| May 31, 2024
Employee Rewards

Sales Incentives: Ideas & Examples to Design a Program for Your Team

The rapidly evolving sales world speaks volumes about its competitiveness. Motivating your team to achieve their peak performance is vital.

That’s where sales incentives come into the picture. The strategic use of sales incentives helps boost morale, reward top performers, and drive results.

Incentive Research Foundation states that 90% of the top-performing organizations use sales incentive plans. However, building an appealing sales incentive program is a daunting task. In this blog, you will learn how to implement an incentive program that entices everyone on the team.

Understanding Sales Incentives

To grow your business, you need a strong sales team. The top management works hard to recruit and retain the best reps. But, the main thing is to push them towards a common goal. That’s how the role of the sales incentive schemes pitch in.
Imagine you’re playing a game where you need to sell the highest. Wouldn’t it be interesting if you got prizes, employee rewards, or fun points for reaching certain milestones within the game? That’s called a sales incentive.
Rewards that companies offer their reps to achieve specific outcomes. Sales incentive programs create a win-win situation for both parties. Incentive programs tie sale wins to rewards and discover the best way to increase rep engagement as well as motivation. A highly engaged workforce leads to 21% greater profitability. Engagement is a factor that most companies can’t ignore.

Sales Incentive: Traditional Vs Modern

Initially, sales incentives were all about commissions and cash bonuses. But now, it includes much more than that. From public recognition, and professional development to gamification and experiences. The shift caters to a diverse workforce and balances financial rewards and well-being.

A tabular representation of the differences between a traditional and modern sales incentive program:

Learn the difference between traditional and modern sales incentive programs.

How To Design Sale Incentive Schemes And Plans?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a sales incentive plan

. Find the best practices to motivate your unique sales force.

1. Discover What Motivates Your Team

Some salespeople like cash incentives, but many also have an intrinsic motivation to make customers feel valued and create an impact. Find out what drives your team to succeed.

2. Build Realistic Goals

Clarity is a superpower when structuring a sales incentive program. Establish clear and relevant goals that are achievable. Before the program starts, explain everything about performance analysis, working, structure, reward system, etc. Ask for their input and discuss fair parameters with them.

3. Public Recognition To Boost Morale

A little competition can ignite the team to push out of their comfort zone. Take time to identify the achievements of each rep publicly and appreciate them. Encourage team members to cheer for each other. A sales incentive structure must include social recognition.

4. Allow Multiple Winners

Incentive programs that recognize only expert-level sellers are irritating to the rest. Give reps multiple opportunities to win. Structure your program in a way that celebrates different top performers across multiple categories. It makes everyone feel motivated.

5. Blend Monetary And Non-Monetary Rewards

Once you’ve identified how to motivate your team, create a combination of monetary and non-monetary rewards to keep the game interesting. It allows them to reap whichever award they desire.

Sales incentive programs cater to different varieties of motivational styles and company goals.

Types of Sales Incentives

Think carefully about what motivates your team. To begin with, assess how each sales incentive structure aligns with the team’s individual needs and goals. Given below is a tabular representation of the types of sales incentives:

By implementing these targeted sales incentive structures, you can motivate your sales team to drive better outcomes and foster a collaborative environment.

Examples of Companies Using Sales Incentive Schemes

An incentive program for sales is a powerful way to keep your employees motivated and happy. These sales incentive programs are the driving force for performance. Here are a few real-world examples to prove the same:

Uber For Business – Incentivizing Sales Team With A Web-Based Platform

Uber for Business provides an easy way to reward their sales team through their web-based platform. They distribute:

  • Gift cards from Uber and UberEats – You can purchase gift cards in bulk from multiple countries. That’s how easy it is to reach sales reps in different locations.
  • Vouchers – Uber shows appreciation by paying fully or partially for Uber rides or orders with UberEats.

That’s how Uber drives success and helps sales reps close more deals with incentive program for sales.

Publicly recognizing sales reps is a part and parcel of every brand’s sales program incentive.

Rocketrip’s Sales Incentive Program By Graceanne Domino (Manager, Sales Development)

Rocketrip follows a tiered structure and an all-out winner approach. Let’s understand this with an example.

Anyone who books 3 meetings gets USD 100 for the next 3 or any certain amount for a specific number of meetings. The more you book, the more you win. Plus, you get an additional bonus for booking the highest number of meetings.

It is effective because it helps the manager observe who takes the early lead. However, to make it more interesting, she added a ‘Prize Wheel’ every 3 meetings. They could spin the wheel and choose a reward.

Sales incentive programs encourage teamwork in the sales team.

HP’s Employee Recognition Rewards

Forget ping-pong tables, HP has creative employee perks after remote work became a trend. They introduced virtual dance parties, cooking classes with Michelin chefs, etc for their employees. Their partnership with Network for Good also earned them a case study. They’re following a win-win approach.

Developing an incentive program for sales that works for every rep and any budget is the best investment for companies.

Creative Sale Incentives Ideas

Creative sale incentive ideas act as a driving motivation because they tap into the diverse interests of the employees and foster an engaging and competitive atmosphere. These ideas help in maintaining sustained interest among the team members, thus reducing burnout.

Here are a few examples of sales incentives schemes for your sales team:

1. Don’t Forget To Reward Their Family.

They work overtime often, so why not extend the incentives beyond them? Sponsor a family dinner or trip to keep the entire family together during vacation.

2. Offer Additional Paid Time Off (PTO) To Your Sales Team.

Promise them some time off for a vacation, or extended parental leave. Let them relax. This is the biggest motivator for your sales team.

3. Perks And Gifts For Their Special Events

Send gifts to them on their birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, etc. Help them celebrate the times of emotional significance. That’s how they feel more connected with the team.

4. Incentives As Per Their Interests

Tailor your sales incentive program according to the rep’s interests. You can reward a sports lover with a sports ticket to their favorite game. Gift airline vouchers to the sales rep who loves travel and so on.

5. Offer Experiences Over Items

Instead of tangible items, gift them experiences like a mother-daughter spa day, sports tickets, curated travel experiences, revamp of their home gym, etc.

6. Professional Growth And Development

Set up a monthly lunch and sponsor online courses through platforms like Skillshare, Coursera, Udemy, and Hubspot.

That’s how you can motivate your sales reps by getting a little creative and considerate with sales incentive schemes.

How To Design a Sales Incentive Structure?

  • There is no magic formula for building the right incentive structure. Consider the following pointers:
  • Create multiple reward tiers on different performance levels to include inclusivity at all stages.
  • Communicate the program details, qualifications, and other details.
  • Set a time frame for achieving different milestones.
  • Set performance metrics like new customer acquisition, revenue growth, sales targets, etc.
  • Monitor the program’s effectiveness by gathering feedback.
  • Automate tracking using CRM systems to track sales and analyze performance.
  • Build a payout structure to maximize productivity and decide the timings of incentives.
  • Consider a hybrid approach by combining traditional and modern incentives to keep the program engaging.

A well-planned, strategically executed sales incentive program boosts your sales team morale and keeps them engaged.

Boost Your Sales Team Performance With Thriwe

A strategically well-designed incentive program is the most valuable asset for your sales force. For this, check Thriwe’s Surge, an earn-and-burn platform to build long-lasting loyalty and drive results across your workforce and customers.

Under this, you’ll get instant redemption, a wide range of earning options, an intuitive interface, seamless integration, and insightful reporting.
Watch your sales team soar with Thriwe!


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