30 Creative Sales Incentive Ideas To Motivate Your Team

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 24, 2022

Published October 9, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working in sales can be a demanding role and it's important for managers to think of ways to keep their teams engaged. Many sales managers and team leaders create sales incentive plans for their employees working in this fast-paced role. Learning about the unique offerings managers might provide to their teams can help you understand why these programs are important and find ones you might use.

In this article, we discuss what a sales incentive is and why they're important while sharing 30 ideas that you can use to brainstorm the perfect sales incentive for your team.


What is a sales incentive?

A sales incentive is a reward that employers offer to their sales professionals for successfully selling a specific amount of products, dollar amount or service hours. Sales incentives can be monetary, or they can be physical rewards, experience-based rewards or other types of incentives that reflect employee interests and motivations. These added motivators are rewards meant to provide recognition for exceeding expectations, meeting objectives and adding to the overall success of an organization.

Related: Rewards and Incentives in the Workplace (Advantages and Examples)


Why are sales incentives important?

There are several reasons why introducing sales incentives is important for teams:

  • Increased team productivity: A reward system for continuously meeting or exceeding team sales goals or expectations can be highly effective for increasing productivity. As sales teams work towards these goals, they'll also develop new and valuable skills.


  • Higher levels of engagement: Motivating employees through incentives can also increase your team's engagement in their work. For instance, setting team objectives that result in recognition and rewards for the entire sales team can boost engagement for collaboration, strategizing and implementing sales techniques.


  • Higher job satisfaction: Incentives that recognize team effort and success will naturally lead to your team's overall satisfaction with their jobs. This job satisfaction also leads to greater productivity and performance because employees will value their work as they know their managers recognize their contributions.


  • Increased team morale: When teams improve their collaboration efforts, increase their productivity and feel recognized for their work, they can be more likely to have an upbeat and positive attitude in the workplace. This boost in team morale is highly crucial for completing meaningful work, meeting objectives and adding value to the entire organization.

Related: 7 Ways To Boost Employee Morale To Prevent Burnout


30 sales incentive ideas

Aside from monetary compensation, there are a variety of different offerings you can include in a sales incentive plan. From team outings to personal days off, consider the following examples of great sales incentive ideas:


Entertainment

An outdoor activity or special entertainment event can be a great incentive. The following ideas provide ways for your team to get outside and engage in something they enjoy:

  • Tickets to festivals or concerts

  • Tickets to theme parks

  • Tickets for a sporting event

  • Outdoor excursions, such as a boating trip or a camping trip

  • Outing to a museum or art gallery

  • Outing to a comedy club


Tangible prizes

Physical rewards are another excellent incentive, especially if the reward is something that your team can use every day. Consider items that improve their workflow or personal items that they can enjoy at home:

  • Technology gadgets like earbuds, tablets, watches or other tech accessories

  • Coffee makers or small appliances

  • Noise-canceling headphones

  • Office equipment like standing desks or new monitors


Development rewards

Professional development and continuous learning are equally important motivators. For instance, offering your team the chance to participate in a course or development seminar gives them the opportunity to develop new skills and work together to improve sales outcomes for the company and themselves. The following ideas are great incentive perks to consider in a sales incentive plan:

  • Professional development training

  • Free online courses

  • Classes for a team hobby or interest

  • Gym or fitness discounts

  • Public speaking seminars

  • Language classes

  • Sales development courses


Monetary incentives

Monetary rewards are an effective sales incentive. A great way to incorporate monetary rewards is to provide an equal reward for the whole team, that way all team members receive recognition. Here are a few monetary incentive ideas:

  • Gift cards

  • Bonus checks

  • Cash rewards


Experience-based rewards

Exploration and experience are excellent sales incentive ideas because they provide employees the opportunity to create memories and enjoy meaningful activities. Consider ideas like:

  • Extra days off of work

  • Discounted airfare for vacation

  • Team retreat or spa day

  • Hotel expenses for a weekend getaway


Food and beverage ideas

Food and beverage ideas are also effective incentives. Think about rewards that get your team excited about going out to dinner, receiving a subscription box in the mail or attending a team food or drink event. Here are several incentives that use food and beverage ideas:

  • Restaurant gift cards

  • One-month subscription to meal and snack deliveries

  • Food gift baskets

  • Wine tasting events

  • Team night out

  • Beverage club membership

Related: 12 Top Tips To Motivate Your Sales Team To Succeed


Tips for a successful sales incentive plan

When integrating a sales incentive program, it's important to develop a rewards system that is meaningful to the team as a whole, each individual on the team and to the organization's goals. Consider the following tips for an effective and successful sales incentive plan:


Find out what motivates the team

Figuring out what motivates your team can help you design a plan that can interest them. You can create a simple survey to find out what the majority of your team members enjoy, what they're interested in and what motivates them. Find similar interests and motivators that your team has in common, and then discuss these ideas with your team. You'll likely receive valuable feedback on what your team would like to see as an incentive, and this is important because it will set you up for providing something truly meaningful as recognition for your team's accomplishments.


Set achievable team goals

It can help to ensure the objectives you set for your sales team are reasonable. You can use individual objectives to create an overall average for the entire team. For example, a car sales manager might set individual objectives of selling a dollar amount while the team could share the total of these individual goals. Here, the team works toward a collective goal while further improving their individual skills that support the achievement of these goals. Consider reviewing average sales per employee to determine what might be an acceptable goal to meet and exceed.


Determine the metrics of the plan

Consider setting measurable criteria that tell you when your team meets objectives. For instance, this can be a daily amount in sales, a weekly quota of products sold or another metric that you can easily measure to evaluate achievement and performance. Additionally, the metrics you implement might be most effective if they are simple and not overly complex so you can easily and quickly measure performance and progress.


Combine monetary and non-monetary incentives

It's also important to alternate between incentive ideas, especially with teams who have diverse interests and motivators. Try a different incentive each month or quarter so your team has a way to enjoy a range of incentives. For example, you can offer a team cash bonus for the first quarter, a weekend getaway for the second quarter, tickets to a sporting event during the third quarter and another monetary reward in the fourth quarter.

Share

Explore more articles