Category: Motivation

Gamification Motivation

The Science of Progress Bars: Why Are They Great Motivators?

Josh Benedetto

There are few things in life more satisfying than a full meter. 

Whether you’re rolling up to an open street-parking space and the light is still blinking green, or you’re rolling over in the morning to shut off your phone alarm and you see you’re at 100%, there’s a profound level of satisfaction to knowing we’re in the black. 

So why not bring that same sense of satisfaction to your employees for their work? 

Enter: progress bars. Marketing guru Neil Patel, a man who’s spent most of his (very successful) career trying to figure out what drives consumer behavior online says it plainly: “if I had to pick out the most effective tool for onboarding a user, it would be the progress bar.”

Strong words. But let’s dive deeper for a moment.

Why They Work

Progress bars work essentially on two fronts. Patel goes on to point out in that same post the research Lightspeed Research and Kantar, who performed a study of their own and concluded that “progress indicators increase survey satisfaction” and “increase respondent engagement.”

Engagement and satisfaction. Those are the keys to what we’re talking about here. 

As one study of progress bars reported by Psychology Today reveals, “people’s motivation changes with the frame of reference they are using.” Progress bars allow us to orient our employees to their work, helping them to be more engaged, and more satisfied with the work they’re doing. 

Increasing Engagement

Employee engagement, as we’ve talked about innumerable times here on the blog, comes from a sense of understanding our position, how we accomplish it, and what value it brings to our coworkers (and the organization itself). 

Plainly, a progress bar increases our sense of engagement by allowing us to frame our work around a goal. It’s no secret that much of our day to day tasks can be monotonous. But they’re still things we have to get done—whether or not the results are immediately apparent. 

When you’ve got a progress bar attached to that work, you can see not only what you’ve already done, but how much more you’ll need to do to reach your goal. More than just a light at the end of the tunnel, progress bars show us that what we’re doing is making a meaningful impact. 

Creating Real Satisfaction

What managers can often miss about the importance of setting and keeping goals is that not all work is good work. If we’re not properly oriented to our essential KPIs as workers, we could be spending time on tasks that aren’t suited for our role. 

That sort of behavior leads to real frustration in work, and ultimately leads to disengaged employees

A progress bar fixes that. It’s a constant reminder of what work needs to be prioritized, and what tasks are going to get us to our goals fastest. 

It may seem like this is a lot of power to be attributed to such a simple tool. But the results speak for themselves. See how implementing one in your office this week might be just the tool your employees have been desperate to have! 

Josh Benedetto

Why Do Salespeople Need Motivation Boosts More than Anyone Else?

Scott Leese

Let’s set aside the debate over whether salespeople need motivation boosts more than anyone else for now, and let’s assume this is true.

If you ask somebody to do a task one hundred times today, what will they tell you? 

Now, what if you also tell them that if they’re really good [and/or lucky] they might successfully complete that task one to three times out of a hundred? How willingly would somebody agree to these terms?

I get it. If you don’t work in sales you may think salespeople are overly-emotional, whiny, entitled folks who always need, and want, more than anybody else.

Guess what? You’re probably right.

But what you’re wrong about is that the job is difficult, not easy, and that because salespeople have the opportunity to be paid well they should shut up and not need any more pats on the back or motivation than other roles.

Personality Assumptions

I think it’s important to know who salespeople are in order to understand why they need more motivation than most. Let’s start with some basic assumptions about the personalities of successful salespeople.

  1. Salespeople tend to be HIGHLY competitive. Competitive people thrive on recognition. So much so that in some cases, the validation and glory mean more to them than any monetary form of compensation.
  2. Salespeople are often confident and outspoken, and vocalize their needs and desires profusely. The takeaway here is perhaps they advocate for their needs more loudly than others, and therefore have them met more frequently.
  3. Salespeople are masters of storytelling and emotions. The transference of this enthusiasm from one person to the next could be called the foundation of sales itself in fact. Because of this, we are required to be passionate and emotional.

So why might salespeople need more boosts and motivation than others?

  1. A profession with a 99% failure rate is emotionally more difficult than other professions. Imagine if a dentist had a 99% fail rate. What if a journalist got 99% of their stories wrong? Can you imagine the chaos if the mailman delivered mail to the wrong house 99% of the time?
  2. Salespeople ride the rollercoaster of emotions in their day to day more than anybody. Stoked because you beat your target last quarter? Awesome, your target this quarter just got doubled. Expectations have never been higher in our profession. If you are venture backed and growing less than 100% YOY you are looked at with disdain. Do you know how hard that is to deal with mentally? This pressure contributes to fragile emotional states that need a boost to balance out the tough times.
  3. Ever been in a slump and had your income halved or your job on the line based on how you perform this month? The pressure you are under is immense. It’s not hard to understand why a pep talk might go a long way for us to get our swagger back up every so often.
  4. The positive to negative ratio in sales is on a SHARP negative slant. If it takes 7 positives to erase 1 negative, salespeople are working at a positivity deficit every single day of their careers. Motivation boosts are life water in a desert of “no’s” and rejection.
  5. Sales is a monotonous, repetitive cycle, and can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. It can sap the energy from a body, a sales floor, and an organization. Motivation is like a caffeine kick to the body, releasing adrenaline and a rush of energy.

