Sales Incentive Ideas

Is your sales team experiencing low performance? Do you want to foster collaboration and encourage team camaraderie? Here are some sales incentive ideas to help you motivate your team and drive revenue in a work-from-anywhere world.

Sales Incentive Ideas

Sales team motivation is critical to the overall health of your business. In a remote work environment, it’s more important than ever to keep your reps engaged and on top of their game. If you want to encourage behavior change that has a positive long-term impact on your sales organization, consider some sales incentive ideas.

Data shows that successful sales incentive programs can improve team performance by 44%, but that’s only one way sales incentives impact your organization. They also inspire team collaboration and accountability, encourage friendly competition, and make work fun—resulting in a strong culture that attracts and retains top talent. 

Financial compensation and commission are standard sales incentive ideas; your reps expect to be paid. But sales incentive ideas can go beyond money. Even simple incentives require more thought and intention than a high-five or quick shout-out, meaning they hold more value. When people feel valued, they are more confident and committed to their work. 

There are a variety of sales incentive ideas you can implement whether your team is remote or in-person. Here are a few examples:

  • Financial sales incentive ideas

Because people are naturally motivated by money, cold-hard cash is always a great way to recognize someone’s good work. Leaders might also give gift cards or increase commissions to incentivize their sales reps. 

  • Experiential sales incentive ideas

For hybrid or in-person teams, activities and experiences are a great way to motivate your people. From team outings to virtual activities, experiential sales incentive ideas give your team the chance to engage and connect with each other. 

  • Professional sales incentive ideas

Incentivize your team with opportunities for professional development. You might send them to a conference or fund a course or certification. It could also be as simple as inviting them to a leadership meeting in which they can contribute. 

Successful sales incentive ideas and competitions require a few key steps:

  1. The sales incentive idea must appeal to your team. Find out what motivates them, and leverage that knowledge to gamify sales in a way that excites your reps and ignites productivity. 
  2. Define the objective. What must your team do in order to get the incentive? Make sure they understand the activities necessary to accomplish the objective.
  3. Set the parameters. When does the competition begin and end? Will you reward individuals or an entire team? 

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Sales Incentives Examples

Your sales team is the heart of your business, so it’s important to keep them motivated. But how do you inspire and incentivize a remote team? What if you don’t have the resources to implement expensive sales incentive examples? 

There are many sales incentive examples to choose from, no matter the size of your business or location of your team. 

Free sales incentive examples

  • All hail the winner: During your team standup, everyone gets 30-60 seconds to praise the winner. This encourages not only performance, but also team camaraderie. 
  • LinkedIn endorsement: Managers, executive leadership, and fellow reps can endorse the winner on LinkedIn to bolster their profile and recognize their contributions. 

Sales incentive examples for remote teams

  • Subscription: Beauty boxes, wine subscriptions, and streaming service subscriptions (to name a few) are practical yet enticing incentives no matter where your team is located. 
  • Sponsorship or donation: Let your team or individual reps choose a cause they care about, and make a donation in their name when they hit goal. 

Experiential sales incentive examples

  • Team outing: If your team works together in person, take them to a sporting event, concert, or museum to reward them for their good work.
  • Virtual experience: If your team works remotely, set up a virtual cooking class or happy hour to celebrate their success. 

B2B Sales Incentives

In a B2B sales environment, your reps do more than just sell your product. They build and nurture relationships with qualified leads in order to drive significant revenue. In addition to chasing a sale, your reps have to be intentional about how to pursue those relationships and thoughtful in explaining how your specific product can help solve the customer’s problem.  

B2B sales incentives are essential to keeping your sales team motivated and inspired, especially when they must cater to a variety of potential customers in how they sell. When your sales team feels motivated and incentivized, they get that renewed sense of purpose and energy they need to push forward on potential customer relationships. They’re more inclined to take things one step further, which will likely result in a win for your business. 

When thinking about how to motivate your team with a B2B sales incentive, it’s important to consider several factors. Do your people work remotely or in person? What will incentivize your top performers to go above and beyond, and what will motivate those reps in the middle to step up their game? Which metrics will you measure for SDRs versus AEs? Take these things into account and gamify sales with B2B sales incentives that appeal to and motivate everyone. 

Sales Incentive Games 

A good sales incentive will motivate your reps, but the competition itself should also be exciting. Gamifying work with sales incentives is an opportunity to rally your entire team and make less exciting tasks more fun. Top performers will likely get fired up; mid to low performers will find fresh energy and motivation to make more impactful contributions. The game is just as important as the sales incentive, and focusing on the activities themselves can have a lasting impact long after the game ends.

Visibility and transparency are key for an exciting sales incentive game. In order to maintain momentum throughout the game, give your entire team insight into what’s going on. This will fuel the competition and encourage your reps to push themselves. With tools like customizable dashboards, you can broadcast key competition metrics to your whole team in real time to stir up friendly competition and hold everyone accountable. 

Another important element of a sales incentive game is to diversify the metrics you measure. While the goal of sales incentive games is to increase revenue, you can’t lose sight of the activities necessary to make that sale. Structure your game around activities like the number of calls made instead of revenue booked to level the playing field for everyone on your team.

For more examples of sales incentive games and competitions to ignite productivity on your team, check out this blog post

Weekly Sales Incentive Ideas

Recurring weekly sales incentives are a practical way to recognize activities over objectives, thus encouraging key behaviors that drive revenue. Here are some weekly sales incentive ideas to help you keep momentum strong from week to week. 

Raffle: Choose a metric you want to measure and assign a point value. Each time your reps hit that metric throughout the week, they get a raffle ticket. The more raffle tickets they get—i.e. the more activities they accomplish—the better their chances of winning. At the end of the week, draw a raffle ticket for a prize. 

The most no’s: This is another weekly sales incentive idea that focuses less on the outcome and more on practicing skills and engaging in revenue-driving activities. Whoever gets the most “no’s” in a week wins. That person is likely making the most calls. And even though the competition revolves around “no’s,” you’re likely to also score some yes’s.

Streak pot: See who can hit a defined number of meetings set in a day or week. If reps reach that number, their team sends them money. This sales incentive game was born organically within Ambition’s own sales team. Ambition Director of Sales Development Chris O’Connor says, “The main goal is to incentivize overachievement. Prior to implementing the streak pot, it was very rare for a rep to set 4 meetings in a day. Now, it happens almost once a week.”

Sales Incentive Plan Examples 

Gamifying sales and rewarding your reps with physical products or experiential incentives is still effective, but sales incentive plans that involve monetary compensation beyond base salary may motivate others more strongly. This directly affects behavior change because it puts a value on that behavior change. When your reps’ behavior and activity are directly tied to a financial reward, they will be motivated to refine and utilize those skills even after the competition ends. 

Like sales competition and sales incentive ideas, there are a variety of ways to structure sales incentive plans and commissions. Consider these examples:

Commission only: This sales incentive plan relies solely on the rep. With no base salary, they only make money on the deals they close.

Tiered commission: This sales incentive plan example often motivates top performers, because their commission increases the more they sell. After hitting certain quotas or selling a set amount of revenue, that rep can earn more in commission. For example, their commission may start at 10% and increase to 12% after surpassing a certain quota.

Gross profit commission: This sales incentive plan is based on the gross profit of a sale, not the total cost of the product. If the product is discounted, this affects a rep’s commission, as do the costs associated with that sale. 

Ambition by the Numbers

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lift to a rep's sales activity year-over-year
7 hours
of high-value time back to managers week-over-week
improvement to rep retention over three years
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