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Sales Motivation: 5 Must-See YouTube Videos

· Jeremy Boudinet · 9 Minute Read

This post is an excerpt from Ambition's brand-new eBook, 25 Epic Videos to Inspire Your Sales Force.

In January 2015, we published our most popular blog post to date, 10 Epic Videos to Inspire Your Sales Force.

The article struck a chord with sales leaders and the general public. The post and its sequel, 5 More Epic Videos to Motivate Your Sales Force, have been read by tens of thousands of people. They even became the subject of a feature article in Inc. magazine. 

Everyone is looking for new, inventive ways to fire up their millennial sales reps. So today, as part of a two-part series we're unveiling this week, here are 5 epic YouTube videos that will inspire your Millennial sales team. 

Sales Motivation: 5 Epic YouTube Clips

As with our previous posts, we're embedding each YouTube video in this post and attaching an accompanying writeup explaining its applicability to the sales profession.

We hope you enjoy these videos and check out our new eBook, free to download from the Ambition Academy. Cheers!

1. Earl Nightengale - The Strangest Secret

Of the 5 clips on this list, “The Strangest Secret” sticks out in a few important ways.

Number one: It’s by far the longest, clocking in at 33 minutes. Number two: There’s zero production value to the clip. No background music. No cool visuals. Just the calm, plaintive voice of Earl Nightengale. Number three: It’s still, by far, the most immersive video clip on this list.

What makes “The Strangest Secret” so motivational? The substance of its message and the purity of that message’s delivery.

This is a video to have your reps watch by themselves, when they’re at home one night with zero distractions.

Former Access America Transit CEO Ted Alling used to make all his logistics brokers watch this clip - saying that it, more than anything else, changed his life once he got out of college.

It can change your life and the lives of those you supervise, too. We’ll leave it at that.

2. Muhammad Ali - The Greatest Tribute (Motivational)

No list of motivational videos would be complete without an appearance from the Greatest.

And that’s how this video opens up - with Muhammad Ali reminding his critics that he’s the greatest of all-time. That he told them this would happen.

That he knew, before anyone else in the world, the legacy he would leave. Not just in boxing, not just in professional sport, but in the annals of 20th century history.

It’s an exceptional montage. A relentless barrage of classic Ali audio clips, press quotes, legendary calls, famous footage of Ali inside and outside of the ring and stirring background music, fused together in a way that continuously ups the intensity of this video over the course of its 6 minute duration. It’s Ali, immortalized.

There’s no better sports clip on Earth to show your sales team. Sales, like boxing, is an individual sport. Battling prospects to close a deal can feel like hand-to-hand combat. Defeats, disappointments and outright failures leave you feeling beaten, bruised, exhausted.

But there’s also the glory of victory, the thrill of competing and the need to have a relentless drive, discipline and self-belief.

Ali personifies it all. And this is the ultimate Ali clip. Enjoy it over and over again.

3. Jim Carrey - Commencement Speech

In college football, there’s an old saying (attributed to both Woody Hayes and Darren Royal) about why it’s smarter to have a run-oriented offensive strategy: “Three things can happen when you pass, and two of them are bad.”

And in sales, you might say there’s a similar philosophy to having a sales force primarily motivated by fear: Reps respond to fear in many ways, but only one of them is good.

In Jim Carrey’s 2014 commencement speech, he carves out an essential truth about fear that every sales professional needs to hear.

Namely, that fear is a natural, unavoidable part of being human - something that is always going to be a factor in your life. The key to success, Carrey explains, is not avoiding fear, but controlling how much it impacts your key decision-making.

Perhaps the most crucial sentence from this 6 minute video: “So many people make decisions out of fear, disguised as practically.” How many times have you or someone you worked with, as a sales professional, rationalized putting off a prospect follow-up or avoided contacting a key decision-maker in favor of someone lower on the totem pole under the guise of practicality?

It happens all the time - and this video, if nothing else, should act as an important conversation piece with your team and peers on discerning the difference between true practicality and false practicality.

Once you ascertain the difference, you can get to the most important realization Carrey provides in his speech -- that it’s time to stop being overly cautious, stop devaluing your abilities, and stop underestimating your true potential. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

4. Gary Vaynerchuck - The Airplane Rant

Mark Cuban is larger than life. Grant Cardone is the ulimate hustler. Marc Benioff is the technology visionary. But go poll the sales community and ask who their favorite, most inspiring public figure to read, watch and listen to is in 2016, and the odds-on favorite to win is Gary Vaynerchuck. For one simple reason: He's the realest.

Listening to this, his most famous rant, recorded spur of the moment on a red-eye flight before he was truly famous, is a rare, transformative experience. Inexplicably, the most appropriate point of comparison is like listening to one of Kanye West’s best tracks. The confessionalism. The cockiness. The admitting of weakness.

This is perhaps the most universally relatable, transferrable rant you’ll find on YouTube. Part self-criticism, part industry-analysis, part pump-up speech.  And maybe the ultimate bottom line: “Bet on yourself. Bet on your community.”

5. David Foster Wallace - This Is Water

What motivation can a sales professional draw from a liberal arts college commencement speech, given by a critically-acclaimed scion of post-modern literature?

It’s a fair question. I’m not sure you’d be able to find two people who were as diametrically opposed as David Foster Wallace and Grant Cardone.

And yet, it’s the late-author’s “This is Water” speech, given to the graduating class of Kenyon College in 2005, that makes this list. (With that said, by all means go watch a Grant Cardone video sometime this week - you’ll want to run through a brick wall after this one in particular).

Because as great as Cardone is, there’s a reason David Foster Wallace is here and he’s not. David Foster Wallace isn’t here to deliver platitudes. He’s utterly incapable of self-hype. And he’s not interested in buzzwords, branding, entrepreneurship or, for that matter, sales in general.

What David Foster Wallace is here to do is help your people derive meaning from mundane, day-to-day existence. To find a deep well of inspiration that will help them persist through the frustrations, setbacks and banal experiences they face every single day. Most importantly, to change the way they think about the world around them.

That is, not to think about how the people, physical settings and daily activities they perform impact them - but to think about how they impact the people, environment and community around them. How to “exercise control over what they think.”

Why is that important for your sales force? Because if you trace back the philosophies, the psychologies and the personal mantras of all the greatest sales professionals, this is where they start. With a determination to control both themselves and their destinies, a relentless outward focus on impacting others and desire to influence and shape the world around them.

Call it sales, persuasiveness, leadership -- whatever you want. It’s what success in life is all about, and David Wallace’s speech shows you where it starts.

Where to Find More YouTube Sales Inspiration

Our 25 Epic YouTube Videos to Inspire Your Sales Force eBook has everything you need to keep your team fired up for the next decade.

Download your free copy of the eBook and get your very own YouTube library of motivational sales videos. And for questions and comments, please feel free to comment below.

Thanks and best of luck to your sales force moving forward!

Ambition: Hold Reps Accountable to Sales Performance

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Modern sales leaders use Ambition to enhance sales performance insights and run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs via drag-and-drop interface.  

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Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.
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