30 Fun Sales Incentives Ideas to Inspire Sales Teams
Sales is a challenging and fast-paced profession, where managers must devise strategies to keep their teams engaged and motivated at all times, to achieve the best results. If you’re a sales manager or team leader, here are some effective and fun sales incentive ideas to keep your team striving for success.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways you can inspire your sales team to hit their goals and create a much more positive and productive work environment.
- Motivating an underperforming sales team
- Pumping up a sales team
- Avoiding sales slumps
- Keeping the sales team happy
- What motivates sales reps
- 30 awesome sales incentives ideas
How do you motivate an underperforming sales team?
Motivating an underperforming sales team can be challenging, but it's not impossible. By setting clear goals, providing training and development opportunities, and offering incentives and recognition for a job well done, you can help your team improve their performance and reach their full potential.
Here are some aspects to keep in mind:
- Set clear expectations: Ensure that your sales pros understand their roles and responsibilities and the goals they need to achieve. Provide clear and achievable targets and a roadmap for how to get there.
- Identify the root cause: Identify the underlying issues that are contributing to the team's underperformance. Once you have identified this, you can develop a plan to address it.
- Offer training and support: Provide training and resources to help team members improve their skills and knowledge. Invest in ongoing coaching and support to help them refine their sales techniques and build confidence.
- Celebrate small wins: Celebrate and acknowledge the progress made by team members. This can help build momentum and create a positive work environment.
- Foster a positive work environment: Create a positive and supportive work environment where team members feel valued and respected. Encourage open communication, feedback, and collaboration.
How do you pump up a sales team?
If you want to pump up your sales team and get them fired up to sell, there are several strategies you can try. From offering incentives to recognising achievements or offering career advancement opportunities; there are many ways to motivate and inspire your sales team to achieve their goals.
Here are four common motivators for sales teams include:
- Salary: Many salespeople are attracted to commission-based roles because they want to control their income. The potential to earn unlimited amounts of money is, of course, always a strong motivator for those who are money-driven!
- Career advancement: Successful sales professionals are often recognised and promoted based on their performance. A new rising star can quickly distinguish themselves from the pack with exceptional sales skills and a unique approach.
- Recognition: Seeing your name at the top of the leaderboard is sure to spark inner motivation. In sales, every win comes with a reward, so those leading the pack are often driven by kudos and the desire to exceed their personal best and be recognised for their efforts.
- Purpose: Sales isn't just about making money. Most salespeople won't be passionate about selling a product they don't believe in. If your sales team believes in and feels connected to the company's mission, they'll share that passion with your customers and be motivated to excel.
How do you avoid sales slumps?
To avoid sales slumps, it's important to take a proactive approach by setting achievable goals, maintaining a consistent pipeline of leads, staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices, and providing ongoing training and support for your team.
Sales slumps can be a challenging and frustrating time for any salesperson or team. Don’t let them get your team down. Here are some actionable initiatives to implement:
- Segment your sales pipeline: Segment your sales pipeline into different stages and prioritise leads accordingly. Focus on high-quality leads and opportunities that are most likely to close, and avoid wasting time on low-quality or dead-end prospects.
- Diversify your sales channels: Diversify your sales channels to reduce reliance on any one channel. Use a mix of online and offline channels, such as social media, email marketing, cold calling, and networking events.
- Improve sales messaging: Improve your sales messaging to better resonate with your target audience. Use customer feedback and market research to develop messaging that addresses customer pain points and highlights the unique value proposition of your product or service.
- Analyse sales data: Analyse your sales data to identify trends and insights. Use this information to adjust your sales strategies, optimise your sales processes, and refine your targeting.
- Focus on customer retention: Focus on customer retention as well as new customer acquisition. Retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones and can help build long-term relationships and loyalty.
How do I keep my sales team happy?
To keep your sales team happy, it’s important you demonstrate appreciation for all their hard work and accomplishments. You can do this in many ways, like offering commissions, incentives or cool prizes.
But it's not just about the goodies. You've got to create a culture that's positive and supportive, where everyone feels like they're part of a team.
That means encouraging open communication, collaboration, and teamwork, and checking in regularly to give feedback and support. If you can provide opportunities for professional growth and development, give your team some flexibility, and help them achieve a good work-life balance, you'll have a happy and motivated sales team on your hands.
What motivates sales reps the most?
Sales reps are constantly pushing towards hitting targets and goals and in return, they wish to be rewarded and accomplished. Financial incentives for salespeople like commissions and bonuses are certainly sought after, but personal fulfilment and growth are equally important.
