Direct Sales – Do Team Incentives Really Drive Results?

An incentive is defined as something that is designed to call people to action. It is something that lights fire in someone to do something. Direct sales companies often offer incentives to their consultants in an effort to boost sales. These incentives are often very appealing ones, such as vacations, cash, or even cars. These high-ticket incentives motivate consultants to dig deeper and really push to meet their goals.


On a smaller scale, consultants can also offer incentives to their team to help boost performance. And there is no denying that these incentives do motivate people. However, is there possibly a downside to offering incentives? In being open-minded, let us consider the possible drawbacks of incentives.

Let’s say that you offer prizes to your top 3 sellers for the month. Let’s say these prizes are $100, $50, and $25 gift certificates. At the end of the month you award the gift certificates to the top 3 sellers. They are pleased to have won, of course, but in the grand scheme of things, were those certificates really what motivated them to hit their goals? Would someone be so motivated by $100 that they would work very hard to sell $3000 worth of product. Honestly, it is not likely. Getting the extra reward is nice, but not the primary motivator.

Then we have those people who did not get into the top 3 and who had no chance of doing so. The people who are not necessarily in the company for the big paycheck. The people who work a fulltime job and don’t have as much time to dedicate to the business. The people who work hard just to keep their businesses afloat. Is it possible that perhaps these incentives may serve an adverse purpose for them. Perhaps offering the incentives just causes them to feel like they should give up. After all, they may feel as though they simply can’t compete with those people who are able to work their businesses fulltime. Perhaps offering incentives puts you ate risk of alienating some of your team.

This is just something to consider when you are motivating your team. I’m not saying to get rid of your incentives. Instead, I am suggesting that you find ways to motivate everyone on your team, and not just reward those people who already have consistently high numbers.

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