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How Do Sales Incentive Programs Increase Job Satisfaction?

It is well documented that today’s businesses are doing more with less. That means salespeople, like all other types of employees, are taking on more stress and responsibilities, pressured to gain share in crowded markets. It also means that chances of burnout, exhaustion and demotivation are higher. You can only lose so much money to the termination and onboarding churn before it’s time to decrease sales team turnover and increase sales motivation and job satisfaction. The best way for leader to change culture in their companies and among their sales teams is by investing in sales motivation and engagement tools like incentive programs, rather than relying on cash rewards to keep motivation afloat.

How Do Sales Incentive Programs Increase Job Satisfaction


Job Satisfaction vs. Bonus Culture

The long-held status quo in motivating sales teams has been to use cash incentives. Cash, at first blush, seems like the most logical way to fire up salespeople. It’s universally appealing because it can be spent on anything and there’s no learning curve in implementing and distributing it as sales incentive system. But studies that examine people’s emotional and psychological responses to work and rewards often find that non-cash incentives and intrinsic (or internal) factors are greater motivators than money:[ezcol_1half]

  • 59% of employees rated job satisfaction as their top motivator. (Institute of Leadership & Management)
  • The overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels is only 2%, indicating that job satisfaction has almost nothing to do with money. (Harvard Business Review)
  • The two factors that have the biggest impact on job satisfaction are “people at work” (60.6%) and “interest in work” (59%). (Forbes)

With these factors in mind, it becomes clear that the answer to retaining salespeople is not more bonuses, but more satisfying and meaningful work. One of the ways you can encourage salespeople to value their roles and their achievements is by investing in a non-cash, online sales incentive program. Online incentive program technology amounts to more than just a cash bonus reward system—its various features and capabilities mean that you can gradually change company culture and facilitate job satisfaction. According to a 2014 InsideSales study, most salespeople agree that having an incentive program influenced their job satisfaction.

These important factors help elevate online sales incentive programs beyond cash bonus rewards:

Pride and Prestige: Recognition of Achievements and Sales Skills

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[/ezcol_1half_end]The main problem with a cash bonus reward system is that cash carries no sentiment or recognition value, and recognition of accomplishments is vital to employee retention and job satisfaction. A recent Monster survey reported that nearly all (97%) dissatisfied employees cited respect and appreciation as the things they most desired in a new job.

  • Online sales incentive programs make it easy to maintain and update features like a Leaderboard, where top performers are recognized publicly and regularly for their achievements.
  • Program participants can redeem online incentive program points for items in a reward catalog. These tangible, non-cash rewards can symbolize their achievement and make the memory of their accomplishment last much longer than a cash bonus could.
  • With an advanced performance tracking feature, you can manage multiple sales incentive promotions, including scheduled, simultaneous or one-time promotions. This ensures that your program objectives stay up to date and everyone participating has a chance to earn rewards, so you’re recognizing and motivating your entire salesforce, not just top performers.

Engagement: Continuous Incentive Program Participation

[ezcol_2third]Engagement is another valuable aspect missing from a simple cash bonus reward system. Cash bonuses are dropped into wallets and bank accounts and then forgotten, added to the lump sum of existing funds. But an online incentive program has the potential to be personalized and meaningful to program participants, an interactive digital portal they return to for various reasons.

  • An online training feature in your sales incentive program encourages participants to increase product knowledge. With reward points being easy to earn by passing quizzes or completing surveys, participants will self-direct their education and training will become a regular part of their weekly or daily routine.
  • Gamification can be a powerful draw if implemented in an online incentive program. Imagine if, instead of playing popular mobile games like Minecraft, your participants played Daily Trivia or play Spin to Win games on your incentive program app. Gamification gives them ample reason to visit your incentive program again and again. The higher your program participation rate is, the more returns you’ll see on it.
[/ezcol_2third] [ezcol_1third_end]Increase-Employee-Job-Satisfaction-(v1)[/ezcol_1third_end]When it comes to sales incentive programs, reward systems are more likely to increase job satisfaction if they are not based on cash bonuses. Various psychological studies and surveys confirm that salespeople’s job satisfaction has more to do with emotional factors like respect and appreciation than it does with pay. Online sales incentive program technology has the ability to tap into these emotions with diverse, engaging features. In the end, the return-on-investment is far more lucrative than cash bonus motivators.

Steve Damerow CEO of the Incentive Solutions Group of CompaniesSteve Damerow
CEO of The Incentive Solutions Group of companies, consisting of:
Incentive Solutions, Inc. | Loyaltyworks