If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will believe some data. I did a quick search for “Motivational Videos for Salespeople’ and it returned 20.5 million results. Seems like demand is there to me. But where does the demand come from?

Why the high failure rate?

One of the reasons we have such a high failure rate in sales is that many in the profession do not operate their job functions within a true sales process. This causes chaos, missed opportunity, wasted time and energy, and ultimately a heavy toll on the salesperson and the org. 

If we can get more companies to fully buy into the [mostly] accepted reality than in order to be truly successful in sales, you have to follow a sales process and adhere to the principles and tactics which have proven themselves to be successful over time. 

The Financial Issue

Is there another profession where your paycheck varies so radically? I’ve made $100k in a month and I’ve made $0 in a month before. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Think of the risks salespeople are taking by subjecting themselves to financial swings like this. This is not about buying fancy cars or vacation homes. This is about people dealing with these swings trying to make rent, car payments, and pay for groceries. 

The need for education and training around healthy financial habits is huge. Perhaps another opportunity to eliminate the need for constant motivation of salespeople would be a change in the way they are compensated. Can you perform at your optimal level when you are worried about making rent? Do you know how to balance your budget in case you earn 50% less next month than this month? 

For now, try to show some energy and empathy to the plight of the salesperson. Understand how they are wired along with the degree of difficulty of the job they are doing. Providing them with some motivation and inspiration [even if it’s everyday] should not be something you loathe doing, but rather as a healthy supportive way to get the most out of your team.

Special Offer

The Best Benefits For Your Team In The Face Of A Pandemic

Scott Leese

Science of Motivation: Motivating The Whole Team

Josh Benedetto

It’s about that time of the year where the sports analogies are really heating up, so let’s take a stop off at NFL station: 

As any football fan will understand, no one player can get your team to the championship. 

You need great players on both sides of the ball, coaches who can craft a great scheme, and the mindset from every single player that winning is not only possible—but the prime directive. 

You could have a quarterback unlike any seen in a generation, but if your offensive line is swiss cheese, they’ll never have a chance to throw the ball. 

Or you may have a coach who makes Albert Einstein look like a dunce, but if your players can’t execute the plays then they’re worthless. 

And even if football isn’t really your cup of tea, the message is pretty clear: none of us are an island, and no business can be successful with just one person putting in the effort. If that were the case, we’d see a lot more one-person companies. 

But you know that. You know all of that. Which is probably exactly why you’re here. 

You’re seeing that your team isn’t motivated in the way that they need to be. They’re struggling to put up the numbers you know they’re capable of, and you’re at a loss for how to get everyone back on track. 

Sure, you’ve got your top performers who continue to execute with excellence. But they can only carry you so far: and you’ve got greater heights in sight. 

Well here at Hoopla, we believe that motivation is a science—something that you can understand, master, and execute. And the science of motivation is something that you can use this week to motivate every member of your team, not just the ones who are already working hard. 

For starters, we’ll talk you through a few simple principals, and then show you why they work so well. 

Be Realistic About The Work

Sometimes people like to say “be realistic” as a way to curb expectations. It’s really code for, “Hey, slow down. That’s just not possible.” 

But that couldn’t be further from what we mean by it. Being realistic about the work has a two-fold meaning. 

The first, is that we want to make sure that we’re setting concrete, achievable goals. Oftentimes, when we first think of setting motivating goals for our team, they come in the form of ideas—things like “get more sales” or generally “get better results.” 

But those goals don’t have a metric to measure. And when we don’t ground our goals in tangible numbers and executable results, it’s hard to know how we can actually go about realizing those goals. 

Now to the science of it being “realistic.” 

A while back we spoke on the difference between the two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. 

What we know from countless studies (and we highly recommend you go back and read our whole writeup) is that not everyone is motivated intrinsically. 

Cutting out the six-dollar words, what that means is we have to remember that not every employee is going to come in every day excited about their job. In fact, they’re going to have a lot of days where they don’t want to do the work at all. 

Because sometimes, the “joy” the work itself isn’t always inherently motivating. And that’s where you can introduce positive extrinsic motivators—like a good rewards or incentives program—that will help them to power through those “Monday” moods. 

Empowered People Empower People

As Tanya Robertson of Chron points out, “Research shows that when employees are given the freedom associated with autonomy, job satisfaction rises… this increased level of job satisfaction in employees stems from a feeling of greater responsibility for the quality of their work. Autonomy has also been shown to increase motivation and happiness, along with decreasing employee turnover.”

