What is an Incentive ? (And Why You Should Use it)

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Running a retail store is a 360-degree role. Managing operations, supply, and keeping customers happy as a retail store owner and manager can take a toll. But one of the critical components to keeping your store running successfully is your staff. When was the last time you motivated your team? It could be during a holiday sale, monthly promotion, or flash giveaway. What if you could incentivize your staff and increase productivity? With the right incentives, retail stores can foster an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated for their efforts.

An incentive is a type of reward or recognition given to employees to motivate them to achieve a desired outcome. It can be in the form of money, recognition, swag, or prizes. Incentives are used in sales and performance roles in helping increase motivation, engagement, and productivity.

By offering incentives, employers can give employees the motivation they need to reach their goals and perform better. Incentives also help create a positive work environment by rewarding hard work and dedication.

In this rich guide, learn more about incentives, how to create an incentive program, and the benefits of implementing a sales incentive program for your business.

Understanding Different Types of Incentive Programs and Their Benefits



Is your staff motivated and doing their best work? The truth is that not all employees are engaged with their work.

According to Gallup, "71% of millennials are either not engaged with work or disengaged with their activities in work." Incentive programs help motivate team members and engage with employees in ways that excite them to come to work.

Incentive programs have become a popular way to motivate employees and sales teams. They are used to reward employees for their hard work and encourage them to reach their goals. It's great for team building because staff members can use their skills and abilities to work together to achieve team goals.

There are several different types of incentive programs, each with its benefits. By understanding the different types of incentive programs, businesses can choose the best one to meet their needs and help them achieve desired outcomes.

Did you know:


Source: Edelman

Incentive programs come in many forms, such as sales incentive program types, reward programs for employees, or employee motivation programs. Naturally, each style has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when deciding which is best for the business.

Consider the following options:

  • Sales Incentive program - Offers a commission on each sale made on top of the pay rate
  • Reward program for employees - This can look like in-real-time recognition, team member shout-outs, and even parties for the entire team to hit goals
  • Employee Motivation programs - This can be the most valuable for your team because it's about how the individual employee can flourish. Consider offering items like upskilling, mentoring, or track training for employees to experience role opportunities within the store.

Creating a Customized Sales Incentive Program That Works for Your Team

Incentives are an effective way to motivate your sales team and increase productivity.

To this point, a joint Harvard Business Review and Yale School of business study state, "Bonuses do increase productivity, quarterly bonuses increase sales over annual, and salespeople give up when far away from a goal, but don't slow down once a goal is reached, or a commission is offered on top of it."

A customized incentive program can help you get the most out of your team by rewarding their hard work and dedication. By creating a rewards system tailored to your team's needs, you can ensure that everyone is motivated to achieve their goals.

Designing a reward system for your sales team can be tricky - it must be tailored to the individual needs of each employee while also providing incentives that will motivate them to reach their targets. With the right incentives, you can create an environment where everyone is encouraged to do their best and rewarded for their efforts.


Source: Hubspot

Looking for a fast-track way to encourage collaboration?

Consider a peer-to-peer recognition reward program. According to WorkTango, "peer-to-peer rewards/recognition is elevating the employee experience. In fact, gen z and millennials find a peer shout-out more valuable than a superior or manager giving thanks for their hard work."

From sales associates to the cashier, customer service representatives, or stockers, there's an opportunity for all roles to upskill and harness their talents and interests to build their ideal path within retail sales and in their careers.

The Benefits of Using SparkPlug to Automate Your Sales Incentive Program

Automating your sales incentive program with SparkPlug can help you get the most out of your rewards program. By using an automated rewards system, you can streamline the process of tracking sales, rewarding sales performance, and helping ensure your staff gets their deserved recognition.

Employee incentive software allows you to set clear goals from the beginning, monitor team and individual performance in real time, and track the progress and success of your competitions.

For example, you can generate ROI reports to see how much you spent and how each competition or incentive generated new revenue. With the data stored in the cloud, all of this is accessible from any location on a central dashboard.

For more on how to incentivize employees with better tech, click here.

Best Practices for Implementing an Effective Sales Incentive Program in Your Organization

Implementing an effective sales incentive program in your organization is critical to increasing sales and motivating employees. It can help you attract and retain top talent while boosting morale and improving customer service.

Consider the following from Betterup:

  • It can help unlock employee motivation
  • It increases employee engagement
  • It promotes overall worker well-being
  • In short, it's good for company culture

However, it's essential to remember that not all incentive plans are created equal. It's necessary to have a well-thought-out plan that considers the needs of your organization, its goals, and the budget available for incentives.

According to SHRM, "Incentive pay and plans that are properly designed and administered within an organization that has a culture of trust can benefit both the employee and employer, motivating and rewarding workers."

Also, it may take time to ramp up and find a good flow for your incentive program. Consider inviting your staff for feedback and to ask questions. By collaborating with your team, you could avoid any hiccups that may come up when onboarding your program and can help set your staff at ease since they are included in the process, which will help team morale.

Supercharge your sales team with incentives
By offering an incentive, you can help your team stay engaged, motivated, and offer a better employee experience. Take care of your staff and watch your sales take off and reach company goals with ease.

For more on retail, check out Why and How You Should Reward Retail Employees

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