Sales Motivation Tips to Keep your SDRs Happy

Happy SDRs is a sign of a well-run business.
sales motivation cover photo
Every day, sales reps send cold emails and make cold calls, and in the end, they might only communicate with or touch base with a small number of people. SDRs (sales development reps) have little control over or predictability over who answers the phone or how many meetings are scheduled.

As a consequence, sales reps lack motivation due to hard circumstances in sales. This is where sales motivation comes into place.

What sales motivation is and how the sales team/reps can be uplifted will be explained now.

Read on!

What is Sales Motivation?

Sales motivation refers to the tactics businesses use to inspire their sales team to achieve their targets and perform to their full potential. This can include various incentives like bonuses, rewards, and recognition programs, as well as opportunities for career growth and development.

When sales teams are motivated, they tend to have higher morale, work more effectively, and achieve better results. That's why businesses often invest in sales motivation strategies to keep their teams driven and focused on success.

Across-the-board, sales motivation is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their sales performance and achieve their goals.

7 Tips to Motivate Your SDRs

1. Acknowledge All Achievements, Big and Small

When it comes to motivating your SDRs, rewards don't always have to be flashy and expensive.

Sure, a shiny new iPad is a sweet motivator, but sometimes all it takes is a simple "nice work" to make an SDR's day. Or, for a gesture that will really make an impact, why not pen a handwritten thank-you note? It's like a little trophy they can keep on their desk, and unlike emails, it won't just get lost in the digital abyss.

It's easy for SDRs to feel like they're at the bottom of the sales totem pole, like the Robin to your Batman, the Luigi to your Mario, and the sidekick to your superhero. But you know what? They're your team's backbone and deserve to be recognized and appreciated for all their hard work.

So make sure to give them heartfelt acknowledgments and let them know their contributions are valued. It's like giving them a virtual high-five, except it'll boost their morale and motivation instead of just stinging their palm.

2. Often Have One-On-One Meetings With SDRs

To show your SDRs that you care about their career growth, it's important to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with them. Whether you meet with them once a week or once a month, it's crucial to be present and engaged during these meetings.

During the meetings, don't just dive into the nitty-gritty details of specific deals. Take the opportunity to discuss broader sales strategies and provide constructive feedback that can help them improve their skills. You can show your SDRs that you're invested in their long-term success by offering guidance and insights.

Make sure to provide both positive and negative feedback during the meeting, and always end on a positive note. Even a brief meeting can go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to your team's professional development. So, invest the time and effort into regular check-ins to foster a supportive and growth-oriented work environment for your SDRs.

3. Maintain Coaching and Skill Development

It's essential to keep your sales team's skills sharp, and that means ongoing training. After all, you don't want them practicing their cold-calling skills on actual prospects! That's like asking a toddler to perform a heart transplant - it's not gonna end well.

Think of sales as a sport where athletes train before a competition. So, schedule time for your salespeople to participate in role-playing exercises. You can even surprise them with an unexpected phone call and simulate a prospect returning their call. It's like a pop quiz for salespeople! These sales mock-call simulations help reps react quickly and effectively, just like a ninja dodging throwing stars.

By keeping your team's skills sharp through ongoing training, you'll set them up for field success. An excellent practice is to add different scenarios during the mock-up calls.

And who knows, maybe one day they'll even thank you for it with a commission check big enough to buy you a yacht! Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea.

4. Provide Guidance and Training

Who doesn't love getting career advice? It's like finding a treasure map that leads you to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - except the gold is your dream job. But here's a fun fact: professional development opportunities can actually be more motivating for your team than just throwing more money their way.

That's right, forget the cash, give them a mentor!

Establishing a mentoring program for your SDRs is a fantastic way to give them guidance and support as they navigate the highs and lows of a sales career. Mentors can be like Jedi Masters, guiding their Padawans towards the path of enlightenment, or in this case, sales success. But watch for any signs of disengagement - you don't want your SDRs to start feeling stuck in the Death Star trash compactor.