In other words, studies show that motivating your team starts with empowering them. And that empowerment then quickly spreads throughout your organization. 

Let Them Leave The Nest

Here’s the other side of that same coin: people don’t like to feel micromanaged. While it’s great that we can empower our employees to do their best, we also have to remember how to be our best as managers. A big part of that means not hovering. 

As NBC News reported on a recent LinkedIn study, one of the top complaints employees had for their managers was that they were micromanaging them. 

And as the report went on to advise, not all of us even realize that we’re micromanaging. The way that we can counteract it is a two-step process: first, we communicate our expectations clearly for the project and its deliverables. Then, we sit back and be patient as we trust our employees to figure it out.  

“Be mindful that everyone is different,” NBC News reminds us. “Some people will pick up a new skill more quickly than others. This doesn’t mean the one that lags is less capable, nor does it mean that you have to helicopter-manage those struggling.”

Be Relentlessly Available

Finally, one surefire way to motivate your entire team is to leave the door open. 

Each of our employees is going to have different needs—different issues affecting their personal and professional lives, different challenges that they encounter in their work, and different questions for their manager. And the easiest way to assess those needs is to give them an open channel to come and address those need with you. 

As a sweeping survey from the Institute of PR shows us, organizations that had effective internal communication were 50% more productive and had 44% higher retention rates. Those are huge numbers that we as managers must prioritize.

Never get settled into the idea that your team is “plug and play,” and once you wind them up, they’ll always be ready to go. Every day is a new battle. And that means that every day, you the manager need to come in equipped to give your team everything they need. 

And the good news is? You can absolutely, 100% do it. And we’ve got your back!

Josh Benedetto

Pleasure and Pain. The “Carrot” and the “Stick.”

Scott Leese

We’ve all heard these terms before, right?

When it comes to reward and punishment, both can play a part in creating healthy boundaries, and accountability. However, when trying to inspire action, rewarding behavior has multiple benefits that punishment does not accomplish.

By rewarding employee positive performance, their contributions are acknowledged, and appreciation for their work feeds a necessary human need, to feel valued.

Benefits of rewarding employees have true cultural and monetary impacts on business. Rewarded employees are happier, see an increase in productivity, and are largely more loyal, and less likely to leave. When employees are happy, morale is boosted, and the workplace becomes a place that people want to be, invest in, and see succeed. There is a direct correlation between engaged and happy employees, and hitting revenue goals.

There’s a science to using reward and punishment, and it comes down to “go” or “no.” If your desired end result is motivation to “go,” rewards are proven to be a greater influence. Alternatively, if you don’t want an employee to do something, punishment is more effective. Where rewards create excitement, motivation, and interest; punishment creates anxiety, fear, and avoidance. 

*Note to all – use the “Stick” sparingly, or your entire culture will become fear-based.*

Effective reward, or a perk of the job?

Most people think of monetary rewards in sales contests, and although money is certainly an excellent motivator for a salesperson, it’s most important that there is an understanding of what the reward will provide to the recipient long term, and that the reward provides an effective motivational influence.

It’s about the experience. What will one experience via the reward?

Perks of the job, such as a parking space, or free lunch, prevent dissatisfaction. But to motivate and influence positive behavior there are key factors that have been shown to be powerful when aligning an employee’s feelings and the desired outcomes for the organization.

  • Appreciation
  • Development and growth
  • Inclusion and trust
  • Mentoring and mentorship

The magic formula is providing rewards that impact an employee in the above ways, and aligning those rewards with desired company outcomes. The results are more autonomous, loyal, and productive employees; happy to engage and take ownership in their role.

So where does one look for a reward capable of providing this experience?

Have you been looking for a creative reward that will accomplish each motivational factor? Are you looking to provide an experience where your employee’s can learn and talk sales with peers, and rising sales leaders? Don’t you want to enjoy professional development while also enjoying white sand, sunny beaches, and surfing the world renowned waves of Costa Rica? 

Join me in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, for The 4th Surf & Sales Summit, where you’re rewarded and appreciated for the success you’ve had, mentored and coached to further improve your performance so you can set new and exciting goals, and learn alongside trusted and like-minded peers in an intimate group with tailored content. Come back refreshed and inspired to make 2020 one full of tremendous achievements.

Oh, and did I mention the mental health benefits of getting out of your routine and into a beautiful and serene landscape where you can exercise, rest, relax and have fun? Mental health is something we all experience, yet rarely discuss. So let’s at least commit to making it a part of our reward system.

While a reward system is an important piece of leadership and management, protecting, and supporting mental health within the workplace is imperative. Take a moment to read the following ebook, Start Talking – 40 Thoughts, Tips and Ideas to Start Talking About Mental Health in Sales Vol 2., by Jeff Riseley.

