The Ultimate List of Sales & Leadership Quotes to Motivate Your Team

John Rydell

May 10, 2024

15 mins

Table of Contents

The right motivation can be the key to inspiring great achievements—in sales as with anything else. When you’re feeling down or unmotivated, quotes can help reinforce important principles and can elevate your spirit in just a few words.

With that in mind, here’s a collection of great motivational sales quotes that will help you regain your focus and get back in the game next time you feel like you're in a slump. Then, use our power dialer for sales teams to get back out there and reach your prospects.

How PhoneBurner Helps Motivated Sales Teams Succeed

We built PhoneBurner to help sales teams have more quality conversations that grow pipeline, and drive revenue. If your team has the motivation, we have the tools to help them turn it into success. You’ll get:

  • The ability to reach up to 4x as many prospects with no beep or telemarketer delay
  • Tier-one carrier support for superior call quality and better live answer rates
  • Workflow automations for seamless follow-up emails, text messages, and more

Combine our platform with the wisdom below, and your team will have everything they need. Now, onto the quotes!

Sales team making energetic gesture to symbolize motivation

Motivational Quotes

1) “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

Persistence is the key to success. Most innovations, like the light bulb, failed hundreds or thousands of times before they succeeded.

Remember, success often comes right after you think you’ve hit rock-bottom. Be the person who’s willing to push further than the rest, even when the seas get rough.

2) “Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do.” – Ben Feldman

People don’t buy what you sell. People buy what it can do for them. In other words, people buy benefits, not features.

Use this to your advantage by selling the dream and solving people’s problems. Show how others have benefited from your product through stories, and help them imagine what their life would be like if they become your customer.

A good salesman doesn’t use facts to sell and neither should you, so speak to your prospect's emotions.

3) “Take action every day - some small dose at a time.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

The best way to build good habits is to do them every day.

Having off days is inevitable, and it’s easy to take a break for a few days. But it will also kill momentum and make it difficult to get back into the flow of things.

To prevent this from happening, start by setting goals that require effort every day. Here are a couple of our favorite routines we like to do regularly:

  • Read for 20 minutes every morning to expand your sales education.
  • Don't do any administrative work until after making 20 outbound prospecting calls.

Success doesn’t come from big, insurmountable actions. Success comes from slowly chipping away at your goals consistently.

Don’t worry about how much you get done. Just do a little every day.

4) “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

You need to believe in yourself, even through adversity.

You don’t have to believe that you’ll make every sale you attempt. But you need to believe that you’re capable of selling to people and build slowly from there. Take every “no” as a learning opportunity rather than a sign of failure.

Failure is just a sign that you’re finding new ways of thinking and testing different ideas. It's also the fastest way to learn.

Learn More: Embrace Rejection on Sales Calls

5) “You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship.” – Patricia Fripp

“Closing the sale” is such a common term and promotes selling in the wrong way. Selling is about building relationships.

Although you want to turn your prospects into customers, you want your customers to be happy and turn into repeat customers. You don’t do that by ending the relationship once you make the sale.

To form a better relationship with customers, follow up with your customers asking:

  • Are they satisfied?
  • Do they have any questions?
  • Do they need additional help?

Developing happy customers is the best way to build goodwill for your company. Keep this in mind every time you try to make a sale.

Learn More: The Beginner's Guide to Relationship Selling

6) “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar

Visualization is a powerful tool. It helps you build the neural connections necessary for accomplishing your goals.

Set goals, then review them at the beginning of each week to determine whether you want to make any changes or leave them the same. Then, spend a few minutes each morning visualizing your success.

Here are some questions to consider after each interaction:

  • Did you bring focused, positive energy?
  • Did you see yourself delivering value?

Do your best to visualize your sales conversations the way you want them to happen, and over time you will start bringing that idea to life.

7) “Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Og Mandino

If you want to be successful, you need to learn how to handle failure and rejection. If you believe that your failures are a reflection of your abilities, you’ll internalize the story that you’re not a good salesperson.

On the other hand, if you understand that every great salesperson gets rejected more times than they can count and can always learn something new, you will give yourself a much better chance to grow and succeed.

8) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

During any sales call you must remember that you aren’t really selling to people. You’re solving problems. You’re delivering value. You’re building relationships.

When you slow down and listen to the needs and wants of your prospects, you’ll better understand how you can help them. This will improve your sales skills because you can provide value that they actually want.

Although it’s important to speak confidently and positively about your product or service, it’s equally important to listen to your prospects and find out how you can help them best.

Learn More: Forget Scripts: How to Increase Sales Through Active Listening

9) “Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say thank you to everyone you meet for everything they do for you.” – Brian Tracy

Every prospect is giving you their time and attention when you try to sell to them. Be thankful for that and let them know it.

Anytime you have an opportunity to thank your prospects, do it. They will be very appreciative and much more likely to buy from you because of it.

10) “Sales is an experiment - there’s no right or wrong, just varying degrees of effectiveness. Our job is to constantly seek ways we can increase our effectiveness.” – Jill Konrath

Sales is an art. What works for some won’t work for others. The best way to improve is to continually test and track what works for you.

You don’t have to change your entire sales approach at once. Make a small tweak to one benefit you explain and examine the results. Change one aspect of a story to see if it gets a better reception.

If you want to improve in sales, you need to be willing to try new things and accept some failures. In the end, it will make you a much better salesperson.

