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How to motivate your sales team (apart from paying them incentives)

Contrary to popular belief, money alone is not a good way to motivate your sales team.

While money is a strong motivator, there are things you as a sales leader can do to motivate your team which are not linked to money and incentives.

Celebrate personal milestones

A common feeling most sales individuals have, is being under appreciated. You could be paying them a handsome salary and compensating them for their target achievements but it’s easy for sales individuals to get ‘lost’ in a large team.

Celebrate personal milestones

A great way to show you still treat all your team members as individuals is to celebrate personal milestones. It does not have to be a big party, a big gift or an awesome speech.

Just a letter/email of appreciation that is circulated among the team will do.

In fact, a great way to celebrate individual achievements is to start a ‘club’. So every time a sales individual reaches a certain milestone you can felicitate them with a certificate and welcome them to the 'club'.

Gamify your sales team

The crux of gamification is to allow sales individuals from your team to improve themselves and meet milestones that are challenging.

As a leader you can choose to not offer any additional incentives every time a gamification milestone is reached.

The purpose is to let your sales individuals aim high and achieve. Not only does gamification motivate individuals but it also allows for healthy competition among teams.

Start a sales fantasy league

For those of you who have no idea what a fantasy league is here is a quick primer. Instead of professional players, allow team members to pick fellow sales individuals. Have a transparent scoring system in place and enjoy!

Fantasy League for your sales team

As a leader you will be surprised how many sales individuals will back themselves to perform. In fact, you will have a fairly decent idea of what your sales team thinks of each other. A great way to get your team to acknowledge each other!

Always start with the positives!

Be it periodic reviews or even a feedback session. Always start with the positives. No matter how small the positives are.


People don’t want to be told they are wrong or not performing. There is no nice way to say you suck! So, start with the positives.


However, the best way to start off any conversation is by talking of the plus points the sales individual has. At the end of the conversation the sales individual must feel motivated to fix any problems that he has.

Create a transparent career path for your team

Most sales individuals are frustrated by stagnation. You might want your best sales individual delivering every time doing the same thing but monotony can set in.

Make sure you have a well-defined career path. A career path makes sure your team members are aware of what is in offering if they meet your organisation’s standards.


A career path also outlines what your expectations are from your team.


Be involved

As a sales leader, the most import way of expressing your faith and commitment to your team is to be involved in the team’s day to day working. This helps you lead by example and also shows your team you are with them through thick and thin.

Being involved is not just about helping overcome objections or closing large opportunities. It is about creating an individual training plan for your team or helping your sales team get better at what they do. Being involved is about making sure your team has the best tools to succeed.

If you have any more thoughts on this, feel free to send us an email or just tweet to us at @insideselling. We will be happy to incorporate your inputs in the next update on this blog post. 

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