Challenging goals, recognition, and development opportunities are all part and parcel of developing an ambitious sales team.
Creating a positive work environment and a sense of purpose can also increase their investment in their work. It's essential to understand what drives each team member and offer individual support and recognition.
30 sales incentive ideas to inspire your team
1. Salesperson of the month
If you're looking for a way to show appreciation for hardworking employees or salespeople, consider implementing an "employee/salesperson of the month" programme.
By awarding a designated prize each month to the top-performing employee or salesperson who meets specific objectives, you can create a culture of recognition and motivation that encourages your team to perform at their best.
The prize can be anything from time off to a months supply of coffee from their favourite coffee house, a months subscription to their favourite dinner meal kit for making at home, or maybe something more creative. To make it even more engaging, you can think outside the box and consider different metrics like the most individual sales or the most "Nos" turned into "Yeses." Displaying the winner's name and photo on the office wall for a month can also boost morale and create healthy competition, ultimately leading to improved performance and results.
2. Winner’s choice
A common challenge in running a sales contest is determining the right prizes to offer. However, a simple solution to this problem is to let the winners choose their own rewards. To do this, set a goal for the highest sales of the month or quarter, and present a list of potential rewards using a bespoke rewards catalogue. The winner can then select the reward they prefer, and even eye up a prize for the next month's competition.
3. Team experience days
Experience days are an exciting way to spur on a sales team and bring them together. These activities can range from team-building exercises and workshops to unique events that offer new experiences and skills.
When sales teams engage in these activities, they can have fun working collaboratively while learning new techniques that can be applied to their role. By sharing these experiences, sales teams can develop a sense of camaraderie and boost morale, leading to increased engagement and productivity in the workplace. To create the most impactful experience, it's essential to choose activities that align with your team's interests and needs. Some popular options include professional development workshops, sales-focused presentations, and relaxing retreats like spa days or outdoor adventures.
4. Sales team scavenger hunt
A sales scavenger hunt is a contest or game designed to motivate sales teams to achieve specific goals, such as meeting revenue targets, selling specific products, or increasing the number of upsells.
The game typically involves dividing the sales team into groups and giving each group a list of tasks to complete within a set period. The tasks may include identifying potential clients or leads, closing sales, or upselling existing customers.
The team that completes the most tasks or achieves the highest level of success in meeting the predetermined objectives wins the game. The scavenger hunt is often used as a team-building exercise that encourages collaboration, communication, and friendly competition among team members.
5. Desk trophy
Offering a trophy or something visible to display for top-performing sales reps is an excellent way to foster healthy competition among team members.
The winner gets to proudly display the trophy on their desk for as long as they maintain their position as the highest sales performer. This simple gesture can have a powerful impact, motivating others to elevate their sales game. To further boost engagement, consider posting pictures of the winners in a communal area like the staff room, to celebrate their achievement and inspire others to strive for the same success.
Although it may seem like a small gesture, the visual recognition of a trophy can be a significant motivator for sales reps to achieve their goals.
6. Cash rewards
Sales teams always say they find cash rewards to be a powerful motivator, particularly when they are in the final push to close a deal or rapidly scaling up. But it's not necessarily a good thing.
However, if you do wish to incorporate cash rewards into a sales incentive programme, it's crucial to establish a clear and easily understandable commission structure that rewards salespeople for meeting specific objectives, such as exceeding their sales quotas, closing a predetermined number of deals, or achieving a specific sales activity goal.
7. More paid time off
Offering more paid time off as a reward for a sales team can be a powerful motivator for several reasons. Firstly, it gives employees a chance to recharge and avoid burnout, which can be a common issue in sales jobs with high pressure and long hours.
Additionally, paid time off is a tangible benefit that employees can enjoy outside of work and can help to improve their work-life balance, leading to increased job satisfaction.
8. Growth opportunities
Motivation for many salespeople goes beyond financial rewards. Opportunities for personal and professional development are often strong motivators, whether it's the chance to improve as a salesperson, move into management, or expand into new products or markets.
Providing access to sales training from a professional coach, advanced sales techniques courses, or tickets to conferences can all be powerful incentives for the most driven employees.
9. The Most No’s Game
The Most No's game is a unique and entertaining sales contest for competitive sales teams.
It is counterintuitive to aim for rejection, but it encourages reps to take more risks and make more sales attempts, increasing the likelihood of getting a "Yes". The objective of the game is to accumulate the most rejections within a defined sales period, such as a day, a week, or a month. It is recommended to keep the game short (not exceeding a week) to maintain its competitiveness and prevent the gap between the highest and lowest "No's" counts from widening.
