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What Motivates Salespeople?

Salespeople are motivated by momentum, and this momentum catches like wildfire on a team of high performers. Learn how salespeople are driven by progress and seeing results to find out how you can motivate your sales team.

Motivation Drives Performance

There are countless books, movies, and podcasts on the subject of motivation. In sales, motivation is a key driver of consistent performance and great results. 

Many leaders rely on team building techniques, incentives, and structured management to motivate their salespeople.

An entire industry thrives on offering sales teams elaborate incentives to drive superhero performance resulting in higher revenues and profits.

But I want to share a critical fact: Momentum is what motivates salespeople. 

Strong management, incentives, and teamwork are all fundamental to the overall long term success of a sales team, but momentum motivates salespeople.

How Momentum Is Motivational

Armed with a fresh approach, you might immediately reposition the content of your proposal to outsell a large competitor, win the deal, and receive accolades from your new client. 

Not only are you motivated to repeat this smarter approach, but you’ll also share your results with colleagues, rippling momentum across your organization.

Perhaps you leave a training session eager to put new thinking and fresh ideas into action. 

An immediate shift in your approach to your client presentations results in a major international win. 

This momentum inspires you to continue honing your technique to accelerate similar results.

Maybe your redefinition of sales “curiosity” helps you win over a difficult client in spite of a vendor’s stale approach that almost shut the deal down. 

The impact of this win against difficult odds gives you the momentum to continue developing your curiosity muscle to acquire new sales.

What Happens When A Sales Pro Sees Progress

When a sales pro sees progress towards their most important goals, he or she gains the motivation to want more, strive for more, and achieve more.

And, given their competitive nature, when sales pros observe their peers achieving big results, they want to follow their example. 

Demotivation is a direct result of a lack of momentum.

“What’s the point of sending out prospecting messages when no one responds?”

“I’ve pitched five new clients this month and lost to a lower-priced competitor every time. Why put in the effort?”

“After months communicating with a prospect, she has dropped into a black hole. What a waste of my time.”

Sales pros thrive on momentum. 

They crave fresh thinking and alternative ideas that are smart, simple, and immediately actionable to progress their sales. 

This renewed thinking motivates them to work confidently in the direction of their goals, and this momentum is contagious, benefitting the entire organization.


Ultimately, people follow people that they like, trust, and believe in. In People Follow You, managers will learn five levers critical to influencing the performance of the people they lead. Download your FREE chapter of People Follow You here.

About the author

Jill Harrington

Jill Harrington

For over twenty years, Jill Harrington was a globally respected sales leader and executive…

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