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9 Ways Towards Sales Team Motivation

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Sales teams incentives is exactly what it suggests; a motivation, a gesture of appreciation and a method for the employees to earn a quick buck. Incentives are a great way to motivate and engage employees. Sabir (2017) states the positivity of motivation, from keeping the workplace flow heathy to keeping it alive and thriving. It also links directly to employee retention and higher workplace satisfaction.

What is a better way to keep the spirits up and cheer up the sales team? Positive reinforcement. How do you incorporate positive reinforcements? Incentives. Period.

Why should an employer dive into a chain of positive reinforcements? Does it even do any good?

(Wei & Yazdanifard, 2014) suggests that positive reinforcements harbour an encouraging relationship of employees with efficiency and effectiveness. With a several other studies to back up the claim, it is difficult to negate the values and positivity that comes along with incentives.

However, before rolling out sales incentives, there are 3 few key-factors to assure the maximum output and productivity:


An average person definitely enjoys surprises and employees are no different. While it is good to have a schedule to hand out incentives, the routine would only motivate employees in the window when the incentives are close. It is important to mix and time the incentives that they become predictable enough to give a sense that they are near but enigmatic enough to keep them guessing and putting out efforts to make each day count towards the goal.

Define the purpose

It is essential that the incentives are provided with a clear intention in hand. Boosting sales is just one of the many in hand. Is it increase in a creative outflow? Generation of buzz around a certain product? Better deal closure in the upcoming days? Is the incentive based on an individual effort or a team split? The incentives must be curated to match the need of the hour.

Specificity, Simplicity and Attainability

It is not uncommon for employees to lose momentum when tasks become complex and incentives are no different. Think it in terms of mathematical problems: word problems are easier to solve than complex equations.

Use the words. Express the specificity and simplicity of achieving the goal. Make the goal as concise as possible. Let it be as simple as selling X will attain Y. Make them challenging but not impossible that make require hours of spirals and confusion. Confusion is directly linked to frustration and unhappiness and an employer must ensure the employees do not spiral down the road.

Analysis and Readjustment

The incentives have rolled out. On the surface, everything seems fine but is it? Is it really what it appears to be? A quick survey and a careful analysis will reassure that the plan hit the mark and if it did not? Readjust. Recalculate. Think it over where did the things fall short and strategize accordingly.

How does an employer go about the incentives?

Several methods like implementing monetary/non-monetary can be implemented to give the right amount of boost to the dropping sales team momentum:

Monetary Incentives

Cash and compensations never fail to make anyone smile. Any additional opportunity to earn a quick buck keeps sales reps motivated. It is vital that the cash incentives are strategized per product or deal closed. Cash does not even need to be fixed; it can change forms in the name of compensation for previously taken courses.

However, no capping of the incentive is the key. If there is a cap, the motivation levels go down once the cap is reached.

Gift cards/Tickets

Gift cards, discount coupons, fair tickets, movie tickets, tickets to shows, shopping and dining vouchers and a lot more could fit into the incentive criterion. They bring out the potentials differently.

Open ideas/Votes

No idea is a bad idea, so keep an open system which is of course, feasible and realistic. An employer could also go about keeping things on a voting basis before the start of the term from a list of decided gifts; creating a sense of choice. With choice, comes enthusiasm to work.


Scratch the way to the incentives to a grand prize or hand out tickets/coins that can be redeemed over a gift counter (just ensure there is something substantial to be handed out). If going for a scratch cards, have smaller prizes but keep something huge in store to be a won. A flat screen TV? A car? Holiday packages? The television has been doing it successfully for years to come and it is bound to work.

Days off

If something that burdened and worked employees enjoy: paid days off. Not only does it relax and rejuvenate the employee to work with a fresh mindset and ideas to match the spirits, it becomes a great incentive to push harder on the days they are working to get to the sweet days off. Win-win? Absolutely.

Milestone achievement

If someone constantly out performs everyone on the team and grabs home the best of incentives, majority will be discouraged to make an effort after a period of time. Combine the elements and let incentives be against themselves, rather than being pitted against each other every time. Keep incentives at short intervals and grand incentive to be won by a couple.

Wall of fame

Public recognition is always a key to encourage employees. Something as simple as a wall of fame could capture the essence perfectly. Let there be multiple levels to the same as well. Announce it, let them be known for their work.

Meal Subscription

Fitness is on the rise and a healthy diet is linked to a better and fitter mind and soul. Healthy meal subscriptions, provision of meals in the office, compensation for the choice of subscription can all be a part of this incentive.

Certification of appreciation

Certifications of appreciation and merit are a common incentive since the days of the past and the one of the greatest motivators throughout time. Certifications add value to the employee profile. This could also enable them a chance to attend certificates-only conferences and provide the employees with tons of exposure.

Sales Motivation | Loyalty Programs | Employee Engagement

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