What Motivates a Sales Team?

According to the results of a recent national sales compensation survey released by ERC, in addition to financial incentives, organizations are also using non-financial rewards to motivate their sales teams. A possible reason for this may be that non-cash sales incentives can be used more flexibly and frequently than cash incentives. Common non-cash rewards that top the list in popularity of usage include:


In another study conducted by the Forum for People Management and Performance, incentive travel / entertainment and sales contests were found to be the most effective non-financial incentives (following cash incentives) used to motivate sales employees. In the study, sales employees rewarded with these non-cash incentives outperformed those that received other non-cash rewards, demonstrating their effectiveness in boosting sales performance.

“Organizations don’t always need to provide cash incentives to generate increases in sales performance. Though research suggests that sales employees are generally motivated by tangible rewards, attractive non-cash incentives can also prove to be very effective and can be used more generously and often than cash rewards,” comments Amy Petrus, Senior HR Consultant at ERC.

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