Sales Incentives
Oct 23, 2020

7 Best Sales SPIFF Ideas to Motivate Your Sales Reps

Looking for the best sales spiff ideas to motivate your reps? We've got you covered. From cash bonuses to paid vacations, check out our list of the top sales spiffs to keep your reps motivated and selling.

Running a successful, growing sales team is not easy, and it's crucial to keep your team motivated with their eyes on the prize' all year round. Sales Spiffs ideas for sales reps is one of the best ways to do this. They can boost motivation and keep morale high. 

Sales SPIFF is a popular form of incentive. These give instant gratification to your sales reps after closing important deals. Whether you're just beginning the fiscal year or trying to motivate your sales reps during the year's final quarter, SPIFFs for sales reps can help keep them engaged. 

Do you know that one of the major advantages of using SPIFF is that it can help reach any sort of goal, whether small or large? So if you're looking for some new ideas to motivate your employees, you're in the right place! So let's dive into what sales SPIFFs are and give you some good ideas to help motivate your sales team

What is Spiff in Sales?

A SPIFF, also known as a ‘spiv’ or SPIF, is used by sales teams to describe an immediate bonus for sale. Spiff stands for sales performance incentive fund, also known as a special performance incentive fund. While it isn’t completely clear where the term comes from, it stands for Sales Performance Incentive Fund - reflecting the idea of a short-term incentive to drive increased sales or exceed some short-term sales goals. Compensation drives sales behavior, ultimately motivating sales reps and improving their performance.

The Pall Mall Gazette wrote a piece on the practices in London shops in 1890. They described the term SPIFF as “premiums placed on certain articles, not of the latest fashion, indicated by marvelous hieroglyphics put on the price ticket”.

However, the term has evolved and changed into something different today, usually referencing the sale of a specific product.

Sales SPIFF ideas helps to promote several different types of incentives or rewards. For example, an employer usually pays these to a member of their team who has sold a specific product. They could also be used to close any gaps in the pipeline, opportunities, or any metric the business needs to improve upon by giving the sales team an extra push! 

The Different Types Of SPIFFs 

When taking your first steps towards diversifying your sales spiff incentive ideas, you need to consider what form you want these incentives to take. For example, cash or non-cash? Often a hybrid of the two can work well, but non-cash rewards are more effective in many cases! 

Getting the right incentives depends on the sales behavior you want to promote. It also depends on how your team responds to various spiff incentives and which ones they prefer.

Cash SPIFFs

Cash is an appealing sales incentive as the basis of compensation and commissions. Many individuals are motivated by money because it gives them a choice over what they spend it on. In this sense, it is the most flexible reward of all! Sales Incentives can be rolled out in cash. SPIFF incentives in the form of cash allow them to spend money as per their choice. Of course, a definite amount needs to be declared, and it has to be transparent to keep the entire team in sync.

When putting together your SPIFF scheme, make sure that you separate it from your incentive compensation plan. Essentially, this makes sure that your cash incentive is appealing and something worth working for. In addition, this motivates your sales reps to focus on a specific goal and find innovative ways to achieve it.

Usually, a cash incentive is set at a certain amount. For example, a $1,000 bonus for each deal closed during important times in the financial year, like the end of a quarter. This is particularly effective when your team is known to secure the most deals. It will give them one final push to boost your revenue.

Non-Cash SPIFFs

On the other hand, cash isn't always king. Some of your team might feel a cash incentive is less personal than the alternatives out there and aren't as motivated by it as a reward. A non-cash reward leaves room for a little more creativity in your SPIFF scheme. Non-cash rewards can be incredibly effective, so it's no wonder that about 84% of U.S. companies use them to motivate their employees.

The options for non-cash incentives are endless! For example, you could organize a fine dining experience in a fancy restaurant that might otherwise be difficult to get into. Or, entertainment tickets for top seats in off-Broadway shows or sporting events can be equally enticing. These incentives aren't things that your sales team might buy for themselves. Instead, they're more exciting and offer your team something to look forward to!

The nature of these non-cash rewards is dependent on your company and your sales team. What rewards would they enjoy the most? These are just a few examples that might appeal to your team's competitive nature and drive more sales. 

