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The 5-Step Cure To Low B2B Sales Motivation

“What’s my motivation?”

Expert Note:
“By a massive long shot, salespeople’s biggest pain point is a lack of motivation”

Clichéd as it is, this question still resonates today. And not just with actors. But with retail workers, executives, laborers—with everyone.

For sales reps, in particular, keeping up their sales motivation day after day is often a struggle. Boredom, anxiety, hopelessness, and downright depression can all be expected in the face of a too-far-off sales goal. And for some, the harder they seem to work, the less they seem to earn.

If this sounds all too familiar, don’t worry: You’re not alone.

But luckily, there’s a way out. It just takes a bit of strategic work on your part.

This guide shows you how to overcome a lack of sales motivation using a proven 5-point framework. And with it, you can boost your numbers, blow past your goals, and achieve more success as a sales rep.

The Secret to Sales Motivation (Forget The Stupid Sales Quotes)

Sales motivation is a tricky beast.

On the one hand, it can inspire you to take on new challenges. On the other hand, it can give you the energy you need to truly test your limits. And it can be the impetus to winning record-level sales.

But there’s a dark side to motivation, too. If you rely solely on motivation to get things done, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

For example, on high motivation days, you may feel bulletproof. You’re packing your pipeline full of prospects, piquing the interest of leads, and closing deals like a boss. But on the bad days, you’re erasing all of that progress. As a result, you’re missing out on perfect closing opportunities, forgetting to follow up, and letting ideal buyers slip through your fingers again and again.

So, how do you keep the sales motivation going? How can you wake up energized, enthusiastic, and eager to achieve every day?

You can’t.

Surprised? Don’t be.

We are all human. We are all prone to having good days and bad ones. And anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you snake oil.

Instead, you need discipline. 

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. That’s the Law of Consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is key.” – John C. Maxwell

You don’t need a sales rep motivation magic pill (because it doesn’t exist). Instead, you need a system that takes motivation out of the equation entirely. And you need a way to succeed day in and day out—on the good days and the bad.

And that’s where the Selling By the Numbers 5-Point Framework comes in.

The Selling By the Numbers Framework

The Selling By the Numbers Framework is a simple yet effective way to take progressive steps towards meeting your goals every single day.

It’s numbers-focused, yes. But it’s not overly technical.

And don’t be fooled here—this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the Selling By the Numbers Framework is a way of reverse-engineering your goals so you can better understand the steps you need to take to achieve them.

The best thing about the Selling By the Numbers Framework helps boost your sales motivation when followed correctly. It’ll also improve your performance, focus, help you beat fear and win more business.

Here’s how.

A) Single Path to Success

A significant factor in feeling unmotivated in a sales position is not knowing whether the steps you’re taking actually lead towards a win.

Maybe right now, you’re “winging it”—you’re reaching out to prospects when it feels right, switching up your cadences on a day-by-day basis, and trying out different approaches whenever you read about them.

This attitude to setting goals isn’t going to help you crush your performance targets.

While there’s value in experimentation, this haphazard approach doesn’t let you determine what’s working and what isn’t. And as a result, you’re left wondering what you did wrong when you haven’t met your quota for the month.

The Selling By the Numbers Framework gives you clear, weekly (and even daily) goals so you can quickly know when you’re winning and when you’re failing.

And that clarity will keep you pushing forward.

B) Easy to Communicate

The framework is also simple to understand and break down for others.

But how does that keep you motivated?

On the one hand, the simplicity makes it a snap to keep sales managers and other members of your sales team onboard. A clear and quantitative end goal, regular waypoints to track progress, a focused roadmap you can refer to daily—it’s a dream for the higher-ups. And the more your supervisors get behind a plan, the easier it is for you to stay on track.

Beyond that, the framework’s simplicity also makes it great for teaching to the rest of your sales team. With more hands-on deck, you can continually refine the process to make it even more effective.

C) Forces You to Decide What You Want

This one’s important.

