Motivation is a tricky thing. What is your morning motivation? Maybe it’s that your team has great energy, or maybe there are new opportunities on the horizon for your salesperson. But no matter what gets you going every day, direct sales team incentives will always play an important role.
No matter how good the job is, it can sometimes be hard to get motivated.
Pay and commission structure are not the only things that motivate salespeople. Sales managers also need to be aware of this.
We’ve seen this in research: when incentive programs are structured correctly, they can significantly boost employee engagement. One study by the IRF (Incentive Research Foundation) found that it could increase performance by up to 44%.
We all know that motivation is hard to find these days. But if you’re looking for a way to boost morale on your team, make sure the incentive program doesn’t just offer monetary rewards because there are other things employees want as well.
So, what is the best way to motivate your sales team? What type of incentives can you offer that will keep them motivated when it’s difficult or slow going? The answer might surprise you.
Sales incentive ideas to motivate your team!
When it comes to boosting your sales reps, you can offer many different incentives. We’ve compiled a list of 11 ideas for keeping them motivated and working hard.
Direct sales team incentives #1: Cash incentive
When it comes to motivation, money is the only thing that matters. It’s why many sales teams have a set amount of dollars as their bonus for hard work. Cash is king because your team wants to make money.
To get your reps to work on specific goals, you can set up a transparent commission structure or offer cash bonuses. For example, if they hit their quota goal, they’ll receive an extra $500 in commissions; exceeding the quota by 10% would mean getting another $1,000 of bonus money.
People often prefer non-cash rewards, according to a study by the Incentive Research Foundation, which said up to 85% of them would choose something other than cash if they liked it.
Direct sales team incentives #2: Product giveaways
Physical incentives are a fun way to motivate your sales team.
You have to offer:
- Tech gadgets that can make life easier for them, such as laptops or the latest phone (Samsung, iPhone, etc.)
- Fun household products, like a 4K TV, high-end smart home products, or a sound system
- Sporting products such as rock-climbing equipment, a bicycle, camping equipment, or a guitar
It’s a great idea to offer prizes for your team (as long as it is something they want) because it will remind them of their achievements and make them feel like winners. They can always ask about the prize later, which means they get to relive the glory repeatedly.
(You might offer a choice between two or three different products to make sure that this incentive is appealing to all your team members.)
Direct sales team incentives #3: Free or cheap training or self-development courses
The US is in a pretty sorry state regarding development opportunities. According to the American Psychological Association, only 44% of Americans are satisfied with their company’s training and skills programs.
There are a lot of professional development opportunities, such as:
- Special coaching from a professional.
- Tickets for upcoming sales events or conference
- Sale courses to develop yourself.
- Effectively sales technologies, such as CRM.
Personal development is also essential. You can offer these things for incentives:
- They can improve their cooking skills by taking cooking classes
- Free Art classes
- Free fitness class membership for a month
- Access to a free online course (Udemy, MasterClass)
Direct sales team incentives #4: Entertainment
The ticket plays a major role in entertainment. There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and those front-row seats are a fantastic perk!
One of the best ways to motivate your sales team is by giving them incentives. Sharing allowance for entertainment with the reps is terrific because they usually save money for these things anyway.
(Be more creative with your entertainment options when the economy is doing poorly. That nice dinner out could quickly become just ordering in food instead.)
Direct sales team incentives #5: Activity-based rewards
In a month of hard work, it’s only natural that your reps would want to have some time off. Who wouldn’t enjoy an afternoon at the spa or playing golf?
If your team likes to get out and explore the world, you could offer them some rewards like:
- Sky diving
- Bungee jumping
(In this category, you should also enter travel incentives.) A lot of research has been done in the past to show how high-level motivation can be achieved through these types of rewards.
How about looking for an online experience that you can give to your reps? 9For example, Airbnb offers many experiences like cocktail making at home or scavenger hunts.) Why not search for something else they might enjoy?
Direct sales team incentives #6: Subscription boxes
It’s no secret that subscription boxes are a big hit right now. You might not know how great they can be for remote sales teams during this time of crisis. When employees work remotely, they get products delivered directly to their homes while staying safe.
There are so many different subscription boxes out there. They include things like food, beauty products, and clothes.
- Birchbox: Here, you will find lots of skincare and unique beauty products
- TryTheWorld: This platform offers gourmet foods from around the globe
- Frank and Oak: An eco-friendly unisex clothing and style box
- Barkbox: Get a whole package full of treats
- MistoBox: Customised coffee boxes
- Dollar Shave Club: Offers curated grooming products for both men and women
- KiwiCo: Offers boxes with hands-on activities and crafts for teens and kids
- Winc: This is a wine club subscription platform that offers wines that are personalized to your likes
Direct sales team incentives #7: Extra PTO
Working hard to meet the goals of your team is tough. We all know that time is money, so if your reps put in extra hours, you should probably think about giving them some paid vacation. Why not reward them with some time off? They’ll be more likely to work harder for that break.
One way to keep your sales team happy is by rewarding them with time. This teaches the value of balance and reminds people that there are many things in life than work, like spending quality time with their families.
