Nothing tickles the competitive belly of a salesperson as much as sales contests. The rivalry and banter creates a buzz around the workplace that brings a rapid boost in sales.
However, as per Dan Pink’s analysis, there are some rather surprising truths about what actually motivates us. It transpires that financial rewards don’t bring the level of motivation that you might think. Oftentimes the simplest of rewards have the biggest impact.
So, here are 20 low cost sales incentive prize ideas that we know really work. How do we know? Well, because we have used all of them ourselves!
1. Monday morning office massage from a mobile masseuse:
Get the week off to a good start by providing your winner with a massage. It’s sure to get them in the right frame of mind for the challenges that lie ahead!
2. Boss buys and has winner’s lunch (or breakfast) delivered for a week:
Anything that involves bringing the sales leadership down a peg or two is always great fun and highly motivational. A task as visible to the whole office as the boss delivering lunch (or breakfast) is sure to motivate.
3. Boss cleans winner’s car:
This can be turned into a good team bonding event as well, it also works best as a summer competition prize. If you combine it with a barbecue and picnic it can be a fun way to bring the team together.
4. Extra time off for a personal development pursuit:
With a nod to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, this prize promotes the sense that it is good to have non-work-related hobbies. After all, they do say that all work and no play…
5. Enrol in a training course of winner’s choice:
Sales folks love to win, it’s in their DNA. There is a nice circular nature to this incentive. If you provide them with a prize that is focused on their personal sales development, one that increases their chances of closing more deals – then they will bust a gut to win it! Win a prize that helps you win more…
6. Additional hours allocated for foundation (not-for-profit / charity) activity:
There is nothing more rewarding than giving time to a good cause. Allow the winner to choose the organisation and activity they want to perform for maximum impact.
7. The opportunity to switch desks with anyone in the office for a day:
Come on, we all have experienced desk-envy! The desk by the window or the one in the quiet corner where it’s easier to make calls. Combine this prize with a ‘winners’ chair for the greatest effect.
8. Prominent parking spot allocated for a month:
This is one of our favourites. Every office has a prominent parking spot. The one that is close to the entrance and that everyone has to walk past. Reserve this spot with a visible ‘For Winners Only’ sign for a real feel good factor.
9. Mentoring time spent with sales leader (or top sales performer):
Back to the theme that taps into personal development. We all strive to be the best at what we do, but in a time constrained world we don’t always do the best job of sharing our winning secrets. Allow your winner to pick who they would like to either shadow for a day or spend time helping review their deals and strategies.
10. Dedicated office for a week:
Allow the winner to swap their desk with the boss (or pick a meeting room to use as an office for a week)
11. Boss buys and delivers weekly grocery shop:
Having the boss turn up at your house acting as your personal grocery shopper is great fun, just don’t expect them to unpack it for you! Seriously, this reward gives a nod to the recognition that the team have a life outside of work and the chores have to get done. It’s a great light-hearted way to provide a little relief from the daily grind.
12. Lunch with the company CEO or chairman:
Let’s face it, sales is an ego driven environment. And everyone loves the recognition of being a ‘somebody’. Being known to the company CEO or Chairman and having a chance to learn from their experiences over a ‘no questions are barred’ lunch is a highly motivating opportunity. Not to mention that the lunch is likely to be nice…
13. Engraved plaque mounted on a winner’s wall of fame:
An old favourite rooted in time. The reason that it is on the list is because it just works. Peer recognition is a very strong motivator that should not be underestimated.
14. Name a room after the winner for a month:
Rename one of your meeting rooms to adopt the name of the winner. Placing stick-on signs over the meeting room name declaring it as the “Fred Smith” room will give strong peer-recognition (as well as no end of banter) for the duration. If you want to take it the extra mile, put posters in the room of the winner, so they are literally smiling down on the occupants.
15. Pick and mix – lucky dip:
We have used this one and seen it used to great effect. The thrust is not the prize but the peer recognition that comes from a “walk of fame”. Have the winner walk through the office to the front, passed all of their peers. They select a ticket from the lucky dip box that matches one of the prizes laid out on the table in front of them. The winner takes their prize and completes a walk of fame back to their desk. This is a great way to provide prizes for short sharp competitions such as “daily call connects”.
16. Cinema tickets to be used during the working day:
A simple but highly effective reward. Allow the winner to leave the office to go and watch a movie. Announce it to the team and watch the winner disappear out of the door for a few hours of well-earned relaxation. Everyone left behind will be wishing they had pushed that little bit harder.
17. Have senior company leader present an engraved award at company meeting:
This prize delivers a huge sense of bursting pride as the winner walks up to collect an engraved award from a senior company leader. With the clapping of the adoring audience the winner is left with a sense of what it must be like to be at the Oscars (well maybe not quite!)
18. Signed greeting card with lottery tickets inside:
This is a fun, low-cost prize. Have the whole team sign a card and after assembling the montage of no doubt pithy comments and signatures, slip a couple of lottery tickets inside. A great way of building team camaraderie and having fun.
19. Send a gift (or party) hamper to the winner’s home:
Take the party on the road and allow the winner to celebrate their success with the people most important to them.
20. Winner gets to hand a task they loathe to their boss to complete:
Always a popular one and often involves the boss finding themselves covering cold calling hour! Allow the winner to pick a task they least like and pass it to their boss to complete for them.
Need more food for thought?