Money isn’t everything. It’s important, sure. And having a lot of it is certainly a reasonable goal. But feeling satisfied in sales doesn’t always have to be about reeling in a massive paycheck and owning ever crazy resources.

This framework forces you to decide what’s important to you. For example, are you looking for a way to finance a new home purchase? Do you want to demonstrate consistency and reliability to help accelerate your career? Are you trying to find a better work-life balance?

Maybe you want to work in sales, win the incentives and release the pressure by semi-retiring at 40 rather than 70. I encourage you to forget the motivational sales quotes as you go through this framework and really focus on what you want to achieve in your career.

By setting precise goals and following the plan each day, you can rest assured you’re continually working towards those goals.

D) Walk Away When You Want

Last but not least, the Selling By the Numbers Framework gives you more control over lead management.

How many times have you had to deal with a pain-in-the-butt buyer? They’re sucking up all your time. They’re rude. And to be perfectly honest, they’re probably leading you on a wild goose chase.

With this framework, you can easily refer to your plan, see if you need that buyer to hit your numbers, and if not, walk away from all the trouble.

And that kind of freedom is inspirational in and of itself.

The Downside of Not Selling By the Numbers

Beyond those benefits, there are also plenty of downsides to not selling by the numbers. Here are just a few of the biggest.

A) You Don’t Know What Works

When you don’t follow a clearly defined framework, you’re working from instinct rather than hard data.

Sure, some salespeople get lucky. Maybe they catch a windfall client out of nowhere. And perhaps they succeed against all odds using a slapdash approach.

But without a step-by-step plan, you can’t collect the data points to see what’s working and what isn’t. That means you can’t refine your process. You can’t replicate great results. And you can’t know for sure you’re on the path to success.

B) Relying on the Unreliable

To people outside of your profession, sales is all about charisma. It’s about charm, magnetism, and talking your way into a deal.

But as a salesperson yourself, you know the gift of gab can only get you so far.

A master charmer can certainly seduce some buyers into eating into their budget. But more often than not (and especially in the B2B space), a salesman that relies entirely on their charisma is a salesman that doesn’t consistently hit their numbers.

With the Selling By the Numbers Framework, you’re putting in the work every day. And that means you don’t have to bet the farm on charming your buyer into a sale.

C) Stuck in the “Work Harder” Trap

Finally, the framework lets you break free from the “work harder” trap.

Researching and trying new sales approaches every week is hard.

Guessing at what went right (and what made you fail) is hard.

Working overtime again and again to make your number is hard.

Convincing your manager that next month will be different is hard.

This framework gives you a simpler, clearer path to consistent success. No guesswork. And no more working harder, just smarter.

Breaking Down the Selling By the Numbers Framework

So, what is the Selling By the Numbers Framework?

Essentially, this framework starts from the end and moves backward to define how to get there. It does so in just five steps:

  1. Define Your Wants
  2. Set Your Income Goal
  3. Determine Your Starting Point
  4. Establish Your Waypoints
  5. Create Your One-Page Plan

Now let’s dive a bit deeper into each step.

1) Define Your Wants

Part of what makes this framework so effective is the fact that you’re beginning with the end—what you want to achieve—and reverse engineers those results.

So let’s start there. What do you want?

The simplicity of the question is deceptive, though.

“More money,” for example, is a goal. But it’s not an end goal because it doesn’t get to the WHY of it all. Do you want more money to fund your child’s college? Do you want more money so you can be in a similar income range as your social circle? Is it all about getting that shiny new Corvette?

There are two things important here.

  1. Dig Deep – Find out what’s truly important to you. What do you want to achieve this year? What do you want to buy, to be, to do, or to have?
  2. Make It Concrete – The only way this framework is effective is if you can work back from a solid, non-abstract goal.

Defining your ultimate goal and keeping it front of your mind is key to staying motivated. Perhaps Jarrod Glandt, President of Grand Cardone Enterprises, put it best in our interview:

Expert Note:
“That doesn’t mean you have to have a million-dollar goal, but you have to figure out what’s important to you, and you have to figure out a way to drive towards that every day. Otherwise, you will end up lacking purpose and lacking drive and lacking motivation, and then you’re just going to be unhappy.”
Jarrod Glandt

2) Set Your Income Goal

Next, it’s time to set your yearly income goal.

