Using incentives to drive sales goal attainment


Sales is the lifeblood of any business. Without sales, no company can succeed in its industry or achieve its goals. It is the responsibility of sales management to drive sales and help the company reach its objectives. Sales managers are always looking for new ways to motivate sales teams and help them achieve their targets. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using incentives.

What are incentives?

Incentives are rewards or recognition given to employees for achieving specific goals or objectives. The purpose of incentives is to encourage employees to work harder and achieve their targets. Incentives can be monetary or non-monetary. Monetary incentives, like bonuses or commissions, have a direct impact on employees' income. Non-monetary incentives, like recognition or awards, have a psychological impact and can make employees feel more valued and motivated.

The benefits of using incentives

Using incentives to drive sales goal attainment has many benefits. Firstly, incentives motivate employees. Employees are more likely to work harder and put in more effort if they know that there is a reward waiting for them at the end. Secondly, incentives help to retain top talent. When employees feel valued and rewarded for their hard work, they are less likely to leave the company. This is especially important in highly competitive industries. Finally, incentives help to improve overall performance. When employees are motivated and working at their best, the company's sales and revenue will improve.

How to design effective incentives programs

Designing effective incentives programs requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Set clear and specific goals: The incentives program should be aligned with the company's overall goals. Set specific targets and communicate them clearly to the sales team.
  • Choose the right incentives: The incentives program should include rewards that are meaningful to employees. Consider both monetary and non-monetary rewards and choose those that will motivate the sales team.
  • Make the program fair: The incentives program should be equitable and fair for all employees. Avoid creating a situation where some employees feel disadvantaged.
  • Communicate effectively: Communicate the incentives program clearly and effectively to the sales team. Make sure employees understand how the program works and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
  • Measure and evaluate: Monitor the program's effectiveness and make changes as necessary. Consider implementing surveys or focus groups to get employee feedback.

Examples of effective incentives

Here are some examples of effective incentives:

  • Bonuses: Monetary incentives like bonuses can be effective in motivating sales teams. Consider offering bonuses for reaching certain sales targets or for exceeding expectations.
  • Commission: Commission-based incentives are common in sales. Offer a commission on each sale or a percentage of the total sales amount.
  • Awards and recognition: Non-monetary incentives like awards or recognition can also be effective. Consider recognizing the top salesperson each month or offering a prize for the team that exceeds their targets.
  • Time off: Time off incentives can be effective in motivating employees. Consider offering an extra day off for reaching certain sales targets or for completing a project ahead of schedule.
  • Career development: Offering career development opportunities can also be a powerful incentive. Consider offering sales training or career advancement opportunities for employees who reach certain goals.

Pitfalls to avoid

While incentives can be effective, there are also some pitfalls to avoid. Here are a few:

  • Focusing too much on incentives: If incentives become the sole focus of the sales team, it can lead to a decrease in overall performance and productivity.
  • Creating a divisive culture: If incentives are not distributed equitably, it can create resentment among employees and create a divisive culture.
  • Ignoring other factors: Incentives should not be seen as a band-aid solution to a larger problem. If there are other issues affecting sales performance, they should also be addressed.


Using incentives is a powerful way to motivate sales teams and drive sales goal attainment. When designing an incentives program, it is essential to set clear goals, choose appropriate incentives, make the program fair and communicate it effectively. By avoiding common pitfalls, incentives can be an effective tool for sales management to achieve their objectives and improve overall performance.