3 Great Sales Movies and the Impact of Sales Enablement Technology

Many sales movies are iconic and inspiring stories full of messages such as persistence and hope. Beyond their entertainment value, these films offer valuable insights, drawing comparisons between the sales landscape of years past and the distinct dynamics of today’s modern era.

Here, we have narrowed down a list of our picks of 3 great sales movies (a previous post of ours looks at other movies about workplace culture) and analyze them through the lens of digital sales enablement technology and performance enablement. How could a data-driven, personalized experience drive productivity and performance? How might these problems of yesteryear have been fixed by the solutions of today?

The Founder: A True Story of Perseverance and Innovative Business Strategy

It’s the 1950s. Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, meets Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), who are running a burger operation in California. Impressed with the brothers’ streamlined food preparation system, Kroc sees franchise potential.


The story of how McDonald’s became a billion-dollar empire, The Founder has lessons around the power of perseverance and determination. At night in his hotel room while on the road, Ray listens to words of inspiration from a record (this was pre-CDs), ‘The Power of the Positive.’

How might the technology available today have helped Ray? In the performance enablement era, a robust Sales Incentives program would visualize his progress and provide him with tangible steps toward achievements. Integrating interactivity through gamification such as badges and leaderboards would spark a sense of accomplishment, providing Ray with clear guidance on the next steps to take.

In one scene, employees are practicing on a tennis court, with each standing in a chalk-drawn “station”, going through the motions of frying and garnishing burgers. In the end they succeed in their speedy food prep system, in what is described as a “symphony of efficiency.”

Dick and Mac were initially hesitant to scale the business, with concerns around oversight and ensuring such consistency across locations. A scalable communications solution would allow for streamlined, targeted, and trackable communications throughout all levels of the organization. Timely updates, marketing materials, and operational guidelines could be disseminated, segmented to different franchisees or regions, fostering a sense of community and alignment with the overall brand vision.

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Door to Door: A Tale Highlighting the Importance of Customer Relationships

Also based on a true story, Bill Porter (William H. Macy) is a salesman who is afflicted with cerebral palsy. Despite his condition, Bill is extremely patient and hard-working, using humor and warmth to make his way in his career and make a difference in his customers’ lives. His persistence and determination pays off, and he is awarded Salesman of the Year.


Door to Door emphasizes the importance of creating and maintaining customer relationships. Bill diligently goes from door to door, greeting customers with a smile and touting the benefits of his company’s household items and baking products.

In today’s digital landscape, connections aren’t always established in person, yet they are still crucial to uphold. In the performance enablement era, software tools such as a smart CRM play a vital role here.

image depicting Rallyware's smart CRM as it relates to sales enablement technology

For example, a smart CRM empowers the sales force to personalize each customer experience, aided by AI-powered activity recommendations. With such a tool, like Rallyware’s, Bill could easily message his clientele from a single app, informing them of new offerings, product lines, and more.

Allowing the sales force to easily keep track of and manage customer relationships, a smart CRM allows sellers like Bill to focus on what matters most – cultivating meaningful customer relationships.

The Pursuit of Happyness: A True Story of Resilience in the Face of Adversity

The Pursuit of Happyness is based on the true story of Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith), a struggling salesman facing financial hardship. He meets Jay Twistle, a lead manager and partner for Dean Witter Reynolds, and impresses him by solving a Rubik’s Cube. Chris lands a six-month internship position at Jay’s firm. As the internship is unpaid, Chris continues to sell portable bone-density scanners. As he performed well during his internship, Chris eventually secures a full-time position at the firm.


Chris maintains a positive mindset and perseveres despite numerous setbacks. If he had access to a sales incentives solution on his mobile phone, as highlighted in Ray Croc’s situation above, this would visualize Chris’ progress, providing real-time insights into his progress, along with areas for improvement and achievements.

Beyond visualization, the platform would show him the relevant activity at the right time, for optimal performance. For instance, if he had five scanners and has only sold two, how could he sell those extra three? What are some personalized next steps that he can take? Additional tactics to master, or more product knowledge that can be reinforced? Plus, he would receive much-needed boosts of encouragement in the form of a badge or a notification, which could motivate and incentivize him to excel in his sales efforts.

Given Chris’ on-the-go lifestyle, traveling around San Francisco, often on public transit, a sales enablement platform accessible on mobile devices would allow him to partake in training and access resources anytime, anywhere.

Lastly, what all of these characters, working independently, are missing is a sense of community. An integrated communication system would facilitate easy collaboration with mentors and peers. Push notifications could provide timely updates and support, enhancing their connectivity with the sales community.

Sales Enablement Technology in the Real World

While sales organizations are investing more in sales enablement initiatives, according to Gartner, 77% of sellers struggle to complete their assigned tasks efficiently.

Although they are a bit older, these movies underscore the impactful results that sales enablement technology could have, boosting engagement, meeting sales targets, and streamlined and consistent communications among them. All three films underscore the significance of believing in the product, of maintaining conviction in the sales process. Such technology can sustain that enthusiasm, and keep the spark alive.

Schedule your Rallyware demo today to see Performance Enablement in action, not just on the silver screen!