New Year, New Sales Performance Tips

Motivation Excellence

Kick off your 2018 sales performance initiatives with the latest best practices.


So, the champagne has run dry, the wreaths are back in storage, and for many, the new year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. But 2018 is still a new year and an opportunity for a fresh start, especially for your sales performance.

Start by asking yourself: what’s holding your sales team back?
What benchmarks did they set in 2017?

We’ve collected some best practices for motivating your sales team and improving their performance that you can implement right now. But understand, these aren’t silver bullets – your team is made up of unique individuals, a variety of demographics, skill sets, and personalities – so what motivates some may not always work for others.

Short version? Your mileage may vary. But a few concepts are universal:

  1. Take a cue from the Boy Scouts. No, not merit badges and olive cargo shorts – we mean BE PREPARED. No matter the makeup of your team or organization, you should have a comprehensive toolkit to tackle your most common challenges. Thinking through past challenges ahead of time and being ready to motivate your team through them will help your team get over the peaks and valleys of the sales cycle – and keep them motivated all year long.
  2. Go beyond quotas. There’s nothing wrong with having sales goals, but as far as sole motivation for your sales team, it will only work for so long – if it works at all.
  3. Big is nice, but also think small and medium. Big exotic parties and lavish trips are amazing, and definitely motivate your team, but put some efforts into scaling your awards for smaller milestones along the way – it’s like having a cupcake every week instead of a birthday cake just once a year.


That being said, here are some of our favorite tips for improving sales performance in 2018:


  • Start with intrinsic motivation: Give your people a feeling of meaning – it’s not just your organization’s mission and vision, make it theirs, too. This values-driven approach gives your people a stake in their achievements besides your bottom line, and tells them that you care about them, not just the numbers.


  • Set (non sales) goals: Don’t place as much emphasis on “hitting numbers,” set goals for activities, leads, and more, not just sales. And make your goals big enough to be a challenge, but not so big that they’re not realistic – otherwise your team will be defeated before they even start.


  • Celebrate small and personal wins: Take into account the various personalities and skill sets you’re working with – if Meghan gets 5 leads this week instead of her usual 3, show her that you noticed! If Eric branches out to a type of client outside his wheelhouse, recognize it! Rewards and motivation aren’t just about the sale or the leads, but also about personal growth.


  • Play to your audience: While some team members may want the public recognition and spotlight, others may like to keep their achievements low-key. Know your people, and reward and recognize according to their preferences.


  • Always be learning: Show your sales team the bigger picture, and give them some context for their achievements. Plan and launch applicable training sessions for your CRM system or marketing campaigns to keep your team as efficient as possible, and to work towards aligning sales and marketing.


  • Keep the rewards coming: Implement an ongoing incentive program that rewards regularly – this way you can recognize a number of achievements more often, and build up to a larger prize at the end of the year, like a bonus VIP travel experience!


So, start the new year off right with simple, thoughtful ways to keep your team feeling positive, valued, and motivated quarter after quarter. Motivation Excellence can help. If you’d like to learn more about keeping your team motivated year-round, contact us today.

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