Working backward from the want you defined in the previous step, determine how much income you’ll need to make to achieve that want.

This step is pretty easy if it’s a tangible good that you’re after (like a car). But, first, find out how much extra income you’ll need to afford that good comfortably and tack it onto your current income.

For wants that you don’t need to be fulfilled right away (like saving for your child’s college), determine how much you’d like to save per year by working backward. For example, if you want to send your child to an Ivy League school, you can expect to pay about $225,000 in tuition. Over 15 years, you’d have to save an additional $15,000 per year.

If your want is to be offered a promotion, you’ll have to do a bit more thinking. Maybe becoming lead sales rep for 3 years running is the ticket to getting noticed at work. In that case, the goal is to bring in more sales than other reps on your team.

3) Determine Your Starting Point

The next step is to take stock of where you’re starting from.

This, again, is simple—where are you now compared to your income goal?

No need to overcomplicate things right now. Just take what you’ve earned already and subtract it from the final goal.

After that, you’ll also want to take into account the givens this year. Do you have returning customers that are going to be a consistent source of recurring revenue? Are you midway through a sure-thing deal and are just waiting to collect your commission? Are you going to be losing a longtime customer?

Think about what is already scheduled for this year that’s going to impact your income and build that into the difference you calculated earlier.

4) Establish Your Waypoints

This is where things get slightly more complicated.

Now it’s time to build out the quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily waypoints you need to hit to earn your income goal and achieve your final want.

Try to make these waypoints as specific as you can using data from your customer relationship management (CRM) tool—more on that later. Look at historical tables to find out precisely how many touchpoints it took to close a successful sale.

For instance, your data might look something like this:

  • Sales target = $15,000
  • Average dollar value of closed deals = $1,000
  • Calls made = 2400
  • Decision makers spoken to = 480
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 120
  • Demos scheduled = 60
  • Proposals given = 30
  • Closed deals = 15

Then, break down that data into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and perhaps daily goals.

Using the data above, your goals might look like this:

*Note: As your timeline gets shorter (e.g., daily goals), the math doesn’t always translate perfectly. As such, you may want to reserve more time-intensive plans for longer timelines (e.g., closing deals on a monthly rather than weekly basis). 

Quarterly

  • Calls made = 600
  • Decision makers spoken to = 120
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 30
  • Demos scheduled = 15
  • Proposals given = 8
  • Closed deals = 4

Monthly

  • Calls made = 200
  • Decision makers spoken to = 40
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 10
  • Demos scheduled = 5
  • Proposals given = 3
  • Closed deals = 2

Weekly

  • Calls made = 48
  • Decision makers spoken to = 10
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 3
  • Demos scheduled = 2

Daily

  • Calls made = 10
  • Decision makers spoken to = 2
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 1

5) Create Your One-Page Plan

Last but certainly not least, you need to create a one-page plan outlining the entire framework.

Important: this is not meant to be exhaustive.

Don’t treat this one-pager like the single note-card you could bring to class—crammed from edge to edge with information.

Instead, this is the boiled-down version that hits the core of each step.

Yours might look something like this.

My One-Page Plan

Want: To have enough money saved up over 15 years to pay for Molly’s tuition in full. 

Income Goal: $150,000 per year

Starting Point: $130,000 + $5,000 recurring yearly revenue (additional $15,000 per year needed)

My Waypoints:

Quarterly

  • Calls made = 600
  • Decision makers spoken to = 120
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 30
  • Demos scheduled = 15
  • Proposals given = 8
  • Closed deals = 4

Monthly

  • Calls made = 200
  • Decision makers spoken to = 40
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 10
  • Demos scheduled = 5
  • Proposals given = 3
  • Closed deals = 2

Weekly

  • Calls made = 48
  • Decision makers spoken to = 10
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 3
  • Demos scheduled = 2

Daily

  • Calls made = 10
  • Decision makers spoken to = 2
  • Discovery calls scheduled = 1

Time to Execute: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Now that you have a better understanding of the sales motivation framework let’s dive a bit deeper into the details.