To keep your SDRs sharp, you need to keep them hungry. Plan your training sessions carefully to make sure they're really learning and growing. And mix it up a bit! Nobody wants to sit through a boring lecture, so think about inviting a guest speaker or trying out new interactive activities.

5. Give SDRs a Positive Professional Path to Follow

Let's face it, most SDRs don't aspire to be SDRs forever. They want to advance in their careers, make a name for themselves, and climb the ranks within your company. To keep them motivated and performing at their highest level, it's important to show them that career advancement is achievable.

One way to do this is by promoting candidates from within your own ranks when hiring for new account executives and other positions. This sends the message that there are opportunities for growth and advancement within the company.

It's important to keep your SDRs motivated and hungry for success. And what better way to do that than by offering incentives? Whether it's a promotion, a bonus, or just a simple pat on the back, incentives can go a long way in keeping your SDRs motivated and performing at their best. Just make sure to implement these incentives thoughtfully and carefully to ensure that they have a lasting impact.

6. Encourage Positive AE/SDR Relationships

Help your sales development professionals and account executives build positive relationships with each other.

It's important to make sure your SDRs don't feel like they're just "callers" or "schedulers," even if they're working with multiple AEs. Make sure that AEs are aware of SDRs' expectations and any areas where they could improve. And, of course, encourage open communication between the two.

Are the AEs unsure of how to collaborate with the SDRs, or are the SDRs handing over low-quality leads? Is there room to improve the partnership between the two groups?

One idea is to have SDRs join in on demo calls or participate in account planning and strategy sessions. It'll give them a better sense of what the AEs do and help them prepare for a potential transition into an AE role.

Remember, even the best SDRs need support and guidance to succeed. So, make sure you're fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual respect!

Don't know the difference between them two? Check out our SDR vs AE blog post.

7. Unrelated Activities to the SDR Work

Sometimes it's good to step outside the SDR role and mix things up. Sure, role-specific training is helpful, but learning from people outside of your sales department can help broaden skills and capabilities.

Bringing in a guest speaker can be a great way to develop your salespeople. It could be a motivational speaker who can offer a fresh perspective, an experienced sales manager, or even an executive from another department. Learning from others can help your salespeople grow in ways they may not have thought possible.

Top Motivational Sales Quotes

  • "Expect to make some mistakes when you try new and different approaches." - Harvey Mackay
  • "Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be a failure." - Confucius
  • "Treat your salesperson like you would treat your most important customer—because he is!" - Colleen Stanley

  • "Prospects are making their purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problems and you have the knowledge, resources, and commitment to solving them." - Trish Bertuzzi

  • "Every email is an opportunity to test a different benefit or angle." - Heather R Morgan

  • "There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income." - Jeb Blount

  • "Establishing trust is better than any sales technique." - Mike Puglia

  • "When reps take the role of a curious student rather than an informed expert, buyers are much more inclined to engage." - Jeff Hoffman

  • "You just can't beat the person who never gives up." - Babe Ruth

  • "Sales success comes after you stretch yourself past your limits on a daily basis." - Omar Periu

  • "The best way to sell yourself to others is first to sell the others to yourself." - Napoleon Hill

  • "Most people think 'selling' is the same as 'talking.' But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job." - Roy Bartell

  • "The best salespeople are the ones who listen more than they talk." – Chris Murray

  • "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." - Zig Ziglar

  • "In the world of Internet Customer Service, it's important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away." - Doug Warner

  • "The most important quality in a salesperson is the ability to be resilient—to bounce back from rejection and keep going." - Jill Konrath

  • "People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons." - Zig Ziglar

  • "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky

  • "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs

  • "Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect." - William Clement Stone


Sales motivation is an important topic for sales managers to increase the sales team's and each sales rep's performance.

The ways to motivate your sales reps are diverse, and you should make sure not to just stick to one method. Variety is key!

Sometimes even a quote in the #kudos slack channel or handwritten on the rep's workspace is a great way to motivate the whole team or single SDRs.

If you want to incorporate highly-motivated SDRs to your team, make sure to schedule a meeting with us.
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