Motivating your sales team month after month is no easy task. Not all sales incentives are created equal. A gift card to a chic boutique might motivate one sales rep but bore another.
A sales incentive is effective only if it’s something your team actually wants. And while we’re all familiar with the typical cash incentive, some reps might need something new and exciting to truly motivate them.
Start by getting to know the individuals on your sales team. What are they passionate about? What drives and inspires them?
If you’re unsure where to begin, start with the 10 sales incentive ideas below.
1. Travel vouchers
Your reps travel to the same office day after day, week after week. They don’t have many chances to get out and see new things. Help avoid burnout with travel vouchers such as these:
- Hotel vouchers
- Plane tickets
- Travel points (employees can choose their own adventure)
The prospect of a trip is something your team can look forward to. Give your team a reason to keep their “eye on the prize” with travel sales incentives.
2. Tickets to concerts or sporting events
Dangle a ticket to a playoff or a high-stakes rival game and die-hard sports fans will go crazy. Plus, if more than one of your reps are fans of the same team, game tickets could bring them closer together and improve team camaraderie (a win-win for everyone). Concert tickets are also effective incentives for reps who love live music. An Eric Clapton superfan would go nuts over a VIP ticket to one of his shows.
- Season tickets (football, hockey, baseball, etc.)
- One-off tickets to big games (playoffs, championships, civil war games)
- Reimbursable concert experience (tickets to any show of the rep’s choice)
- Backstage or VIP tickets to a specific show (as suggested by the rep)
Ask your team if there’s a band they’re obsessed with, or a sports team they’re die-hard loyal to. Chances are, you’ll discover a few incentives your reps will go crazy for.
3. Fine dining experience
Sometimes it’s hard to justify treating yourself to a fancy, expensive dinner. But that doesn’t mean we all don’t want to. Fine dining experiences cater to one of our most primal desires: delicious food.
- Let your employees weigh in on which restaurants they’d want to try.
- Consider offering a few restaurant options your reps can select from once a winner is selected.
- Offer the top performer a lunch with the CEO.
- Treat your entire team to a meal at a restaurant of their choice.
- Deliver the prize as a gift card so the winner can go alone or with a loved one.
Find out if you have any self-proclaimed “foodies” on your team. If so, they’re likely to work hard for this one.
4. Tech goodies
Make your sales incentive program feels like Christmas. What tech toys does your team have their eyes on? Maybe it’s fitness watches for your health-conscious reps, Kindles for the bookworms on your team, or even new laptop computers for anyone looking to upgrade. The good thing about tech sales incentives is that there’s a ton of options to choose from:
- Cash voucher redeemable for a gadget of choice
- New laptop
- Smartwatch or fitness tracker
- Bluetooth headset
The list is endless. Find out what’s on your employees’ wish lists and your incentives will turn your reps into kids in a candy store.
5. Office modifications or additions
Unless you have outside salespeople on your team, the majority of your reps spend 40 hours a week at their desks. That’s a long time to spend sitting in one place, and it can start to take a toll. Consider offering the following incentives:
- Ergonomic office chairs
- Standing desks
- Larger cubicles or desks
A little extra comfort can go a long way when it comes to an employee’s well-being. If it can make a rep’s work life more comfortable, they’re going to want it.
6. Membership to a gym or studio of their choice
It’s not always easy to budget for your favorite fitness class. I mean, let’s face it: yoga studios, CrossFit gyms, spinning classes, and athletic clubs are not cheap. But for many of us, the endorphins we get from exercise are what keep us going every day. That’s why gym memberships and exercise class punches are effective incentives for your sales reps. Try offering:
- 10-time punch card to a yoga studio, CrossFit gym, or spin class
- Monthlong membership to a studio of choice
- Yearlong membership to a gym of choice
- Personal training session(s)
If exercise helps your reps perform their best, it’s an incentive that benefits everyone.
7. Online learning courses
Online learning courses are great incentives for reps looking to grow their careers or expand their knowledge base. They can also serve as training for top performers looking to move up in the company. The knowledge they learn in the online courses they win can help ensure that they, and the rest of the team, are successful in the future. Some examples include:
- Language classes
- Online college courses
- Private lesson plans (not affiliated with any colleges)
- Full courses for professionals, created by industry experts
Give your employees the opportunity to get where they want to be with knowledge-based incentives.
8. Spa day or massage
Sometimes nothing’s better than a relaxing day of self-care. This is especially true after a long month of hard work. Consider chatting with your reps (or taking an anonymous poll) to make sure a day of self-care is something they’d be motivated to work for. And don’t forget: self-care isn’t limited to spa days or massages. Consider:
- Flotation therapy (it’s all the rage)
- Pedicures or manicures
- Salon appointments
Self-care incentives are opportunities for your top performers to relax and rejuvenate after a month of hard work. This is especially desirable after a particularly stressful quarter. Plus, they’ll come back refreshed and ready for another month of hard work (another win-win).
9. More PTO
What could be more appealing than extra paid time off? It’s an opportunity to spend more time with the family, go on longer trips, or simply not be at the office. Motivate your team with PTO sales incentives like:
- Extra vacation days for the current year
- More vacation days for next year
- Additional PTO hours to use at any time during employment
- More paid sick days
Working hard to work less is an incentive anyone, from the foodie to the sport nut, can appreciate.
10. Employee’s choice (within a certain budget)
Let your employees pick their incentives. If you’re rewarding top performers on an individual basis, the most logical option is to offer a cash bonus. That way, your employees can use the reward however they see fit.
If your entire team succeeds in exceeding their sales goals, you may want to reward them collectively. At the beginning of the month or quarter, let your team sit down together to brainstorm an incentive they’d work hard to win (within a reasonable budget, of course). Examples include:
Cash bonuses (to be used at the rep’s discretion).
Noncash team incentives, such as
- Company trips
- A service where you can pay for puppies to come to your office to relieve employee stress
- Company lunches or dinners
Pick a budget and let your employees decide. Letting your reps choose their own incentives is a surefire way to assure they’ll work hard to win them.
Build a sales incentives program that works
If you’re having trouble motivating your sales team with your current incentive program, consider changing things up. Get to know your reps to figure out what really makes them tick. At the end of the day, your team will realize how invested you are in their success and happiness as individuals, which will only motivate them further. This month, give your team something they’ll really want to work for by offering one of the 10 sales incentives above.