10. Mentoring session with the company CEO
Young sales representatives can find it highly motivating to have the chance to sit down with the CEO of the company and discuss their career aspirations, successes, and challenges.
This kind of one-on-one interaction can offer valuable guidance and insight that helps the salesperson build their skills, increase their confidence, and achieve their goals. It also signals that the company values the salesperson's contributions and is invested in their professional development. Such an opportunity can serve as a powerful incentive for salespeople to work harder and strive towards achieving their best results.
11. Flexible working opportunities
Flexible working arrangements can benefit salespeople by improving job satisfaction, work-life balance, and productivity.
Sales reps can avoid rush hour commuting and have greater control over their schedules, reducing stress levels. Furthermore, flexible working arrangements can attract and retain top sales talent, demonstrating an employer's commitment to employee well-being.
12. Sales Bingo
A fun and effective way to motivate sales teams is to incentivise them through a bingo-style game that rewards them for completing tasks. This approach encourages reps to focus on all the small tasks that contribute to their success, and each box they tick off brings them closer to winning a prize.
To get started, create bingo cards with different sales tasks in each square, such as closing a sale above a certain amount or acquiring a new account. Encourage your team to track their progress and award them when they complete a row or the entire card. This game not only recognises individual effort but also promotes healthy competition and collaboration within the team.
13. Win a favour from your boss
Consider offering a more personalised reward to the top salesperson, such as a favour from you!
Establish a clear timeline for the contest and communicate the prize options to the team. At the end of the contest, the winner can select a prize of their choice, such as having you wash their car or treating them to lunch for a brain-picking session. Give them the freedom to choose, as long as it is reasonable.
14. Manager versus manager contest
Managers participating in sales contests is a great way to inspire the wider sales team. A fun way to do this is by pitting two managers against each other in a friendly competition based on a specific metric.
The losing manager should face a silly punishment, such as wearing a funny wig for a week. Choose a trackable metric for the managers to compete on throughout the day and announce the loser and their punishment at the end of the day.
15. Raffle contest
If you find that your sales contests have become repetitive or that the same people keep winning, it might be time to try the Raffle Sales Contest.
Set a specific task such as completing a certain number of calls each day. Then, establish a goal for your reps to reach and distribute raffle tickets every time a goal is achieved. The more raffle tickets a rep collects, the higher their chances of winning the raffle.
To make it more engaging, you can use live notifications to let everyone know when a rep has earned a raffle ticket. All you need are plenty of raffle tickets and a trackable metric to monitor progress.
16. ‘Most improved salesperson’ competition
If you are looking to motivate the middle tier of sales performers on your team, consider implementing the "Most Improved in Sales" idea. Choose a specific sales metric they should work towards (such as closing deals) and set a time frame, such as one month. The salesperson who improves the most from the previous month wins a prize.
17. Customer loyalty contests
To encourage sales reps to prioritise generating repeat business with existing clients, companies can implement sales contest ideas that focus on fostering customer loyalty.
One such approach is to introduce a repeat business whiteboard in the office that displays each rep's progress in building and maintaining a loyal customer base. This visual representation helps reps see how their efforts contribute to the company's long-term success, rather than solely focusing on acquiring new clients.
18. Being featured in company newsletters
Highlighting top salespeople in company newsletters is a great incentive.
Establish a recognition programme that showcases the salesperson with the highest metrics or customer retention rates and include a brief interview to inspire others within the company. This can create a culture of recognition and healthy competition, pushing everyone to strive for excellence.
19. Office modifications
To keep salespeople comfortable and productive, make a few changes to the office space, as follows:
- Use ergonomic chairs and desks to prevent discomfort from prolonged sitting.
- Ensure proper lighting and ventilation.
- Provide a private space for calls and meetings to eliminate distractions.
- Stock up on healthy snacks and drinks for the break room.
- Add motivational quotes or posters to inspire the team to achieve their goals.
20. Activity rewards
Activity rewards are a unique and memorable sales incentive that can help your sales team blow off steam and bond after a long and stressful period of striving to reach sales quotas.
Unlike cash or gift cards, activity rewards come with lasting memories that won't quickly be forgotten.
However, it's worth noting that activity rewards tend to be more effective with younger salespeople on your team. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, adventure activities like hiking and extreme sports are the most appreciated incentives among millennials.
21. Wall of Fame
Creating a wall of fame to acknowledge salespeople who go above and beyond in achieving their quotas is an excellent way to stimulate the entire team.
