Is there anything better than watching a movie on the weekend? Few things are as pleasurable as a movie session.
Perhaps, even better is watching a movie that offers value beyond mere entertainment. After all, everyone has watched a movie that made a lasting impact on their life.
In particular, there are also stories that help us grow professionally, ensuring a different perspective, applicable lessons or simply inspiration to work better.
And when it comes to sales, no matter how much you love your job, there are times when it becomes a real challenge to stay focused and hit the quota. That said, nothing is better than improving your sales with the help of a good plot that teaches us lessons in a more relaxed way.
So, if you're looking for inspiration, whether you're selling SaaS, houses or computers, these seven movies will get you motivated and ready to hit your sales goals every month. (Warning: it may contain spoilers)!
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness tells the true story of Chris Gardner (Will Smith), an ambitious medical equipment salesman who, through perseverance, talent and hard work leaves the streets to build a better life for his child. This movie is highly recommended for anyone prospecting (especially external sales jobs). Along the way, Chris makes many cold calls with the best practices, including a good script and creativity when talking to a lead. He's also betting big as he employs a variety of sales tactics during an unpaid internship that focuses on higher-value customers (such as CEOs). And, of course, he is rewarded for his daily efforts and struggle. Chris is also very focused on optimizing his sales process and getting the best out of his workday, after all, he has a young son to raise. Simply unmissable!
Sentence of the movie: "You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."
In Moneyball, based on the book with the same name, Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A's baseball team, faces a challenge. Their ownership group has limited funds to invest in players, but they still (of course) hope to win the championship. An important detail: they compete with teams that hold unlimited investments.
What Billy (and his newly hired assistant) do is play with math. Through statistical analysis, they determine the number of wins a team can take to reach the playoffs. From there, they calculate how many runs the team must score and how many games they can lose to reach that total winning. Given financial constraints, the team cannot sign highly rated players, so they focus on those who can make significant contributions to either score or prevent the other team from scoring. All the focus is on the races because they know they can't expect the team to win.
This scenario is a metaphor for how we manage our sales teams. Most sales leaders aren't blessed with an unlimited hiring budget, but are expected to hit their revenue quota anyway. Each of these salespeople is tasked with contributing their share of the revenue pie. Executives focus on sales, but like baseball wins, they can't make them happen overnight. They can, however, develop a successful plan that focuses on the activities that will help reach the annual revenue quota.
Furthermore, Beane's attempts to challenge the organization's traditional mindsets towards a new and unfamiliar way of thinking can help inspire any sales professional to challenge a firmly established status quo.
If you seek innovation in the way you are working, this movie is for you!
Sentence of the movie: “I know you've taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall, It always gets bloody, always. It's the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds, it's threatening the game.”
Death of a Salesman (1985)
Based on Arthur Miller's classic play, the film Death of Salesman, as the name suggests, is not the most edifying of stories. Its protagonist is a failed traveling salesman whose life falls apart - but who ultimately reveals great tips on how to set realistic goals and accept ourselves for who we really are (including professionally), learning our limits and where we can change.
Willy Loman cannot accept the changes that happen within himself and in the society around him, being a modern metaphor when we observe the change in the buying behavior of the customers in the digital era. Today, with technology constantly changing, with the growth of competition, with the multiplicity of means of contact, and with the relentless drive to do everything faster and faster, it is notorious that immense pressures are placed on the shoulders of the sales team.
Today, many salespeople, like Willy, don't see that their inability to achieve their ideal of financial success is somehow a reflection of how they see their own worth.
A modern classic that will open your eyes to how to act in the sales market!
Sentence of the movie: “A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.”
The Big Kahuna (1999)
The Big Kahuna has a simple premise. Two seasoned salespeople are testing a pitch for an important client and passing it on to a new salesperson in a hotel room.
Anyone who sells to the B2B market knows the thrill of chasing a big, important deal. The one who makes his month, or even his year. That's the focus of the film, where this trio sets their sights on the CEO of a large company to win an unmissable deal.
This is not a conventional film, but it is an excellent one for exploring the wide range of dilemmas that salespeople must face. The superb cast and acting further enhance this brilliant film about sales (and even life).
Sentence of the movie: “It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or 'How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down'. That doesn't make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are...”
The movie Joy is a modern Cinderella story (with many family conflicts included) based on the life of Joy Mangano, who overcame personal and professional obstacles to create a business empire. She invented the famous Miracle Mop, which she sold through home shopping channels. But it was not easy to sell her product to the market.
When the Miracle Mop was first shown on TV, sales were slow and the channel wanted to pull the plug. But Mangano refused to give up. She asked to demonstrate the use of the mop herself. As the product's inventor, she, of course, felt like the best person to sell it. When she made her TV debut, she sold no less than 18,000 mops in 20 minutes.
By communicating directly with consumers, Mangano had the opportunity to share stories and benefits about the product. Part of her sales pitch is her genuine enthusiasm for her product's features, and that's the road to success in any deal. So, it's worth knowing the story of the entrepreneur of every business.
Sentence of the movie: “Don't ever think that the world owes you anything, because it doesn't. The world doesn't owe you a thing."
Jerry Maguire (1996)
After drastically leaving a sports agency, Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, now needs to sell himself as a solo entrepreneur to clients to keep a business alive. The decision that led him down this path makes sense in today's digital sales world: quality over quantity. He wanted to work with fewer customers to provide better and more personalized service.
Ultimately, Maguire is only able to convince one client to stay with him in his new venture, but the strong relationship he builds with Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) ends up being noticed by others, opening up new opportunities and saving his career.
This film also shows the importance of selling through inside sales rather than trying to meet leads in person.
Sentence of the movie: “Show me the money!"
Rocky Balboa (1976)
Despite not talking directly about sales, Rocky Balboa is undoubtedly a movie that serves as a motivation for anyone who wants to persevere in the sales business.
The movie tells the story of an unhappy boxer from the slums of Philadelphia who becomes heavyweight champion of the world. Rocky Balboa has always been the definitive example of how one can overcome obstacles with hard work, determination and passion.
In sales, less than 5% of deals are closed in the first meeting, so why do so many salespeople give up after the first hit? This profession faces a variety of challenges, from difficult closings, hostile prospects, and high pressure. Sales success is achieved when we effectively manage these challenges and keep moving forward, learning and adjusting our approach in an effort to close more deals, improve customer satisfaction and hit our quota.
The best salespeople show perseverance and come back with the same enthusiasm time after time, and this is the movie's most important lesson.
Sentence of the movie: "It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Make your popcorn and your sales explode!
I'm sure you'll be motivated and inspired to take your sales career to the next level after watching these movies.
Tell us which movie you liked the most. If you have any other tips on how to improve sales motivation, feel free to share!