Use the Power of Surprise in Sales Incentive Rewards

Many sales incentive rewards programs have set, established methods for awarding points to participants—meeting sales goals, staying ahead of deadlines, celebrating work anniversaries, and so on. These rewards opportunities are standard and expected. But what many incentive rewards programs underestimate is the impact of surprise rewards on sales performance. Let’s be real: who doesn’t love surprises?!

Here are just some of the ways surprise rewards can help to improve your sales incentive rewards program in ways that are… well, surprising!

Use the power of surprise in sales incentive rewards infographic

#1. Combine unexpected sales rewards with training.

Studies have shown that unexpected rewards can get people into a motivated, open mindset. Use that knowledge to incorporate surprise rewards into your training programs. Award points for clever answers and quick thinking—your salespeople will be subconsciously motivated to continue those behavior patterns.

#2. Offer unexpected rewards on the spot.

Making incentive rewards instantaneous is a key factor in keeping salespeople excited about them. Praising positive behavior in the moment is far more effective than presenting an award after the fact. Keep a stock of on-the-spot rewards that can quickly be given as recognition for the behaviors that will aid your business. This is much more effective than awarding recognition for the same actions at, say, a quarterly meeting.

#3. Avoid “overjustifying” work with rewards.

Be careful of giving unexpected rewards too frivolously or for mediocre accomplishments—you risk lowering the bar and creating an environment where your sales employees expect rewards for simply doing what’s expected. Make sure your surprise rewards are reserved for exceptional behavior and exceeded expectations!

#4. Make sure unexpected rewards are just an element of the bigger incentives strategy.

Of course, your incentive program shouldn’t be only surprise rewards. Having structured, goal-oriented parameters for reward distribution should be the primary setup of your sales incentive program. Surprise rewards should serve as a supplement to provide an added boost to your regular sales incentive program.