Scott Leese

Office Innovations for a More Motivated Work Team

Scott Leese

When it comes to the minutiae of daily workflow, your employees can quickly begin to feel worn down and unmotivated to work steadily at a high level of productivity. A great deal contributes to whether an employee feels motivated to work hard, especially when it comes to the tools they are (or aren’t) given to do their job. With the wealth of new office technology that exists today to  make work easier and more engaging, businesses and their employees would largely benefit from implementing some of the newest tech into their office spaces. 

Encourage Communication

If your business is looking for ways to encourage your team to be more engaged in their work, invest in helping them build connections with their fellow coworkers. Having a strong connection to those who work in the same role as you or even work for the same company helps to build a stronger company relationship.

When everyone can understand workplace struggles and successes through communication and connectivity, employees are more likely to feel like a team working toward a common goal when compared to office cultures where interpersonal communication is not valued. You can achieve this sense of teamwork by designing the seating arrangement of an office to offer both open and closed seating. This design allows for collaboration and conversation when needed, and quiet areas of retreat for when more focused concentration is required. Employees want to feel like a part of their team. When a strong sense of community is built in a work setting, there is a stronger drive to work harder for both their own personal tasks as well as larger objectives in the department. Another great way to help all employees feel connected is with a private intranet for your company.

This platform is a great way for leaders to share information from the top, down with their teammates and employees. Secure company information, as well as general announcements are easily posted in a single space for everyone to see and respond to if needed. Rather than filling inboxes with endless announcements and the dreaded “reply-all” email thread to follow, an intranet helps keep information and responses in one place for simple management and communication. 

Show You Care for Your Employees

It is important that employers communicate how much they value and appreciate the work their employees do, as well as reinforce the importance of this work and the benefit it provides for the company.  When employees are feeling unmotivated or worn down from their work, they are unlikely to communicate this to a superior for fear of repercussion. A great way to get an understanding for how your employees are feeling about the general office climate and their personal experience with work (without having to speak face-to-face with a superior) is with anonymous feedback, or employee feedback software. This tool helps to get a candid understanding of how employees are feeling currently, rather than waiting until it is too late, during an exit interview. Obtaining this feedback is perfect for making changes quickly and keeping your team happy, which ultimately increases employee retention rates.

Connect Your Remote Employees

While in-office employees are important to care for and build teamwork with, businesses must remember to cater just as much to their remote employees and their need for collaboration as well. Remote workers have the unique benefit of creating a schedule that works best for them, around their own personal schedules. These employees can work from anywhere, and generally at any time in a given work day. With this freedom, employees are typically happier and will want to stay with a company that allows for this style of work. 

Unfortunately, many remote workers lack the human connection that comes with working in the same office space as the rest of the company. Fortunately, business applications like a company-wide chat platform help these employees feel more connected to the larger company, no matter where they work from. Chat messaging offers a digital space for asking informal questions and collaborating with team members.  It is in the best interest of business owners and managing departments to implement a number of communication technologies to connect with remote teams; however, based on the number of applications you choose to incorporate into your business, you may want to consider a unified communications solution to keep these applications synchronized across all channels. This makes collaboration and connectivity even simpler, which will make all employees, in and out of the office, feel acknowledged and connected to their teammates. Now employees, local and remote, will feel more motivated to get their work done, as collaboration is made so simple.

Create Healthy Competition

Another helpful resource when looking to motivate employees to work harder and achieve important company goals is gamification software. This innovative new technology is a great tool for getting employees motivated to achieve company goals in a way that is visible to all employees and leaders. Not only will employees want to earn points and stay ahead of their competition (their coworkers), but they will also be publicly recognized for their achievements. Creating rewards for employees who continually work to meet company goals will help to keep your entire team on track for success. Employees will feel valued and recognized for their work, and will want to keep pushing forward to achieve new goals. 

Of course, it is important to emphasize that the competition created by this software is friendly and only meant to help the team, not hurt it. For those employees who struggle to earn points or achieve goals, leaders should take time to work with and encourage these team members, rather than punishing them for lacking in results. This tool will help to see who needs help with what tasks, and who is ready for bigger challenges, all which will result in a company that runs at maximum efficiency. 

Try Something New

Even if your company decides to try just one of the new technologies mentioned, you’ll be helping your employees do their best work. Start with gathering feedback from your employees and seeing where they think the most improvement could be made. Learn where the majority seems to be struggling and what the team needs, and then decide which tech tool is the right fit for your business.

Scott Leese
Contests Motivation

Do We Need Sales Contests?

Scott Leese

Do we need sales contests?

A simple, fair comp structure is really the best way to go, but c’mon, let’s face it…salespeople love any reason to work just a little bit harder for larger returns.

Still a minority, but I’m finding that some sales leaders are now against the idea of most sales contests, president’s clubs, etc. They seem to think they do more harm than good to a sales org. My hunch here is that some folks have either:

  1. Put together poorly run contests, or
  2. Been a part of poorly run contests before, and therefore…

Have a negative viewpoint of them. A poorly run contest can leave managers or future managers thinking contests as a whole do not work.

