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Sales Incentives that Steer the Way to Success

4-Minute Read

Whether you’re a parent or not, you likely understand the reasoning behind employing rewards or incentives to encourage people to complete specific tasks. And even though we might believe that we eventually outgrow this tendency, the youthful aspect within most of us still welcomes an additional push towards achieving a goal.

That’s part of the reason the majority of sales positions are paid based on commission. But, even with great commission plans and incentives in place, sales teams can struggle to hit their goals. If you’re a leader and have been pulling your hair out due to slow or stopped sales, here are a few tips and tricks to getting your teams moving in the right direction.

First and foremost, in order to achieve your goals, everyone has to know what the goals are. Clarity is key to success, especially when managing large or remote teams. Not only should each person memorize their own number, knowing departmental and company goals helps emphasize that everyone is working towards one collective accomplishment.

Weekly or bi-weekly team meetings provide excellent opportunities to report on goals. Even if you only spend 5 minutes on it, these check-ins keep everyone in the loop on a regular basis. It can be especially helpful for those who need to see progress (or the lack of it) to know that what they’re doing is making a difference or if they need to put a little more effort into it.

Offer Sales Incentives People Actually Want

There was a craze a few years ago where companies added office perks such as foosball tables, kegerators, bring your pet to work day, etc. Though those amenities are fun and definitely help promote a positive work environment, they may not be enough to motivate salespeople to make more calls or schedule more demos. So, what will?


As much as we’d like to think employees care about more than money, it’s the number one motivator behind hitting sales goals. If raising salaries or commission rates for the entire company isn’t in the budget right now, what can you do?

During a recent call, one of our clients told us how they offered a commission rate increase to the salesperson who generated the most DIGIDECK presentations. This incentive alone helped one rep increase his win rates by 88%, leading to his best year to date.

This commission incentive was enough to motivate their sales teams to create additional customized presentations that helped drive interest, engagement and ultimately, sales.

Celebrate Achievements and Encourage Advancements

It seems simple but the act of recognizing and celebrating even the smallest victories can have a significant impact on morale. Acknowledging achievements publicly, whether through team meetings, emails, or internal newsletters, reinforces the idea that hard work is valued and leads to positive outcomes. Celebrations not only boost individual motivation but also create a sense of camaraderie among team members.

Show your team that their hard work can lead to career growth within the organization. Outline potential career paths and offer support for skill development that aligns with their aspirations. The prospect of advancement can be a powerful motivator for people to consistently perform at their best.

Leaders are not Exempt

Leaders play a pivotal role in motivating their teams. When managers demonstrate passion, dedication, and a strong work ethic, it sets a standard for the entire team to follow. Being transparent about company goals and sharing personal success stories (along with failures) can inspire employees.

Having a willingness to “fight in the trenches” can also help strengthen and unite struggling teams. After all, if your manager is making calls and setting appointments, you better be doing the same!

If you choose to take that approach, be careful not to overstep. Micromanagement, even if well intended, can stifle motivation. Instead, empower your team with your trust and support. When employees feel responsible for their work and outcomes, they’re more likely to take ownership of their performance and be motivated to excel.

In the end, motivating a sales team is less about laying down the hammer and more about creating an environment where they are empowered, valued, and excited about their work. With clear goals in place along with regular recognition and encouragement, sales leaders can inspire their teams to consistently hit and even surpass their goals, driving both individual and organizational success. Adding a few “extra treats” doesn’t hurt either!

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