Small Incentives Reap Large Success

Take a minute to think about how you incentivize your sales force. Do you rely solely on the commission they can earn with a yearly or quarterly bonus thrown in for good measure? If so, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful ways to motivate your sales team.

The fact of the matter is that not everyone can be sustainably motivated by commissions and bonuses. Some members of your sales force may prefer smaller, more regular incentives to motivate them to meet and exceed their sales goals. To find out how to best incentivize and motivate your salespeople, try this little thought exercise:

Ask sellers how they would like to be rewarded if you have no money to spend, if you have $100, if you have $1000, or if you have unlimited dollars. 

You may be surprised by the answers. Perhaps your top seller would prefer the opportunity to leave work in time to catch her son’s t-ball game more than she likes an extra few hundred dollars at the end of the quarter. Maybe your newest member feels a little shabby and would appreciate a gift card to a haberdashery to commemorate a training milestone. Once you have a good handle on what would truly incentivize your sales team, you will be able to begin a campaign to keep them motivated.

Start Small.

There is no reason why you should roll out a massively expensive campaign. Some of the best incentives are small ones. Here are some small (re: reasonably priced) incentives you can try for your sales team:

  • Buy lunch for the top seller of the week.
  • Gas compensation for quota-makers.
  • “Earn” a day off by meeting and exceeding sales goals.
  • Public commendation on the company social media websites when goals are met. (Bonus: It’s free!)
  • Allow top salesperson to run a training session for newer sales professionals. (Also free, and for many people the opportunity to grow as a coach and leader is a huge motivator.)

Don’t Forget to Recognize the Team.

It is easy to remember to thank and incentivize your top sellers when they meet and exceed their goals, but it is just as important to commend the whole group when a given team meets their goals. Even if some members of the group did not meet their individual quota. Here are some ideas to recognize a whole sales team:

  • Bring in bagels/donuts and coffee for team breakfast. (Food is a powerful motivator.)
  • Consider increasing their commission, if feasible for your business plan. (Especially if this team consistently meets and exceeds their goals.)
  • Give this team more autonomy in day-to-day operations. (They know what they’re doing, let them run with it!)

Ultimately, offering small, regular incentives will provide your sales force with regular motivation to meet and exceed their sales goals, which is key to the growth and profitability of your business. Take some time to figure out the best incentives for your sales team and then put your plan into action. You will be amazed at the results!




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