Keeping your sales team motivated is a never-ending task for all business leaders. It is getting increasingly difficult because every market is super-competitive and differentiating is tough. To me, improving a sales team’s results is about much more than simply getting them fired up with “rah rah”. It is about giving them new skills that help set them and your products above your competition.

One of the most powerful and proven ways to do this is by combining sales motivation with business storytelling. Let me share a story to show you what I mean.


One of my clients, Tony, is an executive at Nokia on the telecom side of the business. It is a very successful company with great people. It is also very left brained and factually oriented. Sales conferences tend to be data heavy.

He asked me to come and inspire the sales team and help shape the agenda and the executive presentations. We built every presentation around a personal story from the leaders. I created a motivational opening keynote with stories from my library, participated in several workshops telling more stories aligned behind the issues of specific business units, and did an interactive, motivational closing keynote.

The conference became a series of different stories rather than back to back talking heads. The stories combined personal experiences with inspiring ideas, and reflected the different countries, customers and industries of the business.  I helped tie it all together as MC and by interspersing my stories throughout.

The combination of stories, live music and interactivity kept the energy high and carried the conference theme throughout from beginning to end.

Tony’s comment: “It was the best sales conference they have ever had”.

Client explaining sales motivation speaker


There are thousands of Sales Motivational Speakers out there, and lots of them are very good. The question to me is not how they make your salesforce think when they are there in the ballroom or online. It is what your salespeople do differently when they get back to the job.

It is easy to “motivate” people. Hell, give them some money! That’ll motivate them. I have hired and heard dozens of great stories from speakers who have climbed from the bottom to the top, or accomplished insane feats of physical endurance. I have watched audiences of salespeople hanging on every word. And when I have checked in with those salespeople 6 months later, nothing in their performance had changed.

Now surely if you are going to pay a lot of money for a speaker you want more than just a team of sales people fired up at the cocktail party. You want behaviour change and performance improvement when they go back to work. You want an ROI that is much bigger than “motivation”.

I prefer to follow the wise saying of Anne Isabella Richie *

“Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day. Show them how to catch fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Sales motivational speaker Doug Keeley on stage


My model is to Inspire and Equip your people. Not with systems or curriculum, but by showing and then teaching them the most powerful skill in the human communications vocabulary: Storytelling.

I have built a library of 100 sales motivational video stories about people, ideas and things that have changed the world. They range from famous people and companies you know to people and things you have likely never heard of – but you will be amazed when you do.

I narrate these video stories live onstage or virtually, synchronizing the narration to the video and music. This creates an amazing, immersive experience unlike anything you have seen at a conference before. It is the best of theatre and new media combined.

The stories are about People, Companies, and Ideas that have changed the world. They range from the very famous to those you have likely never heard of. Some will make you laugh, Some will make you cry. Some will just make you go “WOW”. You won’t forget any of them and neither will your sales force.

I can combine these stories into a “tour de force” keynote to open or close your conference. Or, better, you can intersperse me and the stories through your conference in small “bites” to break it up and also tie all the pieces together. Every time I take to the stage – typically around the breaks, I add energy and inspiration and a ‘brain break”. I can also MC,  interview your executives or customers onstage, create stories about your company successes, or rove the audience to have fun with attendees.

My story format also works exceptionally well in a virtual conference, adding a level of engagement, emotion and motivation that you usually cannot get with words or talking heads alone. Virtual conferences are, after all, TV. That’s a medium built on storytelling and video, which is the premise of my unique approach as a Sales Motivational Speaker.

Crowd in Munich taking in Doug speaking


Together, you and I pick the most appropriate stories for your theme and audience, packing many into a keynote. Or they can be spread over a day or several days. They’re all different. They’re all motivational. Your sales force will remember them for years. And they will change their behaviour. I have dozens of clients who remind me of stories I told at their conference over 5 years earlier.

But I do not stop there. Then I will show your salesforce how to use stories when they are selling. I typically show them different story models and types, how to construct a great story, and how to deliver it in 2 minutes to make a point that sticks.

I can do this from the mainstage –  in workshops – or virtually. Any way you choose,  it is a high energy, interactive session that engages your audience while teaching them a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives. A skill that will impact their performance.

IGEL Audience taking in a sales motivational speaker event


Great sellers are typically great storytellers. They’re also great listeners. They know how to trigger their prospects and clients to tell them stories about what’s really going on. They know how to connect with prospects and clients on a deeper level than just information.

But these top performers typically make up a small percentage of your overall salesforce. What about the other 80 or 90% – those are the ones that need sales motivational and skills improvement.

If more of your sales team had core storytelling, listening and triggering skills, history has shown that their performance would improve significantly. That’s presumably the goal of hiring a Sales Motivational Speaker in the first place: improve performance.

Doug Keeley on stage as a sales motivational speaker


I have been fortunate to be the Sales Motivational Speaker  at hundreds of sales conferences in the last 15 years for sales forces of all kinds in every kind of industries. Every single one of them has been a huge success, after which my clients and the audience said “I have never seen anything like that”.

More often than not I get asked to return, and I do so with different stories so it is fresh and new and inspiring once again.

If you put the two pieces of Inspiration and Storytelling together using me as your team’s Sales Motivational Speaker, you get not only an inspired sales team but one that is better equipped to win in today’s highly competitive market.

Your sales people will never forget it. And you will see the positive results in their performance. 

*This quote is not from the Bible. Anne originally wrote “him” – I took the liberty of modernizing it to “them”. 😊

Doug Keeley playing the guitar while MCing


Doug will help you understand how to discover, craft, and share both your personal and company stories to power sales, leadership, and culture.