Trips are marvelous, awards are dandy, but money is the number-one incentive sales reps crave. According to Linda Leake, "You can line up 10 great sales professionals and ask 'What is the best incentive your company can give you?' and [the answer] will be money."
Leake, president of Change by Leake in Raleigh, North Carolina, helps companies get sales results through hiring and developing talent. Leake believes reps are most motivated by a good base salary coupled with unlimited commissions. She says reps often leave companies because their compensation package has been capped--no matter how hard they work, they can't make more money.
The moola motivator is linked to the inherent competitiveness of strong sales reps. Holding weekly sales meetings can give reps the motivation they need to succeed. "Accountability and competitiveness, against a sales goal with a monetary reward, is the best high they can get," says Leake.
If you wish to do something above and beyond for a fantastic rep, Leake advises asking each rep what he or she would like.
And if you don't have a bucket of cash for incentives, Leake advises giving a rep one or two good accounts to build on--a financial win for both boss and employee.