What kind of information will you need to establish your waypoints? What research will you have to do on your accounts before getting started? And what considerations do you need to include in your calculations?

The specifics will vary among industries and positions. But below are some of the most common pieces of information you’ll need to consider along the way.

A) Your List of Prospects

How many prospects do you currently have in your pipeline? How many do you need to hit your goals according to your conversion rates?

You’ll need to consider this information when building out your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly strategies.

According to HubSpot, more than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. So be sure to factor extra time into your days for it.

B) Average Account/Order Size

How big is your average account or order size? And how much will you be pocketing as a commission?

Obviously, larger average order sizes mean you’ll have to close fewer deals to reach your income goal. But you may have to spend more time on nurturing along the way too.

C) Average Touchpoints/Time to Close Sale

Is your sales cycle long and complicated? Does closing the sale from start to finish take days, weeks, or even months? How many times do you need to talk to a prospect before they’re ready to sign on as a client?

This is another important consideration when building out your milestones. Most CRMs should make this info readily available too.

HubSpot reports that most B2B prospects will need about eight touchpoints before a sale. But every business is different, so be sure to calculate yours rather than just relying on industry averages.

D) Average Number of Sales Closed vs. Touchpoints Started

Piggybacking off the last point, you’ll also need to calculate your close rates compared to the number of touchpoints started.

This stat will be helpful in determining where you start hitting diminishing returns with your touchpoints. For example, you may find that most prospects will need six touchpoints before a sale. But do an additional two touchpoints increase the odds of closing? Or is it just wasting your time?

Understanding this information will help you plan out your daily goals and what’s needed to close a sale most effectively.

E) The Gap

This is essentially the third step of the framework.

How far are you right now from reaching your income goal? How many accounts will you have to close on to achieve that goal? How many new accounts will you have to bring on according to your conversion rate? And how many calls, emails, and messages will you need to make to sign those accounts?

F) Is This Even Possible?

This is vital—is this even possible?

Take a quick look at your team’s sales history. How many clients do you bring on per year? How does your goal compare to that average?

Ambition can be a great driving force. But goals so lofty that they’re unrealistic aren’t helping anyone. In fact, they’ll likely only end in disappointment.

So be sure your goals are ambitious, just not foolhardy.

G) Determine Your Waypoints

With all the information you’ve gathered, it’s time to build out your waypoints.

It’s essential to be exacting here. And during your calculations, be sure to factor in vacations, holidays, sick days, and other time off work like seminars.

H) Create Your One Sheet & Follow Religiously

Finally, you’ve got all the information you need to create your one-page plan.

It should include each step of the framework:

  1. Your Ultimate Want
  2. Your Income Goal
  3. Your Starting Point + Your Gap
  4. Your Detailed Waypoints

Take this one-page plan, print it out, and place it in your workspace so it’s always visible. The power of this plan is that you can refer to it whenever you want. So the more front-and-center, the better.

Wrap Up

Maintaining sales motivation is one of the biggest hurdles sales reps like you will face. Some days you may wake up energized and ready to take on the world. But on others, you may feel like Sisyphus stuck rolling the metaphorical boulder up a never-ending mountain.

That’s why it’s so important to take motivation out of the picture using the Selling By the Numbers Framework. With this framework, you can rest easy knowing you’re making strides towards your goals every single day, even on your worst days.

And ultimately, it’s what you need to be happier, more successful, and more motivated as a salesperson.

As sales coach Beth Benatti Kennedy put it in our interview:

Expert Note:
“Resilience is actually moving forward. It’s dealing with those challenges but being able to say I have the toolkit, so I can move forward. [Resilient salespeople] not only handle the challenges, but they also hit their numbers, and they also have very high career satisfaction.”
Beth Benatti Kennedy

 

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