Direct sales team incentives #8: Special recognition in the company
The American Psychological Association found that 44% of workers feel like they don’t get enough credit from their employer. Although most people are happy with the job itself, more than half said they would leave if there were a better opportunity elsewhere.
Another study revealed that 50% of workers who are given an incentive at work are more focused on how the reward is presented than what it does for them.
So, it turns out that recognition is a powerful motivator. (So popular there are “employee of the month” reward systems.)
Now that we’ve unshrouded the idea of using only money as a sales incentive, how can you make your sales reps happy without overdoing it?
- Having lunch with the company CEO
- Specific acknowledgment and praise in the company Slack channel
- Sharing a Cameo video with the team from their favorite celebrity
Direct sales team incentives #9: Staff office touch up
If you want your reps to work harder, try giving them a little encouragement in the form of an office upgrade.
This is an excellent option for remote sales teams because it gives each individual the freedom to set up their own office at home, and you don’t have to worry about expensive upgrades.
If you’re thinking about motivating your remote sales team, there are a few ways that an office upgrade could work.
- Standing desk
- First-rate office chair
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Dual-screen system
- Other office accessories and decoration
Direct sales team incentives #10: Prize wheel
Don’t know what kind of sales incentive to give your reps? Why not just let them turn a wheel with all the options on it!
The thrill of spinning a wheel for prizes can be pretty appealing, and the act itself is something that everyone in attendance will enjoy. It’s one more thing to do at an event with recognition built into it.
Direct sales team incentives #11: Freedom to choose their desired incentive
The best way to motivate your sales team is by letting them pick their reward instead of a generic prize that may not appeal.
Instead of paying them for their performance, you can motivate your reps by allowing them to visualize what they would pick if they won at the beginning of every month. They will then want that reward so much more.
These are just a few of the many ways to motivate your salespeople. But, how can you design a program that appeals to all of them and keeps everyone motivated?
How to set up sales incentives programs?
Setting up a sales incentive program can be tricky; you need to have a rich set of sales incentive ideas to pull this off. But the first time you go through it will help determine what works and doesn’t work.
However, here are some tips to ensure a successful incentive program.
To be a good sales manager, you need to personally get in touch with your reps.
It would help if you offered sales incentives that boost growth when it comes to incentives. If you provide something that doesn’t inspire your reps and show them the benefits of what they could get from their work, no matter how much cash is involved in your incentive plan or bonus structure, there will be very little motivation.
Before you implement an incentive program, take the time to find out what motivates your sales reps. You’ll be glad that you did.
The Incentive Research Foundation found that 99% of the participants in their study had different preferences for rewards. Everyone has unique needs and desires, so it’s essential to learn about your team members before deciding on a tip.
Each salesperson has their motivations. If you want to have the best performance, then offer a rewards system tailored for them.
Create a system where everyone has the opportunity to win.
You have a team of high-performing, average and low performers.
Motivating each group to do their best is essential. If you only focus on the top performers, it’s easy for those who are lower in rank or perform poorly will lose faith and not be motivated.
To do this, you’ll need to create a fair incentive program that gives all reps a chance at winning.
To make sure that your reps are motivated, you could set a goal for each of them. If they close the deal before the 15th of every month, there is a prize waiting for them at their desk on payday. You can also motivate people by setting sales goals based on activity, such as how many cold calls per day or week.
You could also incentivize your reps by awarding the person who has increased their conversion rate most in a particular stage. Setting goals for the whole team, not just the top performers, can lead to a more collaborative and motivating environment.
A toxic sales culture can be avoided by creating incentives that team members need to work together to reach. This builds teamwork and collaboration as they all give their best while working towards an incentive goal, even if it’s not monetary.
Transparency is the key to a productive team. To help maintain transparency, install a leaderboard so that everyone can see who’s on top.
In a contest where the winner gets something at the end, transparency is essential. You don’t want reps to spend time figuring out if they’re ahead when they should be focused on selling.
Transparency is essential for sales teams, and it’s easy to provide a leaderboard. Close automatically generates these boards so you can see how each person ranks in their respective categories based on quotas like calls made or emails sent.
Simplicity is essential
If you’re making your team do complicated tasks or have to report their progress in a convoluted way, it could be the reason for low morale. To get the reward, you need to meet a goal or requirement that is clear and simple.
Don’t complicate things by adding too many rules. Clear, achievable goals are more motivating than complicated tasks.
If you want to motivate your salespeople, the incentives must be aligned with company goals and culture.
You’ve got values that you put into practice every day, and those are the reasons why your employees want to work for you. It’s not just about paying.
If you want to motivate your employees, ensure that the incentive programs align with what they care about.
To get the most out of your employees, offer incentives related to their interests. For example, if you’re in EdTech, consider offering professional development or courses to improve education.
If your company is a non-profit, you could offer time off to volunteer with favorite charities.
Build a sales incentive program that will motivate your team.
If you’re struggling to keep your sales team motivated, try some inventive ideas that will appeal to each team member. These strategies can help them get through tough times and continue working hard.