It might sound astonishing, but non-cash SPIFFs are gaining traction everywhere. As per the research, 84% of American companies now roll out non-cash SPIFFs to their employees. 

The non-cash SPIFF sales incentives include:

  • Dine out with the family at a premier restaurant
  • Entertainment tickets for top seats of a broadway show or FIFA world cup. Brittania sent its top sales performers for an all-expense-paid trip to the ICC World Cup. (Source: Economic Times)
  • Airbnb, Steelhouse, BambooHR, and many more have vacations to foreign places. (Source: Business Insider)
  • Weekend stay at a 5-star hotel with family.

Best Sales SPIFF Ideas for Sales Reps

Different types of sales SPIFF ideas that you could try out. Try to choose the ideas to which your sales team will respond best. You must test different ideas and get feedback to find the best strategy for your company and your team. 

While cash is great, many studies have shown that non-cash rewards are more effective. Many of the best non-cash sales SPIFF ideas get you started. 

1. Gift Cards

Probably the most common of all the non-cash incentives, gift cards are a classic way to motivate your sales team. While they might technically be in the monetary category, they’re still something tangible to give to your sales reps. Gift cards are also very versatile. You can ask your sales reps what gift cards they want. That way, they can truly get something that they want out of it.

2. Entertainment & Travel

Tickets to shows, sporting events, or other experiences like fine dining or an out-of-town getaway are excellent sales SPIFF ideas. They are things that your reps might not usually spend money on. So, earning them through their hard work is rewarding and exciting! Travel vouchers or packages and weekend getaways are also very effective. They give your sales reps something to strive for and work toward. After all, who doesn’t love a little weekend away?

3. Activities

Similar to entertainment rewards, you could organize activities for your sales team to enjoy. For example, please give them a day away from the office by sending them to the spa or out for a round of golf. These depend on what your employees enjoy the most as not everyone would like the same thing.

4. Memberships & Subscriptions

Memberships are also very versatile sales SPIFF ideas, and you can customize them depending on the preferences of your team members. For example, some might love a wine club subscription, while others enjoy a gym membership.

You could also get them a subscription box. These come in all sorts of categories, meaning you can personalize them to your sales rep’s tastes. Things like HelloFresh, FabFitFun, and Book of the Month are popular now and usually have different subscription options. So, think about giving your sales rep a 6- or 12-month subscription to a box that supports their interests. 

5. Status

Regarding status, some individuals value having a ‘better status’ than others. Mainly because it appeals to their desire to receive praise and recognition. Some examples include: featuring the top performer’s name on the leaderboard, inclusion in the President’s club, a better parking spot, or a displayable award or trophy. 

One way to do this is through gamification. For example, making your incentives program fun and competitive with a leaderboard is a great way to motivate your sales reps. You can reward your top performers, and everyone will see their status at the top!

6. Access

Another great sales SPIFF idea is to allow your sales reps to gain access to information, support, or resources that others might not. For example, first dibs on new accounts or clients, a private calling booth, or opportunities to attend valuable training sessions that put them ahead of the competition.

However, like status SPIFFs, access isn’t without the occasional drawback. Take the following as an example: If a rep is motivated by money or status, they might feel this is a cop-out because it might come at no extra expense to the company. So, it’s best to consult with the rep to see if this is something they would like to receive.

7. Power

You could also leverage the idea of giving a successful sales rep more power and responsibility. They can use their success to inspire change in fellow employees. Demonstrating proactive work means that such an individual would be a great role model for driving business improvements. 

Get Creative with your Sales SPIFF Ideas

Engaging your sales team is important if you want to grow your business and revenue. Aside from the usual incentives, bonuses, and commissions, Sales SPIFFs are an incredible way to achieve this. Being slightly unpredictable (often coupled with specific or unique products) makes them even more fun and exciting for your sales team! Whether you choose activities and gift cards or status incentives through gamification, ensure you understand your team and what they respond best to for tremendous success. If you feel like your sales reps are lacking motivation and their productivity is decreasing, give them a boost with sales spiffs.

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