5 Tips on How to Really Motivate Salespeople

If your business is keen on growth, you can’t afford to have demoralized salespeople. Your business’ growth is directly proportional to the volume of sales. So, if you have a low-performing sales force, you’ll hardly recoup the money injected into marketing, leave alone make any profits.

What causes low performance in a sales force? Among other things, one main cause of underperformance is lack of or low motivation. Use the following ideas to keep the morale of your salespeople high:   

1. Guarantee Fair Pay 

When compensating sales personnel, structure the pay plan in a way that is generally deemed to be fair. For example, a pay plan that incorporates a base pay and commission works for both high and average performers. However, do not cap the commissions as some companies tend to do where high-value sales are involved. By capping commissions, you also limit the stars. They will tend to slow down after achieving their quota if there are no bonuses for the surplus sales.  

2. Design a Comprehensive Compensation 

Your sales team is mostly composed of different kinds of salespeople. There are the core performers, laggards, and also the rainmakers. Some have higher self-drive than others. Now, each of these is motivated by different aspects of your compensation plan depending on their needs.  

For instance, the core performers may go unnoticed, even when designing the compensation plan. However, if given the right incentives, they have better chances of becoming stars. So, make sure your compensation plan accounts for the varying needs of different salespeople. A comprehensive incentive plan will coax the best results out of every type of sales rep you have. 

3. Ensure Periodic Bonuses Based on Cumulative Quota System 

The idea is to keep your sales staff focused on the next big prize. Besides the normal monthly pay, periodic bonuses, such as those paid on a quarterly basis, go a long way to motivate your sales staff. Even if your company does profit sharing to appreciate the contribution of individuals to its growth, it’s also good to introduce target based incentives.  

Now, these quota based bonuses work well if they are cumulative in nature. This means that if an individual misses the bonus pay for the past quarter and puts more effort to meet the cumulative year-to-date targets for the current period, they qualify for bonuses. The net effect is that your average performing staff will stay motivated as their daily sales count for their cumulative targets. 

4. Set and Manage Quotas Effectively 

When setting targets for sales reps, you should be realistic. These numbers should be informed by various market conditions and personal ability. When the staff achieves the set targets, you may increase the quotas for the next period by a realistic margin. Always involve the salespeople in the goal-setting process so that they own their targets. 

5. Consider Timely Gifts and Non-cash Benefits 

Money is not the only thing that can keep salespeople’s spirits high. Non-cash gifts, such as paid holidays, shopping vouchers, automobiles and home appliances, can motivate your sales reps to perform. However, the timing and manner in which such gifts are given matters a lot.  

One of the best approaches is to peg the rewards on performance and align them with seasons when such items are relevant to the lives of sales reps. These could be Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even back to school seasons. You can think of organizing sales campaigns with prizes to be won during such seasons. 


You can have great sales reps but if you can’t keep them motivated, you are not assured of the growth of your company. Meet their needs through a comprehensive compensation plan, effective quota management, and well-thought-out bonuses. You’ll see how swift they can move to meet and surpass your revenue expectations hence boosting the growth of your business.