How to motivate low performing employees with sales incentives

Posted by Dan Kelly

Sales people tend to have high energy, be fast-paced, and thrive in a dynamic and driven environment. It follows then that the sales floor can become a naturally competitive place, with big personalities vying for pole position.

With sales to make and targets to hit, this can create a great deal of pressure, particularly when the same people are the highest performers time and time again. For those low-performing employees not leading the pack, this can be a demotivating position, resulting in low engagement and, ultimately, poor sales. This blog aims to help by showing how an incentive scheme can motivate low-performing staff.

Consider the 20/60/20 rule

The 20/60/20 rule states that 20% of your sales reps will be top performers, leaving the vast majority of your team playing catch up. This is not so good for company results and a broad solution should be sought to bolster the team as a whole. A certain degree of competition is a healthy motivator, as long as everyone feels they are in with a chance. The mechanism you choose should be available to, and achievable for, every member of the team.

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How a sales incentive programme can motivate low performers

An ideal employee incentive for this situation is a points-banking engagement programme. This allows individuals to earn points based on their own achievements, unaffected by their peers. These schemes can be set up in whatever way best suits your company:

  • Tiered – sales people performing at a similar level, or in a particular geographical location, can be grouped with different criteria, depending on their performance and attainments
  • Target and trackers – performance trackers can be put in place, which measure progress against designated targets. This helps to break the process down and boost motivation of your low-performing staff
  • Leaderboards – as long as competition is healthy and not detrimental, leaderboards can be a great way to encourage sales for low-performing employees to strive for the top spot. They can also help staff realise how close they are to overtaking those people above of them, making them work that little bit harder to get ahead. It’s vital for managers to motivate those employees towards the bottom and explore ways to help them achieve more
  • Theme – a great way to enhance engagement with your programme is to introduce a theme, be it seasonal or a sales floor event to create hype and energy. To find out more, read about our blog, What is a SPIF day

Reap the rewards

However your sales incentive programme works, it’s important to make sure the rewards on offer are desirable. If you want your team to work harder, they need to have an appealing reason to do so. Rewards should also be varied to maximise impact on an ongoing basis, with instant prizes as well as the longer term ‘big wins’, to optimise motivation. For details about the types of rewards to consider, take a look at our blog, Top sales incentives programme rewards for your staff.

Equip your team

Quizzes can even be incorporated into your incentive programme, with points accrued for every training session an employee completes. According to Salesforce, continuous training can yield up to 50% higher net sales per representative.

Knowledge is power. So you should make sure your sales people are well-informed with comprehensive and engaging training. Consider incorporating e-learning quizzes to keep your training fast-paced and fun while they learn.

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Coach your team

Attitude can be vital to success. If this is letting an employee down then it probably should be addressed. Coaching and mentoring can help and be invaluable for low-performing employees, helping them to succeed and believe they can. Salespeople should have a natural flair and commitment to the process. It’s worth remembering that while negativity can bring the whole team down, a positive approach can be infectious and boost a team’s demeanour and overall performance.

Incentive schemes are a fantastic way to help drive your sales, boost motivation, improve employee performance, and increase revenue within your business. A successful incentive scheme can lead to long-term benefits for your business, so getting yours right is crucial.

At CR Worldwide, we quickly design, launch and optimise powerful incentive programmes that drive increased sales in your business. Our sales incentive schemes are:

Easy to implement — Our turnkey MyRewards platform can be tailored to suit your requirements, meaning you can be ready to implement sales incentive schemes fast.

Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be straightforward, so your staff can easily work towards their targets and the rewards up for grabs, track their performance and compete with their colleagues.

Easy to manage — Our programmes offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This means you can efficiently manage, organise and track your team’s performance and the value of your incentive schemes.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our sales incentive schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.