11 Fun Sales Incentive Ideas for Retail Employees

Sep 09, 2021
5 min read
Inspiring sales rep performance creates a more productive workforce. Here are eleven creative incentive ideas and fun sales games to motivate employees and boost revenue.

​Motivated employees make happy customers. Motivating your employees makes sure that they are engaged in their work instead of becoming complacent. This motivation can take the form of financial or even non-monetary incentives.


Engagement ensures employees are performing at their maximum potential and provide quality service for customers. That has a direct impact on the bottom line. According to IBM, “organizations that score in the top 25 percent for employee experience report double the return on sales compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.”

But before you start implementing sales incentives, you should figure out what specifically motivates your employees. What can you do to drive them towards their best performance? Answering this question can help you create the right programs, monetary rewards, and even fun sales games to motivate your retail employees to unleash their potential.

Below are a few ideas you can build into your incentive program to help motivate top performance.

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1. Play Wheel of Fortune

You know how it works—spin the wheel and pick a letter. If you pick a letter that's on the board, you get the corresponding amount on the wheel. If you solve the puzzle, you get to keep the cash and prizes you've accumulated.

Use whatever prizes make the most sense for your business. This can include clothing, gift cards, candy, beauty products, or food. You can use a cardboard circle, then create pie pieces with a marker and cut out colored pieces of cardboard with the prizes written on them to create a color wheel.

Other options for prizes might include non-cash rewards such as an additional (paid) 20 minutes for a lunch break, a paid day off, a coffee shop gift card, or whatever else you can think of that would be relevant and appreciated by your retail staff. Be as creative as you can. Then, let your employees spin that wheel!

2. Start With Smaller and More Realistic Goals

It's great to have massive goals, or "reach" goals. But retail employees can lose motivation if they can't realistically meet those types of goals. Not every employee will be motivated by the same thing. So, it's important to focus on specific types of goals that can work well within specific contexts.

This can include breaking down larger goals into smaller ones that are much easier to reach. As your retail staff meets one goal, they build up the confidence to reach for the next level up. Also, with smaller goals—such as weekly goals—you keep your retail staff engaged with your sales incentive ideas.

3. Pass that Buck

With this sales incentive game, you can choose a daily goal and let everyone know when their shift begins. Maybe the goal is to sell more black t-shirts. The person who sells 20 black t-shirts gets $20. They then get to keep that $20 bill until the next person sells 20 black t-shirts.

The buck continues to get passed until the end of the shift. The last person with the $20 gets to keep it. This is one of the examples of sales incentives for employees that adds an extra layer of competition.

4. Complete the List

This game can encourage a retail team to bond with each other, which may increase their excitement to work in the future. The manager divides a team into groups of three or more and gives them a list of sales tasks to complete during a workday. The first team to complete the full list wins a prize. 

5. Employee of The Month Contest

Consider using this incentive to motivate retail employees to accomplish more sales-related tasks successfully, like retaining new customers, promoting a rewards program, or encouraging customers to purchase additional items. The manager sets a monthly contest for a retail employee who sells the most product and best embodies a company's core values. This staff member can receive certain benefits throughout the following month.

6. Favor From The Manager

You can use this game to offer a more personalized prize. The manager creates a numbered list of favors they can reasonably offer, such as a mentorship session, a work shift exchange, or an opportunity to work as a manager for one business day. Afterward, they give retail employees a series of goals to accomplish within a short-term or long-term time frame. Employees who accomplish them can select a random number to receive or agree to a certain favor with a manager, depending on the preference of either individual.

7. Pop that Balloon

Everyone loves blowing up balloons then popping them. Plus, balloons are affordable so get several bags full! Before you start inflating, write down prizes on scraps of paper. Stuff one piece of paper in each balloon and blow it up. Vary the prizes so that they range from small prizes to large prizes. Each time a goal is met, let your employee choose a balloon. They won't know what they've won until they pop the balloon. 

8. Have a Raffle

Raffles are another option for sales incentive ideas. Start by setting measurable goals for each member of your retail staff. Each time they hit their target, give them a specific number of raffle tickets. When the contest is over, raffle off the prizes and pick winners at random. The better-performing employees will get more tickets, which means more chances to win. 

9. Parking Pass Giveaway

Back to working in the office? This is a good incentive for employees starting to commute to work again. Everyone wants to park right next to the entrance—it really is the prime spot. One of your sales incentive ideas can include prime parking as a prize. This might be a continual sales contest in the form of a monthly or quarterly contest.

So, let the winner keep the parking pass for at least a month or a quarter. Giving the parking pass for a week just isn't motivating enough. It won't cost the company much to offer good parking, and the employees will truly appreciate and use the prize.

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10. Have Fun With Sports

Do you have a staff of football, basketball, hockey, or baseball fans? Sales incentives for employees should be fun and encourage their interests. So, think about creating contests around some of their favorite sports.

In the spring, you might consider a "March Madness" style game or in the fall, a Fantasy Football league. The opportunities are endless for sports-themed sales incentive games. Actual game tickets will make great prizes for this game.

11. Win PTO

Paid time off (PTO) gives employees a chance to take a break from the daily demands of their job and find time to rest, recharge, and spend time with family and friends. Employers who offer PTO support the overall mental health of their staff, and employees who use PTO can help reduce burnout and increase productivity and creativity.

Building A Reliable Sales Compensation Plan

You really can put a price on the cost of motivating and retaining high-performing employees. Monetary and non-monetary incentives help inspire your employees to become more productive—resulting in a win-win situation for the company and the employee.

Sales incentives create a positive working environment that your retail employees will enjoy. To learn more about how to create a sales compensation plan that would work best for your organization, check out our guide, “The 2021 Guide to Successfully Managing Sales Compensation.”

  • Incentive Compensation
  • Sales Coaching and Motivation
Emily Jahn
Content Marketing Manager

Emily Jahn is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned a degree in advertising from The University of Colorado - Boulder and has experience in copywriting, social media, and digital marketing.