Employee Incentive Programs for Sales Motivation

It can be challenging trying to find an effective employee incentive program that continually motivates your sales team. They need to a) be exciting and compelling enough to keep your employees motivated to perform and, b) be able to fit within your organization’s budget.

There’s a common misconception that employee incentive programs have to be complex or costly. Companies come to us all the time with a similar problem: they are over-spending on their rewards budget with expensive sales incentives and spiffs.

For example, there is a company in Austin whose sales floor is like a scene straight out of The Wolf of Wall Street. It is high-energy, full of yelling, gong-hitting and competition. To keep this momentum up, their VP of sales goes above and beyond when it comes to rewarding employees who hit their goal, win a sales competition or end up as the #1 sales rep. of the month. In the past year, one employee received the following: two round-trip tickets to a city of his choice, $1,000 cash, $400 in Visa gift cards, a 65’ flat screen tv, a team trip to South Padre, a 3-day pass to a local festival, assorted concert tickets, portable speakers by Beats by Dre and a Kindle. Now multiply that by a team of 100 employees and you have yourself a pricey incentive program!

“You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot in return.” William Craig, Forbes Contributor

The ultimate goal is to keep your employees happy, productive, invested and engaged. Incentives are necessary to encourage your sales team to stay motivated and perform at a high level, and push them to be the very best employee they can be. But the reality is that you can maximize your return with incentive programs that don’t cost that much. Moreover, accomplishments don’t have to be major, they can be as simple as continuously hitting goals or providing help to others in need.

Here are some examples of low-cost incentive programs you could implement into your program that will help your team grow.

-Learning Incentive Programs: It is important to provide your employees with ways they can grow professionally and personally. Whether you are hiring someone new, or an existing employee got a promotion, you should be able to offer them resources to help them grow into their new responsibilities. Maintain a library of books, training materials, or online resources that are accessible to your employees and encourage them to take advantage of it. Take it a step further and offer custom experiences such as executive leadership sessions or professional development courses.

How Kazoo can help: Incentivize your employees with our Behavior Bonus feature by encouraging and rewarding your employees who take action of their own development participation. Whenever they complete a course or leadership session and report it to their manager, they earn reward points they can then spend how they choose.

-Tangible Incentives: Remember- these items do not have to break the bank. Make sure to offer things that your employees actually want and probably wouldn’t buy on their own. We have all heard stories about unsuccessful incentives that have failed to motivate their employees. Don’t waste your money on things they don’t necessarily care about (e.g. trophies, plaques, pens…).

How Kazoo can help: Use our Custom Rewards setup to create custom rewards your sales team actually wants. Some examples include: a GoPro, a pair of Bose noise cancellation headphones, a new George Foreman grill, or a housekeeping service to help free up their personal time. Also, use our Point Pooling feature to create team rewards that allow employees to pool their points together for redemption. Your sales team could go in on a team outing, happy hour or charitable cause.

-Recognition: This is perhaps the most powerful incentive. Oftentimes, what employees want the most is to be recognized for their accomplishments. Public acknowledgment helps to ensure that your employees will live up to their potential time after time. Sales people are competitive by nature, which is necessary, but it is also important that they work together and encourage and motivate members of their team.

How Kazoo can help: Our social recognition feed makes it possible for your team to send and receive recognition to one another. It also promotes specific behaviors that are aligned with your company’s core values. It is an easy way for everyone to see how well their team is doing. Plus, managers can view individual and team performance via an easy-to-navigate leaderboard. Ultimately, it helps sales leaders create a happy, motivated and engaged team!


Want more ways to motivate a sales team? Download our guide!

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