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Talent & Recruitment
May 16, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association, Recruitment & Talent Series lock

In this CPSA Recruitment and Talent podcast, we'll talk about motivation and some of the top ways to motivate your sales team.

Money makes the world go around, but it doesn't always motivate your salespeople. Non-monetary incentives among other types should always be considered, especially if you want to keep them. In fact, motivating and retaining are linked. Constantly having to hire a new and retrain your sales teams is quite costly. It makes it harder to hit revenue targets and sales goals.

In order to stay competitive and grow the business, sales leaders must provide the tools and resources for their salespeople to keep them motivated and selling. Combining relationship building, closing the deal, and encouraging the drive to continuously learn that expands their knowledge and excitement for the industry.

Sales coaching is also another way to keep sales people motivated because a sales team that's fully engaged can be incredibly productive to building pipelines and closing the deals. They want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. They also desire transparency in their organizations that lead to clear objectives, continuous learning, and career paths. They want to know how they can play a part in building and sustaining a winning culture.

Our guest today is Molly Fletcher. Molly is the CEO of the Molly Fletcher Company as well as a powerful keynote speaker and author. She's a trailblazer in every sense of the word, hailed as the female Jerry McGuire by CNN, she represented sport's' biggest names and negotiated over $500 million in contracts. She's been featured in ESPN, Fast Company, Forbes, and Sports Illustrated and is the author of three books, most recently, "A Winner's Guide to Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done." She also has a fourth book forthcoming in April of 2017. She's also the founder of a series of online coaching and personal development courses that emphasize why it's so important to invest in ourselves.

Kevin Grossman:  Molly, thank you so much for being on this CPSA Recruitment and Talent podcast. Before we dive into the rest of the show, can you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do today?

Molly Fletcher: Absolutely. I was a sports agent for about 20 years and represented some just terrific athletes and coaches and broadcasters. We had about 300 of them. Just wonderful, wonderful people who were obviously really special at what they did. Now I wrote a book and that just evolved pretty organically into the speaking space and I found myself loving speaking even more than anything else. About 5 years ago, I launched my own business and now I speak. We do workshops and training. We have e-learning courses. I run around the country and have a great team beside me and speak about 60 to 70 days a year. Have a new book coming out, Kevin, in April, April 7th, called, "Fearless at Work." I'm excited about that. Just honored to be on your show. Thanks for having me.

Kevin Grossman: I appreciate it. "Fearless at Work," I love that theme. I can't wait to read the book as well. Speaking along those lines, you know well as anybody else, that keeping employees motivated and retained today is no easy task. It's especially critical for any sales people that you have working for you since they're the ones that help grow the business, at least on the front lines, correct? One way to keep those sales people motivated is to ensure they have the right tools and resources to succeed. Based on your experience, Molly, what do you recommend?

Molly Fletcher:  I think most importantly, I mean, salespeople have to have a really clear purpose of why they do what they do. They've got to wake up every day with a focus and a mission around something that's probably, hopefully, greater than just hitting quota. Usually, if it's just about hitting your numbers, that's not always sustainable and it's probably not always fun. I think sales people got to feel a part of a team. I think they've also got to have an opportunity to feel a part of something bigger than just themselves. I did an event for Johnson & Johnson recently and their sales team. It wasn't, for them really, about meeting their numbers. It was about the lives that they're saving from the products that they sell. It was neat. The leadership team really brought it to life by showing a video of a family who had made it, their child had, in light of one of the products that J&J sells. I think when we keep salespeople motivated as it relates to why they do what they do, I think so often the rest will fall into place.

Kevin Grossman: I would agree with that wholeheartedly. I think a lot of the tools and resources, those come and go, but I think what you were just outlining on the bigger picture of why we do what we do, I think is the most critical. Along those lines, then, what about sales coaching? What role does that play in motivating and retaining salespeople or employees in general?

Molly Fletcher:  To me, I mean, I think coaching is fantastic. We also lift a little bit more weight when we have a trainer standing next to us or we maybe get after a little bit more at bootcamp because we've got somebody next to us that's inspiring us. I think it's fantastic. I think if you're a high achieving sales person, having a coach is terrific. If you think the coach has a magic bullet that's going to unlock this new level of greatness in you, then I think you're maybe being mislead. To me, it's about taking it up another notch. If you're great at what you do and you want to get greater at what you do and you want to get even better, then to me a sales coach can be really powerful in creating some accountability around what goals you've created on exactly what you want to do to get even better. Sales is such an inside out thing and you've got to be very internally motivated to have success there. A coach is powerful but certainly not a magic bullet. You've got to have that come from the inside out and allow them to hold you accountable, push you to unlock an even better version of yourself.

Kevin Grossman: Absolutely. Do you feel that that coaching, is that something that should come, speaking of the inside out, should that come from the outside in or that should be an internal resource as well?

Molly Fletcher:  You mean inside of an organization, if they provide a coach for you? Is that what you're saying?

Kevin Grossman: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Does that coaching, should that be from an outside resource, whether that be another organization, a third party firm that helps to provide coaching, or is that something that comes from the inside, or is it all of the above?

