Holiday Incentives

12 Holiday Incentives for Sales Teams

Everything slows down around the holidays, sales figures included. For sales managers looking to maximize yearly revenues, lackadaisical attitudes can be a large source of frustration.

But there are ways to reinvigorate your sales team during the holiday season. Use these twelve holiday incentives to motivate your team while having fun this holiday season.

Offer double commissions:

To provide your sales reps with an extra push to close more deals, try offering them double commission for a limited time. During this period, sales representatives will show up alert and ready for business. This holiday incentive can double as a holiday bonus. If it works well, you might even consider making it a holiday tradition.

Contests (with prizes):

Sales contests are highly effective at motivating team members all year round. While you may be hesitant to schedule a contest during the holiday season, a little healthy competition can spice up the season as well as encourage your team to improve its performance. If you do a contest, make sure that the grand prize is worth your employees’ effort. A prize that can double as a family gift will be especially attractive around the holidays. Another great prize is extra time off.

Working from home:

Your sales representatives naturally want to spend time with their families over the holidays. Allowing the option to work from home for a few days will keep the sales coming in while also earning your employees’ goodwill. While you may have to limit work from home days in terms of quantity, try to offer flexibility in which days they can select.

Arrive early and leave early:

True, the prospect of arriving at work early isn’t likely to excite many of your sales representatives. But if coming to work early also allows them to leave early during the holiday season, many employees will avail themselves of this opportunity. You can even offer them a bargain: arrive half an hour early and leave an hour early. This means that they’ll be working harder during those early morning hours while they’re still alert.

Friday afternoons off:

To allow your team to recharge its batteries and enjoy the holiday season, consider offering them a few Friday afternoons off. Alternatively, you could try making a deal with your sales team. If they meet a weekly goal, everyone gets Friday afternoon off that week. Not only will sales representatives appreciate the break, but structuring the incentive in this way encourages teamwork among your sales representatives. Everyone will be motivated to work hard so that the entire team can leave early.

Holiday movie day:

Consider taking a break for two hours throughout the week to raise spirits. Try organizing a movie showing during work hours as part of a new holiday tradition. To make sure that your representatives are invested, ask them to vote on the movie. Bring popcorn, and enjoy watching your team bond with each other over a good flick.

Provide opportunities for mentorship and career advancement: 

The top sales representatives are always thinking about their long-term career prospects—and the holiday season is no exception. Offer one-on-one lunches with the VP of sales or other high-ranked executives during the holidays. Make sure not to frame it as a performance review (which creates anxiety), but rather as an opportunity for sales representatives to learn and position themselves for long-term success.

Implement mini breaks:

Since many employees will be taking breaks anyway, why not allow them to do so with a clear conscience? While you obviously don’t want to go overboard, establishing occasional designated breaks during the holiday season can do a lot for team morale. These breaks should (of course) include delicious, holiday-themed snacks. If you want to be a bit sneaky, include relevant content during the breaks. For example, sales representatives can share updates and ask for advice during the mini breaks.

Deliver holiday gifts to clients:

You’re probably already delivering holiday gifts for clients. Whenever possible, deliver gifts in person. This is a fun and easy task for sales representatives that will rekindle their enthusiasm. Additionally, the gift-giving can be an opportunity for gaining additional sales and strengthening your company’s relationships with clients.

Sales training sessions (that are actually fun):

A great training session can inspire sales representatives to resume their jobs with renewed vigor. The holiday season can actually be a great time to offer training that will make an impact. Bring in a fantastic speaker, or lead the team in training activities that are so much fun they don’t even seem like real work. If you design your training sessions the right way, your team will be eager to come into work the next day.

New technological toys:

If you’re going to be adding new technological tools to your arsenal, unrolling them during the holiday season is a great way to get your team excited again. Almost everyone enjoys exploring new technologies, so let your employees have fun with the new touchscreen computers or another innovation that you’re implementing. Think of it as a holiday gift to your team.

Plan for the upcoming year and include your team:

Don’t wait for January to come around before start formulating your plans for the next year. What do you want to improve on? Are there any procedures to improve? As you plan for the year to come, make sure to seek feedback from all team members in formulating your ideas. They have helpful ideas to offer. Employees are more likely to be invested in your company in the long run if they feel like they are valued. High levels of employee engagement trickle down to your customers. According to a survey conducted by Cvent, customer retention rates are 18% higher when employees are engaged at their jobs.

By providing your teams with these extra holiday incentives, the holiday season doesn’t have to be a drag on sales. Use the interval from Thanksgiving to New Year’s as an opportunity for renewal and reinvigoration, in keeping with the spirit of the season.

James Meincke

James is the Head of Marketing @ Demodesk, the intelligent meeting platform for remote sales. Previously he was the Director of Marketing at CloserIQ.