11) “A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.” – Tom Brady

Your most talented sales agents won’t always be your most productive sales agents. In fact, sometimes it’s the lesser talented agents that have a chip on their shoulder who put in the work to achieve success.

Whatever the case, focus on helping your sales team cultivate a better attitude—so both the most talented and lesser talented amongst them can achieve success.

Sales leader shaking hands with team member in group

Leadership Quotes

1) “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

You must hold high standards and not be afraid to expect a lot from your team. Your definition of excellence should be clear, and you should reassure your team that they can reach your high goals. Your team will respect you for acknowledging their abilities to produce quality work.

There are lots of ways to implement a high standard of quality. You could give out rewards to any team members who perform exceptionally or even create events that foster and encourage professional growth.

2) “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

Your vision has to be bigger than just making money. It needs to tap into your team’s most ambitious goals.

For example, avoid telling your team that selling your product will increase this quarter’s sales revenue. Instead, show how your product will innovate its industry and create a new gold standard for other companies to follow.

3) “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold Glasow

A true leader doesn’t care about looking better than everyone else. They want their team to be as successful as possible, which they do by giving credit generously and trying to fix issues they might have created.

Make others look good and take responsibility for your team’s faults. This will earn their trust and they will respect you for being humble.

4) “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

Your success as a leader is only as good as the success of your team. This is why great salespeople are not necessarily great sales leaders.

In order to be a successful leader, you need to motivate your team to achieve greatness. You can accomplish this by doing the following:

  • Setting clear goals
  • Championing collaboration with your team
  • Implementing our effective management techniques
  • Encouraging positivity
  • Providing opportunities for self-development

5) “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

People generally dislike being simply told what to do. It doesn’t provide any motivation, and delegating is not the only responsibility a true leader has.

Instead, people love seeing passion, hearing stories, and having a mission they believe in. When people see you lead from the heart and lead by example, they’ll be happy to emulate you.

Find ways to instill your passion into your team members’ minds. Here are some motivating examples:

  • Send a weekly email that shows your sincere appreciation to your team members.
  • Show your presence at each department displaying your support.
  • Practice empathy. Engage with your team and acknowledge how they feel about their work as well as your leadership.

Learn More: Why Empathy is Critical for Sales Calls and How to Develop It

6) “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes.” – Peter Drucker

Your decisions must be based on solid principles designed to give your team the best chance of success. This is necessary for reaching your goals.

Develop a set of goals that will measure your team’s and company’s success. Get the right things done by making your rules clear to everyone so that they understand that your decisions are made based on results, not personal preference.

7) “To add value to others, one must first value others.” – John C. Maxwell

If you don’t value your team members, they will notice how you treat them based on the way you interact with them. If this happens, they won’t see you as their leader and will not listen to you.

To prevent this, you must actively engage with your team and show that you are also out there with them in the trenches together. Weekly check-ins, actively coaching your team, and other gestures will show how much you value them—and they will honor your leadership.

Learn More: Call Coaching and Monitoring: How to Improve Agent Performance with Listen-in, Whisper, and Barge

8) “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.” – Brian Tracy

As a leader, you must not let fear or problems defeat you. Place your focus on how to take the correct action and still achieve your desired outcome.

Problems will inevitably happen in any company. Even the most successful companies still put out fires regularly in order to maintain its course, which is why they are still afloat today and profitable.

A comprehensive contingency plan will guide you on how to respond to any crisis—and can help your company bounce back from potential catastrophes.

9) “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence… If you’re in control, they’re in control.” – Tom Landry

One of the most important aspects of being a successful sales leader is to have confidence in yourself, and to exude this confidence to others. This confidence is contagious. It inspires your sales team. It says, "This is a plan that will get us where we want to go."

Without this belief, everything falls apart. If a team doesn't have confidence in the person who leads them, their self-belief is sure to follow.

10) “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

Where does confidence come from? Some of it may be personality driven, but it's most effective when it stems from having put in the time and effort to create plans that offer a high probability of success. With that, it's easy to lead with an air of confidence, optimism, and control.

Maybe you never looked at yourself as a true leader in the past. But that’s okay, because you can learn the necessary skills to become a great leader. You can put in the work and effort, and become even better than those so-called “natural” leaders.

11) “Whatever success I've had, it is because I've tried to understand the situation of the player. I think the coach's duty is to avoid complicating matters.” – Bill Belichick

A good leader puts the people they serve first. That comes from understanding them. When you can put yourself in the shoes of your sales agents, you can give them the right advice and direction to overcome their obstacles and thrive.

In the same way, the team succeeds when they think of who they are serving. In football, a player is there to serve the team. In sales, the agent must serve their prospect.

12) “After the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and all the pomp and fanfare has faded, the enduring things that are left are: the dedication to excellence, the dedication to victory, and the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.” – Vince Lombardi

It’s great to lead your sales team to victory and enjoy success. But success is more than just making sales, and making money—it’s about dedicating yourself to your craft, striving to be better, and getting results by helping people find solutions.

You can never have enough Lombardi. That's why he's on our list twice!

Motivated sales team members using PhoneBurner

Give Your Sales Team the Tools for Success

Motivation is only half the battle—you also need to give people the tools they can use to turn that motivation into meaningful action.

PhoneBurner is packed with features that help sales reps have more high-quality conversations with prospects. Using our power dialing platform can help you reach up to 4x as many qualified leads, boost your live answer rates, and streamline post-call workflows for easy follow-ups that drive conversions.

Want to try it for yourself? Start your free trial of PhoneBurner here.

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