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Celebrating Sales Wins - Remotely?

· sales leadership,sales meetings,behavioral science

How are you celebrating you and your team’s victories now in a remote environment?

As I’ve written about before, getting the most out of your sales team is NOT all about pay!

If you are relying on variable compensation as the means of driving engagement and motivation into your sales team, you’re doing it wrong.

Yes - variable compensation is important, but only a portion of what drives an individual.

The key to having reps who show up every day, do their best, stay and tell their friends is in creating an environment where they are rewarded for doing work they are intrinsically motivated to do.

One of the drivers of “intrinsic” motivation is a category I refer to as:


We are more driven to attain a goal when performance recognition, status and feedback are available.

Individuals tend to work MORE and for LONGER periods when they feel their efforts are acknowledged and validated...

...beyond dollars. Fairness is a part of intrinsic motivation, however, public & private recognition is as strong or stronger a driver of intrinsic motivation that money.

For example, three years ago, early in a quarter, while holding ten $100 bills, I walked into the area where all of our corporate (inside) sellers were located.

I announced to the team, “For the next ten deals that close where the annual recurring revenue (ARR) is over $10,000, I will walk out and hand the rep for that deal one of these $100 bills.”

>$10k ARR = $100. It was that simple.

Mind you, the average commission on such a deal for the rep was 8.5%. Our average deal size for corporate deals was around $21,000 - which would be a commission average of $1,785.


The energy by which the team went after those deals was palpable. This was early in a quarter - what typically would have been a slow time for our business.

We closed ten such deals faster than we did at the end of the previous quarter - a time when the deals are rolling in. It lit a fire in the team, they performed, and had a blast celebrating every time I walked out to pass out one of the bills.

Was it the $100 itself that drove the additional motivation? Or, was it the pageantry of the delivery of the $100 bills and their name on the board as one of the ten?

The behavioral science all says it's the latter. The pageantry and recognition associated with the delivery of those $100 bills drove a higher level of performance than any foundational extrinsic motivators we had in place - even the $1,785 in average commission that also awaited these reps when closing a deal.

We always had a bell in the middle of the sales floor - which the reps loved ringing, and when rung, everyone in the office stopped what they were doing and celebrated.

You'd then hear things like buzzing around the office like,

"What deal just closed?"

"Who was it with?"

"How much was it for?"

"Who did we beat?"

"What did they buy?"

There’s a reason why public celebration around a goal achieved is a good idea - performance goes up when recognition, validation and status are a regular part of the selling environment.

When we’re all remote, much of that GROUP recognition becomes harder...or even disappears.

Since I left my CRO role to build my own business and write a book, I still celebrate the wins with a bell ring - even if I’m the only one home.

Find ways to celebrate TOGETHER virtually. Here's two thoughts I've had...probably not the greatest, but here goes:

  • During your virtual team meetings, make a production out of it. Send each rep a bell to have at home, or have them each create their own way to celebrate a win. Then, during the call, callout the victory, then have that individual ring their bell.
  • Have each rep record a short video of the win celebration - a dance, a theme song, a bell ring, whatever, and tell a quick quip about the win. Make it a learning opportunity. Then share it - company wide - via email, Slack, or wherever you communicate.

What are you & your company doing to celebrate the wins now that we’re not all together?

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