I personally think the answer is they’re not “needed,” but they are valuable and fun for the teams. I also feel like mixing up contests is the best way to go. Never let them become stale. Rotate between results, metrics, whole team and individual goals, big prizes or trips, and small but meaningful incentives. 

Assuming you already have that fair comp structure in place, contests around creativity like “best new email template,” “best new collateral,” and “best above and beyond story,” might be the best bang for your contest bucks. 

Effective Contest Structure

In my experience, the best way to run a contest is to create one that everybody believes they can win. You must set a bar that everyone feels that they can attain even if it’s a stretch goal. The team is then more supportive of each other and the contest as a whole achieves far more revenue/results. This is an important consideration, because if it seems that only the top seller can win, the team may not be as motivated. The floor can take on a negative mentality such as “Well, so-and-so always wins, so why bother trying?” Again, this is where managers and sales leaders become tainted by contests. It’s not contests themselves that fail it’s poorly executed contests.

I always try to base contests around sales activity AND revenue. Shorter contests work better because many salespeople have the attention span of a squirrel, and want immediate results. It’s much harder to sustain momentum for a month, or quarter long contest; than a contest running a few days or a week. 

I would advise against making contest decisions in a vacuum without team participation. I love hearing ideas of contest structure and rewards from frontline manager and sales reps. Why? Because obviously their buy-in will be that much stronger if they participate in the creation of the contest.

Measuring Contest Effectiveness

Data. Data. Data. Of course the data should yield improvement in KPI’s, pipeline generated, and revenue sold. But what about soft, or less measurable results, like improved morale, increased communication, and strengthening of internal relationships? Harder to quantify results such as these can result in both short and long term gains. How do you quantify morale? Perhaps it’s increased tenure. In other cases it could be increased teamwork and camaraderie. These “less measurable” results should not be ignored, and can be quite powerful.

I spoke with a sales leader who once ran a contest that every time an SDR got a set, they got a high five and a personal compliment. I’m sure that makes the team feel good at scale. Money doesn’t always talk. On that same train of thought, I notoriously ran contests where I had to serve coffee, water, food to team members who “won” a contest. Nothing like having your reps boss you around to motivate them!

By increasing effort metrics, ie “hustle,” it will improve the buzz and energy on the sales floor. I never met a salesperson who didn’t feed off the energy of others. If there are SDR’s saying “OH CRAP HE GOT ANOTHER SET – I GOTTA GET ONE TO STAY AHEAD”- you know they are incentivized and the floor is rocking. The result? Shorter sales cycles, increased revenue and pipeline generation, greater talk times, and more meetings booked. 

Build a Contest from Scratch

I’ve built or helped build sales contests and competitions for the orgs I’ve led many times, and in many different formats, but there is one place it always begins. 


The budget for the contest is the starting point. 

And that budget begins with a sale. The sales leader selling the contest up the food chain to the CFO/CEO. So what are some of the steps you should take?

  1. Get the budget.
  2. Have a theme – a structure or activity, based around that theme, and a fun reward.
  3. Figure out the metric that you are trying to improve upon (ex. number of demos held) and apply this metric to the theme.
  4. Use a tool (like Hoopla) to track it. 
  5. Give the reps easy wins throughout the process (ex. top rep gets a gift card every day). 
  6. Build up to a grand prize that is something every rep would want. Make sure that it is large enough to entice them to keep going. 
    • I have sent reps to Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New York City and more. 
    • People love experiences often more than cash.
  7. Stay in the budget. I repeat…stay in the budget. 
    • Blowing the budget out will jeopardize your ability to run another contest. 
    • But if you blow the numbers away while staying in budget, you might find yourself able to do it again with a BIGGER budget next time.

Key Takeaways

As I said earlier, you don’t have to hold sales contests, but they do have value when done right. You know you are doing it correctly when you:

  • Involve everyone.
  • Communicate well.
  • Vary the format and rewards.
  • Measure with hard metrics and soft results.
  • Set and stay within budget.

Salespeople love rewards and competing. Give the people what they want, but do it right.

Scott Leese

Tips on Motivating your Sales Team and Staying Motivated Yourself

Scott Leese

Motivational questions come at me all the time. Seems like everyone is seeking to get/stay inspired. How we answer those questions is really important.  Here are a few that I get asked consistently:

  • How do you personally stay motivated? 
    • Is it a carrot: ala a trip or a new car? Is it family/kids? 
  • Has that motivation changed over time?
  • How have you motivated your teams in the past? 
    • Any issues when the team’s motivations don’t align with yours? 
  • What are the key attributes (if any) that your teams have had in common when it comes to motivation? 

On Personal Motivation

Before I answer, I want to say that being diligent and consistent with my tips helps prevent my motivation from waxing and waning. I am “rev’d up” almost all the time. So much so that my wife often says I have two speeds a) Full Speed and b) Dead Stop. I rarely experience loss of motivation and I believe I stay motivated through:

  1. Learning/Reading 
  2. Staying focused on my “why”, and 
  3. Always competing

My motivation has absolutely evolved over time, and I think it will for most people. I spent most of 2000-2004 fighting for my life. When I was sick in the hospital it was not only about surviving, but also reading and learning, which were the only outlets I had. 

When my career first started, the motivation I experienced came entirely from my prior life competing as an athlete, and I applied it to sales. I wanted to win. I wanted accolades and rewards, and they drove my behavior.

Now, as I begin the latest phase of my professional life, the “why” [family, freedom, fun] become more powerful motivators. It doesn’t mean the previous motivations are gone for good, it just means this one is the primary factor right now. I work hard to be able to spend more time with my family and do the things we love to do, when we want to do them. But I work when I want to work more than ever before, with less of a sense of obligation to a boss to do this work.

On Motivating others

As a leader I am constantly seeking new and creative ways to lead my teams. There are some really simple methods that I implement however that are probably equally if not more effective than anything else.

  • Write your goals down and share them.
  • Understand what you have to lose/gain and allow yourself to be held accountable.
  • Sharing what I’m reading/listening to that is pumping me up.
  • Reminding the team of how many difficult things they’ve already been through in their lives and how thankful we should all be for this opportunity in front of us. Gratitude is a great motivator.

If my team members and I are not in lock step we are inevitably going to clash. It is painful as a sales leader when you feel like you care more than some team members. You feel lost and hopeless and disappointed in your inability to help somebody. As a frontline team member it can be extremely demoralizing to feel like you care more than your leader. You seek out help and don’t receive feedback and go through each day feeling isolated and like you’re alone on an island without guidance.

The best teams have more people who are internally motivated and know how to manage themselves, their goals, their mindsets. However, I also think the best teams have open and clear communication. I think it’s absolutely essential that leaders and their team members communicate and discuss their motivations and reasons for being there. 

If you don’t know how to begin, try blocking out time each week during your 1-1s or pipeline reviews to ensure you discuss goals and motivations. If you are in a leadership role, perhaps sharing your goals and tricks for staying motivated will help your direct reports feel more comfortable in sharing their motivations and goals with you.

We need to know we’re on the same page/team and it helps tighten the bonds when we understand each other better. Think about these questions for yourself and what they mean to you. Powerful answers to be found and those lead to successful outcomes.

Scott Leese

Every Sales Person Should Have a Work Routine: Here’s How To Perfect Yours


Raise your hand if you were excited when your alarm went off this morning. 

No? Nobody? 

For most of us, the prospect of another day of work can feel… daunting. There’s a lot to do, a lot of people to please, a lot of expectations to be met. It’s hard to sort out what matters, what doesn’t, and what’s going to propel us towards our larger goals—both for the present and the future. 

And if any of that strikes a chord with you as much as it does for us, may we be so bold as to introduce you to our good friend Routine. 

Do Your Research

Let’s start with the cold, hard truth: if there were a one-size-fits-all routine for all salespeople, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now. You’d have read about this one great routine in some business publication we won’t mention here years ago, and no further discussion on the topic would be necessary. 

But with some eight billion people in the world—and at least a few varying personalities among them—there’s going to be room for customization. What works for your friend three cubicles down may very well not work for you. 

And that’s okay! It just means you need to do some research. 

And in our experience, the best research starts with the people around you. Open up a line of communication with your manager, schedule a few one-on-ones with some of the top performers in your department, or just have a chat around the water cooler. 

What you’ll quickly find is that most of the most successful people you know keep some sort of routine. Take from them what works for you, and then begin to refine it. 

Keep a Journal

The easiest way to track what’s working for you and what isn’t is to keep a log of it. Most often, that looks like keeping a journal of your day. 

Now, of course, we don’t expect you to be filling it with paragraphs of beautiful prose (although who doesn’t appreciate some good writing!). The idea is more that you’re tracking what you need to do at the beginning of the day, and then what you actually did by the end of it. 

It can be as simple as a timestamp – “Talked to boss at 1:00p, reminded her of need for deadline extension.” Or as complex as detailed notes from one of those meetings that definitely could have just been an email. 

As the Muse’s Jenna Apak puts it, “consider it the easiest (and cheapest) form of professional development you can find!”

Prioritize Your Activities

If you’re having a hard time finding a place to start with your routine, take out that to-do list you’ve been working on (ahem), and let’s begin by prioritizing your activities for the day. 

As Falon Fatemi tells us in an article for Forbes, just 28% of salespeople of salespeople actually follow some sort of structured time-management routine. 

