Top-performing sales teams have a few things in common. They’re well-trained. They’re the perfect blend of talent, skill, and experience. And while they’re naturally driven and hungry, they often have a little extra incentive to crush their sales goals.
Sales incentives are nothing new, and by now many of the ideas are a dime a dozen. Sure, there are some tried-and-true rewards that will always light a fire under your sales reps (show me the money!). But if you really want to get them to pay attention, you have to get creative.
In order to give your team the best shot at hitting their performance metrics, here are 12 sales incentives that we know from experience are guaranteed to motivate your team.
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1. Cash Money
In business and in life, cash will always be king. It’s a bottom-line world, after all. So, it’s really no surprise that financial sales incentives are by far the most popular and effective motivators. In addition to their compensation and commission, give cash rewards and bonuses to sales reps for meeting or exceeding a specific sales target.
Maybe you’re looking to accelerate sales in the first part of each month because your team closes most deals at the end of the month. Try offering a $500 bonus for every sale before the 15th of each month.
Have a prize table and allow reps to earn tickets based on daily metrics met (meetings scheduled, meetings attended, contacts added to database, etc.)
Close out each week by gathering the team for fun and spirited drawing to see who takes home the grand prize.
3. Gift Cards
Similar to cash, or even used as prizes in your raffles, gift cards always go a long way in incentivizing your sales team. Offer up gift cards to the sales reps with the best daily/weekly/monthly metrics.
4. Annual Payout Program
This should focus on the top 10% of your sales performers and provide more substantial “prizes” at the end of each year.
- Travel vouchers (plane tickets, hotel stays, cruises)
- Tickets to concerts or sporting events
- Tech goodies
- Gym memberships or fitness stipends
- Office modifications (better desk, chair)
5. Paid Time Off
The only thing that can compete with money from an employee value standpoint is time. And nothing really gets the team motivated quite like the thought of a 3-day weekend.
By incentivizing your sales team with 2 extra vacation days each quarter if they exceed their quota by a specified amount, they’re bound to work harder—and even longer—at the thought of some much-needed R&R.
We’ve even added a caveat to our paid time off sales incentive that allows employees to cash in their unused extra days (yes, it always comes back to money), if they can’t use the time before the end of the year. However they choose to take advantage, it’s usually a win-win.
Fun and Team-Building Incentives
6. Casual Dress Days
Look good, feel good, sell good.
Dress codes (and employee attitudes toward them) have changed quite a bit through the years. These days, sweatpants or pajama bottoms are the norm as we Zoom into a sales call from home. Be that as it may, dress down casual attire days for office staff can be a big morale booster and an easy incentive that doesn’t require any investment on the part of the business. Other than sales VPs and directors scrambling to up their Hawaiian shirt game.
7. Free Food
If you’re looking for a sales incentive that not only encourages reps to perform at a high level, but also adds a layer of team building, look no further than food.
Pizza parties, ice cream socials, taco Tuesdays, catered lunches, etc., are a great way to get the team together to celebrate successes and acknowledge accomplishments.
8. Team Building Events
A great reward to foster long-term sustained success, at ISS we have a quarterly incentive across our various business units. The winners get a half day Friday off to do something together as a team.
Some may choose to go to the casino, others to a ball game—whatever the case, it’s all taken care of by the company, and it can really make your sales team feel valued and appreciated.
Incentives are part of a $100+ billion industry, $46 billion of which is non-cash incentives (a number that’s doubled in the past 10 years).
Source: Hawk Incentives
9. Team Challenges
Much like athletes, sales reps are all about winning. Tap into your team’s competitive spirit and gamify some of your sales efforts!
Sales teams often thrive off one another when they’re participating in games and contests. By bringing gamification into your next sales incentive program, you can boost the performance of struggling reps, increase overall productivity, and improve morale.
We suggest focusing on core areas of opportunity across the business, like contacts created and targets completed—the “game” can be a different, moving target each month.
10. The Man/Woman in the Mirror
Sometimes our biggest competition can be ourselves. Sales is a career predicated on continual improvement, and that’s why this particular sales motivator is pretty popular with the ISS sales team.
The concept is simple, too: simply perform better than you did during this month last year. The tangible knowledge that they’ve gotten better over the past 12 months can really be inspiring, especially for your more tenured employees.
11. Exclusive Clubs
Exclusivity, and being considered a VIP or MVP is a very powerful sales incentive. Reaching the summit of your profession is a rewarding milestone for anyone, but it’s particularly satisfying in sales. Create tiered “clubs” for your team to progress through, such as:
- Player’s Club- schedule 5 appointments in a day
- Executive Club- schedule 20 appointments in a week
- President’s Club- schedule 100 appointments in a month
12. Annual Trophy
Whether it’s leads, appointments, or closed-won opportunities, base this sales incentive on your team’s biggest needs and offer a trophy to the sales rep who outdoes the rest. ISS has a “Most Attended Meetings Completed” trophy, which gives the winning rep bragging rights for the entire year! And it gives the rest of the team something to strive for in the year ahead.
Outsourced Sales Teams Come Pre-Incentivized
We hope these 12 ideas have already started to get your juices flowing. As you’ve seen, we at ISS use many of these sales incentives on a regular basis, and with great success. By outsourcing your sales development, not only will you get a team of B2B tech experts ready to hit the ground running—you’ll get a team that’s perpetually driven to exceed your goals.