business operations (including challenges) keeps employees engaged in their work —  and makes them better at closing deals. 

 

What are some strategies you use to motivate your sales team?

By maintaining transparency throughout our organization. To us, transparency means reviewing challenges, successes and goals during all-hands meetings, sharing how budgets are approved and allocated and running post-mortems on both successful and lost deals to improve and learn from the process.

Sometimes sales work can feel a bit robotic if there’s no intention behind it. So we explain the “why” behind our key performance indicators (KPIs) and how they fit into the company, which motivates both the individual and the overall team. Additionally, salespeople can create their own objectives and key results (OKRs) based on what they want to focus on.

We explain the “why” behind our key performance indicators.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople?

We are a small but growing team, so there are many opportunities for employees to grow into leadership and become subject matter experts. We empower new reps through mentorship and lessons from credible experts. We also offer lunch and learns and educational stipends so employees can attend industry conferences and events.

 

KPA team
kpa

KPA Regional Sales Director Lee Kleinsmith said sales leaders at the company encourage their staff to advance their skills through training and development. Kleinsmith said team members also push one another to grow by knowledge-sharing and cross-departmental collaboration.

 

Beyond a commission, what are some strategies you use to motivate your sales teams?

With KPA’s growth plans and expansion into new markets, we specifically hire for curiosity and an individual’s motivation to continue to grow and learn with us. I know that successful salespeople can be competitive, but I build teams that are also looking to grow and collaborate as a team.  

Team members join us as passionate and curious individuals, which means they perform industry and client-needs focused research. They then share knowledge and best-practices with their colleagues, and celebrate one another’s wins.  

As a company, KPA is full of experts looking to help our customers create the best possible work environments for their employees.  I continue to be motivated by stories of the improvements that clients have recognized by improving the safety, environmental and regulatory compliance processes in their businesses.  

We specifically hire for curiosity and an individual’s motivation to continue to grow and learn with us.”

 

What does professional development look like for your salespeople, and how does that play into motivating your team?

As a team, we play off of and learn from each other’s strengths. We share best practices and industry knowledge within the sales team and throughout KPA. We are constantly learning through cross-functional collaboration.   

KPA also regularly invests in the growth and training of the sales team.  Training has not been focused on one particular system of sales, but rather focused on targeted skills that help us align KPA’s solutions to a customer’s needs and showcase the value that KPA’s products bring to our customers.  

As a company that offers training to clients, we know that it needs to be fun and engaging to provide long-term value to both KPA and KPAers. I work closely with my VP of sales to understand the needs of my team and align training to those needs. I never imagined that I would laugh as much as I learned in a recent training on presentation skills.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog29 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Sales
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Operations
new
Duda, Inc.
Boulder
Finance
new
Vendavo
Colorado Springs
Finance
new
Vendavo
Colorado Springs
Sales
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Developer
new
Vendavo
Product
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
ServiceCore
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Vendavo
Operations
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
HR
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Design + UX
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Developer
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Finance
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
Duda, Inc.
Boulder
Sales
new
Duda, Inc.
Boulder
Project Mgmt
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
HR
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Developer
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
KPA
Boulder
Developer
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Sales
new
KPA
Boulder
Developer
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver
Product
new
Snapdocs, Inc.
Denver

Colorado startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Denver & Boulder
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech