How To Keep Your Sales Team Motivated During The Holidays

How do you keep your sales team motivated to work through Christmas and New Year’s? We asked sales leaders about how to motivate a sales team while celebrating the holidays and came away with a few solid tips for selling under the mistletoe.

In this article:

  1. How To Motivate Your Sales Team This Christmas
    1. Set a Regular Schedule
    2. Get Festive!
    3. Build The Sales Career Path
    4. Focus on Value
    5. The Importance of Giving Back
    6. Sales Training Helps Motivation
    7. Set an Example

Keeping Your Sales Team Motivated Over The Holidays

How To Motivate Your Sales Team This Christmas

If you feel like in between Christmas and New Years you don’t know who you are, what day it is or what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, we totally understand. We’re thinking about shopping, presents, food, and celebrating — anything but work. This is why the holidays are sometimes an energy drain for sales professionals, or professionals in any industry, for that matter.

Learn how to motivate your sales team to keep their sights on the goals, despite all the distractions of the holiday season. Motivate your employees to sell more during the holidays with these tips.

1. Set a Regular Schedule

time management for sales statistics research | Set a Regular Schedule | How to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated During The Holidays

Having a plan always makes everything easier. Knowing what you’re supposed to do and when you’re supposed to do it takes a lot of the pressure off the rep. This enables them to stay focused on their tasks, even if they would rather have some eggnog instead.

“Each employee has a planned day and follows a strategic schedule to accomplish a cohesive work ethic. We also have scheduled check-ins and meetings in order to stay on track,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of

Proper time management skills are important here. Research has shown that when sales reps use a time management philosophy, they report spending 19% more time selling.

2. Get Festive!

While some companies have a dress code, it’s no reason to keep the team permanently on their toes. Dressing up for the holidays, having sales motivation games with cool prizes, or decorating the office will help lighten the mood. People get excited and become energized. There’s a sense of belonging that translates into a happier, more productive sales team.

“One of my favorite ways to celebrate the holidays without losing steam is doing an ugly sweater or SantaCon theme day for the team,” said Thomas Watanapun, Sales Manager at

3. Build The Sales Career Path

Financial rewards and career opportunities are always at the base of sales reps’ motivation. And this is valid during the holidays as well.

“The best way to motivate a sales team long term is by communicating a career path that is 100% transparent. When done correctly, every individual will know exactly where they are at today and the performance metrics that need to be achieved to advance their career within the organization,” said Cody Lamens, Head of Sales at

4. Focus on Value

Many organizations focus on motivation directly, however sales is a relational profession. Salespeople build relationships and the positive interaction comes from offering value to their clients. Keeping the focus on value will allow you to unleash motivation for your team.

“When sellers believe in what they sell and the difference they can make for their buyers, it creates better results, increases client satisfaction and increases new business opportunities,” said Mike Schultz, president of Rain Group Sales Training.

5. The Importance of Giving Back

state of sales 2017 research | The Importance of Giving Back | How to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated During The Holidays

It’s important to keep in mind that your team has lives outside of the office, especially during the holidays. Taking an interest in those aspects goes a long way in keeping employee engagement up, said Rich Faro, Sales Manager at ZeroCater.

Offering breaks and giving small gifts also allows them to keep their spirits up and to focus on their short-term and long-term goals. It’s crucial to stay positive when sales are down due to the holiday break.

“We do breaks in the day with artisanal hot chocolate or coffee. I also plan to bring each team member a small little gift as a way to thank them for all their hard work this year. It’s a wonderful way to close out a great year and start out on the right foot in 2018,” said Rich.

6. Sales Training Helps Motivation

As always, it’s important to keep lines of communication open and offer feedback to your team — even if sales are a bit slow due to the holiday break. Effective sales training will always translate into a positive and motivated sales team.

“The top performing sales organizations are significantly more likely to invest in their sales teams. Train your sales teams and they will be more skilled, confident, and motivated every day,” said Mike Schultz, president of Rain Group, a global sales consulting company.

7. Set an Example

The best managers I’ve ever had, and who inspired me the most, were the ones who worked harder than anyone else in the company. Sales managers can keep their team motivated by offering them someone to look up to daily.

Having a short morning check-in will help the team maintain focus. Longer conversations between the sales rep and the manager are key to maintaining the relationship and a positive attitude. A sales motivational speech might be corny, but it certainly can’t hurt.

“Managers need to be present, involved and engaged in the daily work of the team. Show them you are a team player and accessible in order to motivate them to do the same,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of

We’ve covered the sales motivation topic extensively on the Sales Insider over the years. Be sure to check out our other sales motivation articles if you want to read more or have a look at this list of motivational quotes for salespeople — our second most popular article over the years.

Maintaining a highly-motivated sales team during the holidays can be challenging, but it can be done. Just make sure they have a reward to look forward to that’s worth their hard work during this distracting season. Hope you’re looking forward to the next year and that you are keeping positive over the holidays! We know we are!

How do you keep your sales team motivated over the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Up Next: 9 Best Tools to Boost Productivity and Increase Sales

sales gamification ebook - how to motivate your sales team | How to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated During The Holidays

Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted on December 29, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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