Creative Sales Incentives for Motivation: Our Top 3


Sales incentives are a great way to get your sales team excited about producing awesome results. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Most workers report that cash incentives, stock options, ESOP stock, and ESPP participation motivate them to work harder.” And while job-related incentives have traditionally been used to boost sales performance in the past, companies are now looking to break the mold with new and ingenious rewards packages such as vacation getaways or the latest in highly coveted gadgets.

A new dawn of non-cash incentives is upon us and they’re sexier, more fun, and help employees strike a better work-life balance than previous. Best of all, they’ll keep employees happy and sales at an all time high. Check out these top 3 sales incentives that will make you wish you were part of the competition.

1. Merchandise Incentives

When it comes to cash versus merchandise incentives, the general consensus is that it is better to reward sales reps with new merchandise since cash winners will likely spend their reward on necessities like gas or groceries instead of things they actually want. For this reason cash rewards might be immediately satisfying, but lack real trophy value in the long run.

However, if a company were to incentivize sales reps with a timeless Rolex watch or swanky leather briefcase for example, chances are the winner will feel much more rewarded because they’ll have a tangible gift showcasing their accomplishments.

They’ll be able to flaunt their latest accolade around the office and remind others how much your company values its rock stars. Another perk to merchandise incentives is it also gives your company the opportunity to present the award in a ceremony, furthering the hype surrounding a top selling sales rep. Winners will receive formal recognition and inspire others to think about how they can become the next sales MVP.

2. Monthly Leasing Programs

Ken Thoreson, President of Acumen Management Group and author of SLAMMED! For the First Time Sales Manager, described a Corvette themed leasing program as one of the most successful sales contests he’s been a part of in his 15+ years of sales consulting. In a Q&A with Hubspot, Ken recalls, “To keep everyone’s attention we developed a Corvette theme, sending out sunglasses, Corvette materials and even a few jackets. The kicker was that for every $25K of leased business, the salesperson’s name was ‘thrown in a hat.’ At the national sales conference, two names were drawn, and those two salespeople drove away with red corvettes.

That contest is still talked about to this day.” Although many organizations may consider monthly leasing programs to be costly, Ken defends that such hot item incentives end up paying for themselves or prove themselves effective by impact. After all, who wouldn’t try pushing sales if it meant driving off in a brand new corvette?

3. Dream Getaways

What could possibly be better than a relaxing vacation to your dream destination? An all-expense-paid trip, courtesy of your company, of course! Free air travel, hotel, meal accommodations, and PTO are the perfect way to send off your top sales rep after a hard worked campaign.

While fellow colleagues might be green with envy, a luxury getaway is sure to help motivate everyone to go that extra mile in the next round of sales contests. Reward travel programs have become so popular that many travel companies such as American Airlines are now offering sales incentive travel packages based on the demand. Whether it’s a trip to the lush islands of Hawaii or a quick getaway to the hottest casinos in Vegas, we guarantee that no employee will come back complaining.