Sales Incentive Programs: Everything You Need to Know

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Looking for ingenious, effective ways to motivate your sales teams? With the help of effective sales incentive programs, you can achieve your monthly sales targets! From exotic trips to cash prizes, bonus programs are effective to motivate your entire team and boost sales. 

To ensure that you are following the right path, let’s take a look at the different types of incentive programs. After that, we will discuss a few successful sales incentive programs that you can incorporate in your marketing strategy to unlock new levels of sales success!

Cash Incentives vs Non-Cash Incentives

The first question that comes into our minds when we are thinking about sales incentive programs is what should the incentive be? There are two basic categories of sales incentives – cash & non-cash sales incentives.

Cash Rewards

Let’s face it – your sales team is working because they need money. Therefore, a cash incentive will definitely work to motivate them. With cash incentives, you need to set up a clear commission structure and design specific team goals for cash bonuses.

At the end of the day, cash is an excellent motivator. When it comes to SPIFs, you have to ensure that the cash incentive is motivating and compels the sales personnel to achieve the desired revenue goals and targets.

Non-Cash Rewards

Non-cash incentives allow room for more creativity. From tickets to sporting events & concerts to company merch & plaques, non-cash incentives are highly effective. Some people avoid monetary prizes due to various reasons. 

The foremost reason is that when someone wins a cash prize, they usually buy something – probably a new shirt or a nice dinner. However, the glow of winning will fade away quickly over time.

On the other hand, let’s suppose that the prize of the sales incentive program was a flat-screen TV. Whenever anyone sees that TV, they will definitely talk about it with the winner. The effect of a physical prize will be more than a cash prize and relatively long-lasting.

As per our opinion, as long as the reward is memorable and personal, it will be motivating and will bring in results. 

Types of Sales Incentive Programs

Nothing will boost your sales team’s energy & excitement more reliably and quickly than an incentive. Adding a motivating, compelling, attractive award to the mix makes salespeople very enthusiastic and increases their sales productivity.

However, when it comes to motivating your sales reps to become sales superstars, it isn’t as simple as selecting a particular outcome and then promising them an award when they achieve it. There are different types of sales incentive programs and you need to design your incentive plans according to these types.

Let’s see what they are.

Role-Specific Incentives

We live in a digital age where the idea of what a “product” is has shifted dramatically. It is no longer a physical object that the client needs but rather a service that will have a long-lasting relationship with the customer.

Therefore, you need specialist sellers who know how to sell particular products & services in the most appealing way. From roles of customer-care experts to technical support providers & advisory salespeople, there are various roles & responsibilities of people in a sales team.

Once you identify the roles that will be most useful in fulfilling your client’s needs, you will be able to identify your goals. Thus, you will be able to motivate your employees to achieve those goals according to the specific roles that they fulfil.

Who is it good for: Role-specific incentives are perfect for sales departments that consist of company development, inside sales, sales leaders, sales support, etc.

Split Incentives

Marketing is not a one-man-task. Rather, multiple people come together to create and execute an effective sales strategy. From sales managers to sales reps in different geographical locations, split teams exist all over the goal.

For a split team, you need to have a split incentive strategy. People in different geographical regions have different, varying needs and you should consider that when you are designing your marketing plans and strategies. 

Who is it good for: Split incentives are great for sales teams with sales staff working from various locations that are working on one specific deal together.

Presales Incentives

Presales incentives encourage activities that will certainly generate income and revenue for the short-term. Moreover, they will set a precedent for the achievement of long-term goals and business objectives as well.
With a lot of products and services available these days, customers spend a lot of time and evaluate the alternatives thoroughly. This can take a long time before they finally make a decision.

Therefore, you have the added responsibility of keeping the salesforce motivated over extended periods of time. You need to form a staged incentive approach. One way of doing that is breaking down your goals, and allowing the team members to get rewards before a sale is complete.  

Who is it good for: If you want all of your teams such as the marketing team, product designers, engineers, customer support reps, etc. involved in the sales incentive plan, you should go with a pre-sales incentive. 

