What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and get to work? Is it the fact that you work with a fantastic sales team? Are you excited about a new opportunity in the pipeline? Do you just really love your job? All of this could be true, but sales incentives still play an important role in keeping sales teams performing.
You could have the best job in the world and work with the most wonderful people, but there will still be times when motivation doesn’t come naturally.
This is true for both sales managers and their reps.
How can you keep your team motivated?
Sales incentives have been proven to boost employee engagement: One study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that when an incentive program is built correctly, it can increase performance by up to 44%.
Especially during these times, motivation can be hard to find. If you’re thinking of starting a sales incentive program to boost morale on your team, you need to make sure it’s set up in a way that truly appeals to them.
So, what kind of sales incentives will keep your team motivated to keep selling, even when it’s an uphill battle? How can you develop a program that motivates your whole team?
11 sales incentive ideas to motivate your whole team
Is it enough to offer pure cash rewards, or are there other sales incentives that will really light a fire under your reps? Let’s discuss 11 different sales incentive ideas that sales managers are using to motivate their reps.
1. Cold hard cash
Yes, it’s true, money talks. This is why many reward programs for sales teams revolve around a set amount of money as a bonus for hard work.
Cash works because, let’s face it, your team is at work to earn money.
To make this incentive work, you can set up a clear commission structure, or use cash bonuses to help your reps focus on a specific goal. Usually, this involves giving a set amount of money for a specific achievement: For example, reaching the quota, exceeding quota, closing a certain amount of deals, or hitting a sales activity goal. (That’s one of the reasons why sales teams should embrace leaderboards.)
That said, don’t take for granted that your team prefers cash to any other kind of prize. In fact, another study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that up to 85% of people would choose a non-cash reward if they really liked the other option.
So, what other options are there for sales incentives?
2. Product prizes
Giving away physical products as a sales incentive is a fun way to motivate your sales team.
You might offer:
- Tech gadgets, such as the latest iPhone or a smartwatch
- Fun products for the home, like a high-end coffee maker, 4K TV, or advanced sound system
- Hobby products, such as a high-end bicycle, rock-climbing equipment, or a musical instrument
Product prizes are a great incentive for your team (as long as it’s a product they actually want) because they’re a physical reminder of their achievements. It’s something that people might ask them about down the road, allowing them to relive the glory of winning over and over again.
To make sure this incentive is appealing to all the different members of your team, you might offer a choice between two or three different products.
3. Courses and training
Personal and professional development can be a powerful motivator for reps who are eager to improve themselves.
And this type of incentive is severely lacking: According to the American Psychological Association, only 44% of US employees are satisfied with the development opportunities they’re offered at work.
So, why not offer professional development opportunities as an incentive, such as:
- Special sales training from a professional coach
- Tickets to an upcoming conference or sales event
- Sales courses to develop advanced techniques
- Workshops, training, and guides to make better use of sales tech, such as CRM training
The opportunity for personal development may also appeal to your team. You can offer incentives like:
- Cooking classes
- Art classes
- One month of a fitness class membership
- Access to an online course website, such as MasterClass
Tickets to the big game. Front-row seats to their favorite band. A romantic dinner for two.
Entertainment incentives are good motivators because these are the things your reps would love to do but may not be willing to splurge for themselves.
Of course, during these times you may need to be a bit more creative with your entertainment options. For example, that nice dinner out could be replaced with a fancy dinner at home with food delivery services.
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