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Sales Incentives: 17 Ideas to Boost Sales

October 5, 2022

If you’re a sales manager or team leader, you’ve probably found yourself at some point wondering, “How can I incentivize my team?” It’s an age-old question, that when answered correctly, can not only generate increased sales and revenue, but an engaged workforce too.

It’s no surprise that engagement is a top priority for many companies today. Coming off the tails of a global pandemic and The Great Resignation, many companies have been struggling to retain and engage their salespeople.

So much so, a Gallup poll found that 51% of workers are not engaged in their work. And disengaged employees are estimated to be 18% less productive and 15% less profitable than their engaged counterparts.

So, finding ways to incentivize your sales team not only makes your team happy, it’s good for business too.


What is a Sales Incentive?

A sales incentive is a reward offered to salespeople to help motivate them towards a goal. This could be a monetary bonus, but it could really be anything your teams finds valuable.

Knowing what types of sales incentives motivate your team is the challenge. And in a post-pandemic world, many people’s values have shifted. While money will always be a motivator, it may not carry the same weight it used to.

In fact, research from Glassdoor found that across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction isn’t pay. It’s the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company.

With this in mind, it may be time to get a bit more creative when it comes to offering your sales team incentives that they truly value.


Identifying Your Team

When it comes to sales, there are generally three types of performers:

  • Stars - Stars tend to be naturally more motivated than most and will eagerly attempt any goal set for them. Stars’ key incentives are to not be limited by sales caps or red tape.
  • Core Performers – Core Performers usually make up the majority of the sales team. They tend to not miss their sales goals, but they also seldom exceed them. This is the population most impacted by sales incentives.
  • Laggards - Laggards tend to be motivated by bonus and social pressure to “keep up.” These people need more guidance and time to develop their skills.

Knowing what mix your salesforce is will help you identify the incentive strategy that will resonate most with your team.


Sales Incentive Ideas

The best way to learn what your team values is to learn about them as people. Get to know how they spend their free time and what hobbies they enjoy. You may find some people thrive on competition while others enjoy taking classes and love to learn.

Knowing what appeals to your team is the only way to offer them relevant incentives that work. And because everyone on your team will have slightly different motives, it may be beneficial to offer different types of incentives at the same time.

Here are some sales incentive ideas, other than money, to get you started.


Experience Incentives

Because values have shifted since Covid, rewards that are more experience-based are becoming more and more popular. Many people are more inclined to prefer spending quality time with friends or family than receiving a gift card, for example. Being able to give that to these people will resonate in a meaningful way.


Experience Incentive Ideas:

  • Tickets/season passes to a sporting event
  • Movie tickets package
  • Tickets to a concert of their choice
  • Travel coupons (hotels, airlines, etc.)
  • A team “daycation” (visit an escape room, go go-karting, or do a scavenger hunt)
  • Extra PTO (to spend how they choose)


Physical Gift Incentives

Depending on what’s going on in your team’s lives, a physical gift may be just what they need. Some people may be moving, others may be tackling a home remodel, or maybe some simply haven’t treated themselves in a while. Offering up an award where the winner can shop for an item of their choosing could not only show appreciation, but also excite your employees.

An online recognition platform can be a convenient way to offer awards of this type. A solution like Terryberry’s, has a convenient online storefront that’s built right into the platform itself. When someone receives an award, they’re then able to shop the storefront’s wide range of items and redeem their award seamlessly.


Gift Ideas:

  • Tech prizes (smart watches, tablets, headphones, speakers, etc.)
  • Kitchen appliances (air fryer, Instapot, espresso machine, etc.)
  • Clothes/jewelry
  • Baby supplies (clothes, toys, diaper bags)
  • Camping equipment


Development Incentives

Just as some people enjoy spending their free time at a ball game, others might prefer personal development opportunities. These can be opportunities for career growth, physical fitness, or learning about a particular subject. Incentives like these can have a clear benefit to the company as well as the individual.


Development Incentives:

  • Courses for career development (public speaking, advanced sales techniques, and seminars)
  • Learn a new language
  • A membership to a gym or yoga studio
  • A Headspace or Calm subscription
  • A Masterclass of their choosing
  • Time off to volunteer


Sales Incentives for Top Performers

If you're looking for a sales incentive program specifically for your exceptional salespeople, consider a President's Club program.

What is President's Club?

Terryberry's President’s Club program will recognize and award your top performers, the best of the best within your sales teams. Typically, this is an annual employee recognition program that rewards those who have met or exceeded sales goals and quotas.

These clubs involve prestigious award packages that are symbolic, meaningful, and reflect the success of those salespeople. In addition to these award packages, most companies also recognize and reward their top sales performers with an all-inclusive trip!


RELATED: President’s Club: The Best Sales Incentive Program


While a sales incentives program will require time and money to implement, the return can be staggering. Finding ways to engage your core performers could increase sales, revenue, as well as employee engagement. Just be sure to listen to what your team values, whether it’s events, items, or development.

If you’d like to streamline your award process and offer your employees an online storefront, contact us to learn more or schedule a demo. Our employee recognition software is designed to incorporate social recognition, performance awards, milestone awards, and communication channels all in one place.