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5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Sales, Even When You Feel Like Giving Up.

Kyle Boyd

Mar 29, 2023

Sales has a tendency to set people back on their heels, as even the most talented reps face rejection, daunting odds, and the ever-resetting clock that is the monthly, weekly, or annual quota — constantly having to start from scratch despite how much effort you’ve already put in.

The difference, however, between top performers and everybody else has to do with motivation, and keeping up a high pace of activity despite the fact that you might have just lost a deal, never heard back from that promising prospect, or spent the last two weeks reaching out to people only to hear crickets, rejection, or worse.

So how do top performers stay motivated in the face of sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds? And how can one keep up the pace when they’ve been already been grinding it out day after day for months or years on end? While some people simply have an innate drive and ability to self-motivate, for most people, it takes constant effort, recalibration, and focus on best practices.

Here are five ways you can keep yourself motivated in sales, especially when you feel like quitting:

1. Identify your intrinsic motivations

Setting goals is important, and most people understand that. But financial or professional goals by themselves aren’t usually enough. Instead, we need to understand why we want the things we want, which ends up being the true motivation we can use to sustain our efforts. Think of it like comparing features to benefits. You might want to make a certain amount of money, but what is the true meaning of that money to you? Is it the freedom it can buy? Is it the comfort of living you never had as a child? Or is it security for your family and the opportunities it can afford your children. Figure out the intrinsic motivation behind your goals, and then use it to keep yourself moving forward.

2. Use your energy wisely

Very few people can keep their energy up consistently throughout the day. This is doubly so for people who don’t prioritize health and their sleep, i.e. the majority of people on the planet. But if you want to stay motivated, then you need to use your energy wisely. This means leaning into those times when your energy levels are high, rather than wasting it on social media or something that doesn’t move the needle. For instance, if you find that you’re most energized in the morning, then make sure to do your most mission-critical work at that time. If the afternoon is when you get a burst of energy, then schedule your prospecting sprints for those hours. Plan your work around your natural flow as much as possible — it will allow you to become more productive.

3. Practice

If you lack motivation, you can’t just assume that it’s your default state and give up on trying to cultivate it altogether. In fact, motivation, like any other habit, can be learned. And those who make it a priority to build their motivation will see results as long as they’re willing to push through the difficult and oftentimes uncomfortable challenges that come with changing their habits. Start slowly and build your way up. Focus on doing a certain number of hours of activities per day, and once it starts feeling like it’s second nature, then bump that number up. And don’t expect to become highly motivated overnight. Anything important takes time. So practice, stay with it, but most importantly, don’t give up.

4. Identify your lack of motivation

You might be lacking motivation, but what’s the reason behind it? This might take some serious consideration, but it’s critical if you want to turn things around. Some common reasons are a lack of self-belief, a lack of belief in the company or product you’re selling, or perhaps a deeper problem that might require a lot more work to uncover and address. To be sure, identifying the reasons for your lack of motivation might not be a silver bullet solution to getting back on track, but knowing why you’re holding yourself back is one of the first and most important steps to ensure that you stop getting in your own way.

5. Use positive (and negative) reinforcement

Your work doesn’t exist in a vacuum, since you are living life simultaneously to your work. So the things you look forward to doing, whether they’re eating a candy bar, going for a bike ride, or watching your favorite show, can be used as motivators to help you get more done. This means “rewarding” yourself for accomplishing your tasks and daily goals, and withholding them until you’ve completed what you set out to complete. This will, of course, take discipline and accountability, but it’s a great way to ensure that you push through discomfort, and put off your rewards until you’ve earned them.

Finally, a sales process that gives you the freedom to sell.

Use Dooly to keep your deals on track, and your manager off your back.

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Kyle Boyd

Kyle is a snow-chasing, beer-seeking, disc-golfing copywriter & marketer born and raised in Colorado Springs. Kyle began his journey writing and producing car commercials before going full SaaS. He'll get physically uneasy if he sees you use “your” and “you’re” incorrectly. When he's not getting creative with marketing strategy and content, you'll find Kyle sampling the newest IPA, floating on some fresh pow, or enjoying downtime with his wife, 2 children, and labradoodle Pickle.