According to surveys, up to 50% of sales reps prefer being publicly recognised for their hard work and high performance. Incorporate a dedicated space in the office to display their photos and showcase their title and name underneath.
22. Quiet days off
Motivate sales reps during busy periods by setting a target for them to reach on high-volume days. Reward those who hit or exceed the target and offer them the chance to bank time off to take it easy during a quieter time.
This approach helps salespeople focus on achieving targets during busy periods. It is not a competitive sales contest, but a way to reward employees during periods of increased demand.
23. Start a buddy system
Encourage team collaboration and foster knowledge sharing by implementing a buddy system. Pair your top sales performers with lower performers and offer rewards to the top-performing team at the end of the month.
This approach not only encourages your top performers to hit their potential, but also provides an opportunity for the lower performers to learn from their more productive counterparts, leading to overall team growth and success.
24. Upsell game
This sales game is all about motivating sales reps to upsell and increase revenue from existing partners.
To determine the winner, there are different ways to track upsell progress. This can include looking at the highest amount earned from upselling, the highest percentage increase in upselling compared to the client's previous account history, or the most significant number of clients upsold.
The goal is to encourage sales reps to focus on upselling and driving revenue growth from existing clients.
25. Daily prizes
One of the advantages of daily competitions is their unpredictability. With effort, anyone can emerge victorious in the "most dials in a day" contest.
These competitions can be held on days or weeks when enthusiasm is waning to revitalise the team's drive. The concept is straightforward: purchase a variety of random presents, place them in a pile, and the representative with the most deals at the end of the day gets to choose a gift to open.
No one knows what is inside each present; it could be a fantastic gift or something less desirable. For additional competition, allow representatives to either keep their gift or steal yesterday's prize from a colleague.
26. Self-care days
Self-care days are essential for sales teams because they provide a break from the intense and often stressful nature of sales work.
Salespeople are required to handle rejection and deal with high-pressure situations regularly, which can lead to burnout and mental exhaustion. Taking a self-care day can help salespeople recharge, refocus, and reduce stress levels; leading to increased job performance and better outcomes for the business.
27. Beating past performance contests
Encourage your sales reps to compete against themselves and achieve personal bests. Work with a manager to identify areas for improvement, set benchmarks, and track progress visually.
Use TV wall boards to increase their sense of ownership over their performance. This approach is ideal for inside sales teams who can benefit from continuous improvement. By focusing on their progress, reps can increase productivity and job satisfaction.
28. Travel vouchers
Travel vouchers can be an awesome way to motivate sales teams and offer several benefits. For starters, they provide a tangible and highly coveted reward that salespeople can work towards.
Moreover, travel offers flexibility and choice, which can cater to different interests and preferences. This means salespeople can use them to plan their dream holiday, visit loved ones, attend a conference or event, or do something that they truly enjoy.
What's more, travel can help create a sense of excitement and anticipation among sales teams, which can boost morale and create a positive work environment. Offering travel vouchers as a reward taps into the natural desire for adventure and exploration and can help foster a culture of positivity and enthusiasm within the team.
29. Beat competitors
You can inspire healthy competition and promote information sharing within your sales team by keeping track of reps who win the most deals against specific competitors. This strategy can motivate reps and encourage them to share valuable intelligence.
Choose a competitor (or a few) and establish a metric for tracking wins against them. Keep a record of the wins over a set period and reward the reps who earn the most wins.
To ensure this competition is effective, it's important to define your competitors clearly and establish a robust system for tracking deals that involve them. By doing so, you can gain useful insights into the competitive landscape and enable your sales team to make more informed decisions.
30. Customer review contest
If you want to run a customer review contest for your sales reps, you need to make it easy for them to collect reviews - whether good or bad. One way to do this is to set up a customer survey or use an existing survey process.
This contest not only encourages reps to focus on sales, but also on providing excellent customer service. Winning positive feedback from customers can be very satisfying, and recognition from upper management can motivate reps to work harder. Additionally, collecting negative feedback can help reps learn and improve their customer service skills.
Time to upgrade your sales incentives?
These incentive ideas for sales teams can be a powerful tool to drive outstanding results. By offering rewards that are meaningful and appealing to sales reps, you can create a culture of healthy competition and inspire your team to exceed expectations.
Whether it's through travel, recognition programmes, or customer review contests, incentives can help boost morale and foster a positive work environment. However, it's important to remember that incentives should be aligned with your company's values and goals and should not create an environment that promotes unethical or harmful behaviour.
With the right approach, incentives can be a valuable tool for driving sales performance and building a successful sales team.
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