You will give the incentives and rewards based on the progress that they have made so far. 

Omnichannel Incentives

In the digital world of today, customers engage with suppliers in various ways, both human and digital. This means that sometimes during the sales & buying process, the sales reps can be left out of the process.

To ensure that your company grows, you need to make mobile or online product sales an asset for the sales reps instead of a threat. Make sure that you reward them for being part of the digital product buying process. 

Who is it good for: In omnichannel incentives, the commission from a deal is given to the whole team, whether the sales are digital or physical. 

Sales Incentive Program Ideas

Apart from the commissions, cash bonuses and incentives, there are various non-cash sales team incentives that you can offer to engage and motivate your team. From fine dining experiences to tickets to concerts & sporting events, they can be anything. 

Given below are a few sales incentive program ideas that you can use to engage and motivate your sales team.

Digital Gift Cards

Digital gift cards are probably the most common incentives. Even though gift cards are technically monetary incentives, they actually provide the sales rep to compete for a physical prize.

You can give the sales personnel the freedom to select any gift card they want – from subscription to streaming services such as Netflix, HBO, etc. to free shopping digital gift cards, the choices are plenty.

Crystal Awards or Plaques

Who doesn’t love shields, trophies, and crystal awards that they can display in their homes proudly? You can use crystal awards or plaques – such as employee of the month – as rewards for amazing performance. 

From pen holders to work planners, everyone likes branded, engraved accessories. You can also get engraved office accessories for your employees as bonuses and incentives.

Extra Paid Time Off

Who doesn’t like additional time off work? Why not provide your employees with extra paid time off, especially after a time-consuming project? This will give your employees a much-needed mental break and they will come back to work fresh and highly motivated. 

Tech Gadgets

Popular and helpful tech gadgets such as smartwatches, tablets, etc. are great motivators. With various smart devices available, with amazing features, you can let the employees select the ones they want. This will increase their interest in both the achievement of their sales goals and in the incentive program.  

Flexible Hours

It is not about working at a particular time – it is about getting the job done. Once you know that your employees are trustworthy and will finish their work, you don’t have to maintain a strict routine for them. 

Flexible time is one of the best incentives that you can offer your employees. With the ability to work anytime they want, the employees get to spend some time doing things they love and remain utterly thankful to their employers as a result.

Gym or Club Memberships

Many of us today strive to have a healthy work-life balance. This includes exercising, eating healthy, etc. You can offer your sales reps gym memberships to encourage them to be active and stay healthy.

The healthier they are, the better they will be able to perform! Moreover, you can also get club memberships for example membership of the local golf club or wine club membership for the employees as an incentive for excellent performance.

Subscription Boxes

With subscription boxes & personalized products being all the rage nowadays, you can get them delivered to the homes of your employees. Personalize the subscription according to the reps’ choice and you will see how happy they are with the company.

Simply take an inventory of what your team likes and then find a subscription service that will serve their interests!

Paid Lunch

In large corporations, it is hard to get time with senior management. Why not incentivize the salespeople by offering them lunch with the company executives? This can definitely be a motivator for them. 

Apart from this, you can offer them paid lunches at their favorite restaurants and see how they will perform better!

Concert or Sports Tickets

Whether it is a sports event or a concert, we are always looking to get the best seats. Sadly, not all of us can afford to spend our hard-earned money on tickets. Therefore, it is a great idea to get tickets to events for your sales managers & employers. 

Preferable Parking Space

How many times have we tried to find parking space and failed to do so? So many times that it is probably hard to count! Incentivize your sales team by offering them preferable parking space so that they won’t have to waste time finding a spot for their cars when they come to work!

Sales Incentives: Next Steps

When it comes to effective marketing incentive plans and strategies, sales incentive programs play a very vital role in motivating the sales teams. From cash incentives to various no-cash incentives, incorporate bonuses for the staff to motivate and engage them.

Hire a professional marketing team to ensure that you are doing everything that needs to be done to make your company a raging success.

Here’s to your successful, fruitful company!