Molly Fletcher:  I think it can be whatever works for the individual. There may be somebody that is internal that the organization likes and pushes, but I think the more specialized your sales role may be, the more you may need somebody that really gets your space and has somebody that's worked with other people internally. Again, I think there is no right answer. To me it's about the connection between the coach and the individual and making sure that that connection's right, that chemistry's right, that transparency's there, that accountability is there and respected by both individuals, certainly. I think that you can come at it both ways but whatever way you come at it and whatever you decide, you've got to own it and allow it to serve you so that you can do what you do, right? I don't think there's a perfect answer to that. 

Kevin Grossman: Agreed. No, completely agreed. I think you pretty much nailed that. In speaking of all things winning, you, definitely coming from the sports world in particular, you know a lot about sustaining a winning culture. I can tell you right now, Molly, I've been a Raiders fan for a long time so you can tell that I'm wearing my hat proudly these days when it comes to sports. Along those lines, how does creating a sustaining winning culture help motivate and engage salespeople? Also, more specifically, what is a winning culture from your experience? Does it vary based on the type of industry business, whether it's a B2C or a B2B industry?

Molly Fletcher:  I think culture is culture. To me, a winning culture is one in which there's a tremendous amount of clarity. For employees to win and for leaders to hold them accountable and support them, there's got to be clarity. Clarity around what's expected, clarity around what success looks like, clarity around what is really most important, not just right now but in the short-term and in the long-term. To me, clarity is a massive deal in creating a culture where there's a healthy environment because people have real clarity around what's most important. I think an environment where there's a fair amount of appropriate transparency is incredibly important, too. When you, as an employee, feel a part of the team and you feel transparency around what really moves the needle for the organization and you feel that level of accountability internally, it allows the leaders to hold the team members accountable.

Hopefully it creates an environment where you can put the kind of people around the table that you think can help solve a problem, regardless of their title. We live in a world so often where you're not supposed to jump levels above you and things of that nature, potentially inside of large organizations, but how do you create an environment where whatever the problem is you're trying to solve, you can lean on the people inside the organization that you believe can help solve that problem? Irregardless of their role, regardless of their title, you believe they're there and they can help solve the problem. They're the kind of people that can help do it. To me, it's not complicated.

It's around clarity. It's around transparency. Then it's around creating an environment in which accountability is welcome and feedback is welcome, up and down. I try to have an environment in my organization where anybody can come in and push back on anything. I listen and I hear it and I try to embrace that feedback and really understand the point of view and where it's coming from. I think when we do that, we, again, we create a better product for the people that we serve and we hopefully become a better leader for the people that we lead. Clarity, transparency and accountability are some of the most important things, in my opinion, in creating a healthy culture.

Kevin Grossman: Those are huge, Molly. Absolutely. Besides everything that we've talked about, specifically those last three that you just outlined, is there any other recommendations, are there any other recommendations, that you have about keeping sales people ... Let me try that again. Are there any other recommendations that you have in keeping salespeople encouraged and productive along the way?

Molly Fletcher:  I think it's got to come from the sales people. If you're having to keep sales people encouraged, then you've got a problem. The sales people have to encourage themselves. It's no different than parenting. I have three kids and my husband and I, they've got to want it more than I want it for themselves. I think if you're finding yourself having to constantly motivate your sales people, you probably have the wrong salespeople. You want to get sales people that want to motivate themselves. Inside of an environment like that, it's people that are excited about waking up everyday and saying, "What are the three things that I can execute against today that's going to make today better than yesterday?" It's salespeople that are focused, that are goal oriented, and that are intentional.

We can often live in a world where we wake up, we go hard all day and we look back at the end of the day and go, "Well, gosh, what did I really move the needle on or what did I really accomplish?" When we wake up and take 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes with, whether it's meditation, whether it's pausing to say, "What are the 3, what are the 5 things that'll make today great," that you bookend against, hopefully, some quarterly goals, then I think you find yourself, at the end of week, at the end of a month, at the end of a quarter, saying, "Man, I had a killer quarter. I did more than I thought I can do." Often it's being intentional and then holding yourself accountable every day toward that goal. To me, it's a little bit about what my next book is about, which is little moments can create really big outcomes. There's never one big, gigantic silver bullet that solves the problem. Usually it's a lot of little things along the way and great salespeople, I think, get that.

Kevin Grossman: Absolutely. You've got to want it more than I want it. I love that line. Thank you, Molly, so much for being on this CPSA podcast. Again, you said your new book, "Fearless at Work," coming out in April, you said, correct? Of next year?

Molly Fletcher:  April 7th. Yeah, it's actually up on Amazon now so you can pre-order it if you want.

Kevin Grossman: Oh, awesome. We can pre-order it now. That's great. Where can we find more information about the Molly Fletcher Company as well?

Molly Fletcher:  It's We made it really complicated, Kevin. There's a bunch of stuff there. Hopefully you'll check it out.

Kevin Grossman: Excellent. Molly, thank you so much again and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Molly Fletcher:  Absolutely. My pleasure, Kevin. Thank you.

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