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9 Creative Sales Incentive Ideas for Retail Employees

Inspiring sales rep performance creates a more productive workforce. Here are 9 creative sales incentive ideas to help motivate your team and boost revenue.

10 min read

Motivated employees make happy customers. As part of your organizational business and retail sales plan, motivating your staff should be a priority. This can take the form of financial or even non-monetary incentives.

Before you start implementing these sales incentive ideas, 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, contests, and monetary rewards to motivate your retail employees to unleash their potential.

P.S. Don't miss The Retailer's Guide to Sales Commission Planning for tips, tricks, and best practices!

 

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 colorful wheel.

Other options for prizes might include non-cash rewards such as an additional (paid) 20 minutes for lunch break, a paid day off, a coffee shop gift card, and 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. Still, 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.

Instead of setting a billion-dollar quota, think of getting 50 new customers this week. Perhaps you can make it a team effort. Every 50 customers is another step towards reaching that billion-dollar quota. Then, reward the team that reaches the weekly goal with a party or even the afternoon off.

3. Fishing for Prizes

Let your employees go fishing for motivating prizes. One of the easiest ways to motivate your retail staff is through sales incentive programs. Even with a limited budget, the end result is still positive. Employees are more motivated when they are rewarded and recognized for their work.

So, write down some relevant and sought-after prizes onto pieces of paper or even paper fish cutouts. Then, put them in a fishbowl. Create a bold and colorful sign to highlight your game.

Use a rod, branch, or stick to let your employees "go fishing" when they meet their goals. This is just one fun game that drives employee engagement. It's also important to use prizes your staff will find rewarding and useful.

4. Pass that Buck

With this 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.

5. 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.

Employees want to feel recognized and that they're good at their jobs. They also want to feel that they're heard, especially in team environments. Employee incentive programs can help set a positive tone that will trickle down. Your job is to inspire your employees.

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. 

6. Have a Raffle

Having 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. Employees seek face-to-face feedback from their managers. You can't downplay the importance of employee motivation and sales incentives. Motivated employees perform better, improve productivity and want to stick with the company instead of interviewing with the competition.

7. Parking Pass Giveaway

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.

8. 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. When it's football season consider a form of fantasy football.

In the spring, you might consider a "March Madness" style game. The opportunities are endless for sports-themed sales incentive programs. Actual game tickets will make great prizes for this game.

 

9. Scavenger Hunt

This can be a competitive, fun and group-style of a sales incentive program. So, get your staff to work in teams. You might put together each team based on the strengths or specialties your sales staff has. Challenge each team to complete the goals on the list—such as selling over a certain dollar amount, selling to a certain number of new customers, or selling a specific number of different products.

In Conclusion

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.

Plus, these sales incentive ideas also create a more positive working environment that your retail employees will enjoy.