HR Strategy

6 Sales team incentive ideas to boost performance

Sales team incentive ideas

Sales team incentive ideas seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but most of it follows the same-old, same-old ‘here’s a pretty carrot, do some selling’ template. It’s kind of sad, considering the research we have at our disposal that has shown that this type of approach won’t cut the mustard when it comes to jobs that require more than rudimentary cognitive skill. 

It’s time to look deeper to find, coax out and nurture motivation among clever sales teams. 

Here are a few sales team incentive ideas that will put your employee reward and recognition incentives on par with those of the heavy hitters on the sales front. Let’s get started: 

1. Facetime with an awesome designer

It's hard to sell properly when you don't have the right tools at your disposal. Salespeople have a lot on their plate, and having access to innovative marketing content and collateral can make a big difference. 

Incentivise your team by giving top performance the opportunity to work with a truly awesome designer to dream up high-quality content that gets them excited to share and sell. Perhaps you can even give them the option of roping in a freelancer who's work they've always admired - within budget of course. 

Best of all - this type of incentive stands to benefit the whole company since the resulting collateral will remain the intellectual property of the business at large. 

READ MORE: Do you know what rewards motivate your employees? You should!


2. Keep things fresh with enticing contests

Okay, this one seems kind of old-school, we know, but research by global research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has shown that goal-oriented competitions are used by up to 80% of sales executives and more than half of them find these initiatives to be very effective.

Those odds are good enough to give it a shot, we believe. 

The trick is to keep things fresh by using setting different goals, varying the length of the competition timeline, offering a variety of prizes and making room for different kinds of employees to shine every time.

Gather data from this process, and you'll be able to see what type of competition gets the best results from your team in the long run. 


3. Lifestyle treats that free up their time

Sales is a 24/7 business, and burnout is a very real threat to employees in this industry. In fact, a recent study found that 67% of respondents stated that they were close to burnout. 

As such, it makes sense to offer employee recognition and rewards that aim to free up their time. Think along the lines of signing them up for meal kits and meal delivery services, home decluttering and organisation services, gardening/landscaping support, domestic support, etc. 

READ MORE: Incentives impact employee performance. Here’s what you need to know.


4. Regular public acknowledgement

Not every incentive has to be tangible. Plenty of researchers have proven our innate understanding that a public display of appreciation can be more motivating than even monetary incentives.

By making regular, timeous, ongoing public recognition a part of your company culture, you’re tapping into that all-important intrinsic motivation that fuels high-powered sales teams. 

Employees who find meaning in their work feel ownership over it, leading to higher motivation, commitment, and overall performance.

This much has been proven by research conducted at the Harvard Business School. This theory has been put into practice to great effect by companies like cloud call centre software developer Aircall. 

VP of Sales Collin Cadmus says that their management team is firmly focused on tailoring a positive environment in which employees are motivated to be their best. As such, they are very vocal about celebrating team and individual successes. E.g. every time a new sales team member qualifies their first opportunity they stop everything and take a moment to shower the new recruit in deafening applause. 

Platforms like bountiXP make it easy to acknowledge good work immediately and it encourages peer-to-peer recognition as well, so why not give it a try, it’s FREE. You can click here to get started.  

READ MORE: bountiXP can help drive your company values and culture - here’s how 


5. Provide fun and inspiring opportunities for personal growth

People love to learn, and it’s in your best interest that your team keeps upping their game in the skills department. 

As such, it’s a great idea to provide sales team incentives in the form of conference tickets, access to industry talks, one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry heavyweights, online courses, and more. 

Social media analytics and media monitoring company Talkwalker walks the walk and talks the talk when it comes to this approach. Head of Sales Ben Riggle says that their team’s in-depth knowledge of their industry is what drives them forward. 

This is why the Talkwalker management team goes out of their way to fan the flame of their team's willingness to learn by providing them with plenty of opportunities to stretch themselves and expand their capabilities. This includes peer-to-peer mentoring, cross-departmental collaboration and exciting out-of-house upskilling events. 


6. Boost camaraderie with group outings purely for fun

Director of Sales Development at retail marketing platform Bluecore, Glen Kaczer says that their team's strong sense of camaraderie is one of their biggest assets and forms an integral part of their corporate identity. 

Being part of a strong, vital team that works towards building a winning brand keeps his crew motivated. A simple thing he does to keep morale up is to arrange a big, opulent team dinner once they've hit 100% of their monthly goals.

It may seem simple, but it gives everyone a chance to celebrate their achievements and blow off some steam at the same time. 

Start by putting one or more of these sales team incentive ideas into practice and see what a difference it makes. 

If you're looking at getting an employee recognition program off-the-ground quickly, take a look at our checklist. It's aimed at making sure you're able to launch an effective program, with all the elements quickly. Click the button below to grab your copy 👇

employee recognition checklist