She goes on to divide the majority of work that salespeople do into three main categories: creative, monotonous, and analytical. And she suggests that we should structure our day around the optimal times to perform each. For example, analytical work should be done when our brain is at its most alert—for early birds that first thing in the morning, but for night owls, that might be much later on. 

“Regardless of whether you are an early bird, a night owl, or a third bird,” Fatemi says, “it’s best to schedule your monotonous work during your midday troughs when you’re experiencing your low point in terms of alertness and focus.” Neuroscientific studies aside, the advice is really quite simple: take note of the times in the day when you’re the most “on,” and use them to your advantage. Likewise, don’t let that afternoon slump be a day-ruiner—instead, make it a chance to clear off the work that doesn’t take so much brain power. 

Put Everything In The Calendar

Speaking of brain power, don’t rely on your own memory to be the source of your success. As sharp as any one of us may be, there are always going to be little things that slip through the cracks if we rely solely on “power of will.” 

Here at Hoopla, we subscribe to the idea of putting everything in the calendar. The concept is about as straightforward as it gets: if it needs to get done, it goes on the calendar. From prospecting to texting someone “happy birthday,” give yourself the freedom of a calendar driven life. 

It allows you to concretely outline everything that matters to you, and also give it the space to actually get done. If you find yourself constantly kicking proverbial cans down the road, this practice is an absolute must. 

Say No To Email

Another philosophy that we subscribe to pretty religiously around here is the concept of ditching your email at every chance you can. 

Remember earlier when we mentioned all those meetings that could have been emails? Well how about all those emails that could have been anything else—if anything at all? 

Email has this insidious way of taking up way more of our space than it deserves. We let the constant flood of notifications be an excuse to prioritize things that don’t matter.  Get in the habit of making email what it should be: one part of your day. Schedule time to answer and read emails. But if it’s not on the calendar, just let it be. 

Come Up For Air

Here in the U.S., we’re not so great at knowing when to call it quits. 

As CNBC reported earlier this year, not even one third of Americans plan to max out their vacation days—and more startling, 13% of the U.S. workforce plans to take just a quarter or less of their allotted time off. 

Reminding us of the eminent wisdom of Basecamp’s CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, Hubspot’s Aja Frost reminds us that “some of the highest-achieving people in history — like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Charles Dickens, and Charles Darwin — prioritized sleep and a balanced schedule.” And what’s more, she goes on to say, “Breaks are scientifically proven to boost memory, focus, and the quality of your ideas.”

The last bit of advice we can offer for creating an effective routine is simply having that wisdom to say, “That’s enough for today.”  Don’t feel guilty about—just take satisfaction in a calendar full of completed tasks, and routine that really is working for you.   


Yes Motivated Employees Make Better Companies: Here’s Why.


How often are you satisfied with the bare minimum? When you ordered that burrito bowl the other day and the worker barely filled the scooper with chicken, did you praise them for their shrewd business acumen? Do you think they were feeling motivated? 

So why do we settle for the bare minimum in our own work? Why are we so focused on a self-made finish line instead of trying to break new records? We are constantly putting limits on our own abilities, and it’s all because of a lack of motivation. 

If you–if your employees–have nothing else to work for than the weekend, you’re doing something wrong. But this isn’t an incurable problem. There are ways to reshape your and your employees’ motivation in ways that you may have never even imagined. And it starts with you: start to rethink how you view your company, your management style, and your objectives as an organization–and in that, you’ll find a whole new path forward towards an all around better team.

Performance Management vs. Micro-Management

A few years ago, Deloitte published an extensive analysis of their own revamped performance management strategy, and raised this game-changing question: “Is performance management at root more about ‘management’ or about ‘performance’? Put differently, although it may be great to be able to measure and reward the performance you have, wouldn’t it be better still to be able to improve it?” For them, then, the objective was not simply to analyze performance, but to fuel it

As managers, one major temptation is to shepherd our teams rather than empower them. And at it’s root, that is an issue of trust: when we don’t trust our team members to do the right things, we end up micromanaging instead of developing and truly helping manage their performances.  If you feel like your employees aren’t quite motivated, start by empowering them–show them that you believe in their potential, and task them with taking their role to new heights. That’s where good management starts, and where motivation thrives.

Goals Breed Engagement

One of the most important tools an empowered and engaged employee can wield is a goal. Whether it’s mapping out their sales numbers for the year, or trying to hit certain numbers on that KPI dashboard, goals help to inspire and motivate to make work feel accomplishing and fulfilling.

 This week spend some time with your team and help them to set their own goals, so that they have something to work for besides sitting around hoping you notice their good performance. Whether your team is in sales, customer service, or anything in between, you’re giving them something concrete to fight for day in and day out.

Ownership is a Team Sport

It’s tantamount, however, that your employees don’t set goals that isolate them from the rest of the team. You’re not an island, and your employees have to be bought into your vision for broad success. 

We’re seeing startups rise and fall every day, and a major factor in a company continuing that upward trajectory is the confidence their whole team has in the company’s mission. Make sure that your team is bought into their mission, and you’ll be amazed at how motivated they’ll become.


How To Motivate Your Team (And How Definitely Not To)


We spend a lot of time not thinking about motivation, but it’s one of the most important aspects of employee engagement

What the heck are we even doing here? 

That’s the underlying question. And if you don’t have a good answer for it, then you can be pretty sure that your employees don’t either—or worse yet, their reasoning has nothing to do with making your company a better place to work. 

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have motivations within our jobs. And for your employees, if you’re not taking the time to cultivate those motivations, it may be the motivation to get out of the job they’re currently in. 

Where Does Motivation Come From?

Generally speaking, motivation can come from anywhere—but you already knew that.  What you may not have known is that motivation commonly gets broken into two larger categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. And based on how often we all use those words, there’s surely no need for further explanation.  But we’ll give you one anyway. 

Intrinsic Motivation: What Is It?

Contemporary educational psychologists Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci define intrinsic motivation as doing “an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequence.” In other words, you do something because you simply enjoy doing it. This may sound like an oversimplification (and it totally is), but what we can gather from that is more than just “good things are good.” Instead, what can learn is that intrinsically motivated employees are those that are curious, they enjoy learning, and they like to find creative solutions. .

For employees that display those traits, be sure to cultivate that intrinsic motivation in their work: empower them to be curious and creative as much as their job allows. 

Extrinsic Motivation: The Good And Bad One

As Ryan and Deci go on to point out, while intrinsic motivation is a nice idea and all, it’s not common among our everyday activities as humans. We’re not all intrinsically motivated to pay our bills. It’s just something we have to do.  And that’s why extrinsic motivation is an extremely important element in motivating our employees—but why it also certainly has its pitfalls.  Extrinsic motivation, as they put it, has everything to do with “whenever an activity is done in order to attain some separable outcome.” 

And that’s where things get complicated. Just because we’re doing an action to attain an outcome doesn’t mean everyone’s doing it for the same outcome, and that makes it a lot harder to determine why everyone’s doing it. 

Let’s take drinking a glass of water for example: for one person, they’re doing it so that they don’t feel thirsty anymore. For another person, they’re doing it because their mother told them they can’t leave the dinner table until they do so. For a third, they’re doing it because their crush told them hydration is a very attractive quality.  Okay, maybe that’s not something anyone’s ever said, but you get the point. 

Making Motivation Work For You And Your Team

So now that we’re clear on definitions, we want to give you concrete examples of how both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations can be extremely helpful for your team—and how they can become a detriment.  Just remember this: at the end of the day, motivating your team is about understanding both the roles of your employees within the office, and their specific needs as individuals. It comes down to investing your time and energy into open channels of communication, coupled with a desire to see them thrive.  Without that, all of this becomes ingenuine, and it can’t drive real results. 

Unhealthy Intrinsic Motivation: An Undefined Role

As we mentioned above, the beauty of intrinsically motivated employees can be that they simply enjoy the work—they’re eager to hone a skill and solve problems with creativity.  But huge problems arise here when an employee doesn’t have their role clearly defined. Yes, they’ll continue to explore new ways of solving problems, but they’ll also likely spend time on problems that have nothing to do with the job you need them to do.  Soon, they’ll become disengaged with the job, because they won’t feel like their efforts are being appreciated—and you’ll be frustrated with them for not doing the tasks they need to.

Healthy Intrinsic Motivation: Thriving With KPIs

Instead, you can use clearly defined KPIs to create boundaries within which your employee can thrive.  When an employee know what it takes to be successful in their role, they can use that creative energy to solve the right problems in ways you may have never imagined—which helps lift everyone around them. 

Unhealthy Extrinsic Motivation: Fear of Failure

Without getting too preachy here, studies tell us over and over that fear is not a good motivator if you want your employees to truly thrive in their work. 

When employees’ main drive at work is the fear of failure—which can often be a default mode for managers (“If we don’t hit these numbers we’re sunk!”)—they stop being willing to take risks, and in the process you can even end up killing the curious and creative parts of their work. 

Allow your employees to fail, which will in turn help them to learn and grow from their mistakes. 

Healthy Extrinsic Motivation: Scoring Big By Setting Goals

In the end, what helps the extrinsically motivate an employee isn’t the fear of unemployment around the corner, but rather looking to the horizon of a new goal. 

Both in the short- and long-term, goal-setting helps employees to see where they’re headed, and actually identify an extrinsic relationship in their work. For example, If I can hit these numbers, I’ll earn a bonus that can help me pay for that vacation I’ve been dreaming of.

When we have ways to orient our work to good external goals in our life in and outside of work, we gain a holistic motivation for great performance—and what could be better than that!