Beat the Summer Slump and Drive Performance with these 3 Sales Incentive Programs


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Ask anyone in sales, and they’ll tell you summer is a notoriously slow period.

With the long-awaited warm weather, it’s peak vacation time — for both prospects and sales reps. Not only that, it’s also a time when decision-making can take a backseat as businesses start shifting gears to focus on end-of-year planning. The slower pace of work and longer lag time in between calls and emails can be disruptive, leaving your sales team to wait until fall to resume a regular cadence.

Because of this, summer is an optimal time to bring creativity to your sales incentive programs and leverage digital rewards your team will love. Employees may be feeling the itch to take their foot off the peddle with the slower season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incentivize your sales team to reach out to leads and close deals — warmer weather and all.

Here are three fun sales incentive programs to motivate your team, increase performance and beat the summer sales slump.

Life’s a beach

While everyone’s dreaming of hitting the beach, bring the beach to the office instead. A perfect hit for your summer sales incentive programs, this concept is low lift and high reward. Head over to your party supply store and stock up on themed décor like beach balls, palm trees and sunglasses to set the stage. Update your Teams or Zoom background with a fun beach scene. Encourage your team to wear Hawaiian shirts every Friday.

To amplify the competition, use an eGift for Airbnb and create a flyer with pictures of Airbnb beach locations for motivation.

Depending on which sales rep schedules the most sales calls or closes the most deals, award them with the Airbnb getaway — at the beach or anywhere else they’d like.

Summer cook-off

Launch this sales contest with a classic summer menu: corn on the cob, hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and ice cream. Then it’s time to turn the “heat” up on the competition.

Get your sales team to tap into your CRM software to uncover leads taken by competitors. Armed with new data, it’s time to hit the phones.

Award points for every call a sales rep makes, keeping tally of who is in the lead. For the winner with the highest points at the end of the contest, give out a virtual Prepaid Mastercard® or Visa® Prepaid Card* they can use as they please. Your team will love the freedom of choice.

Fifty Nifty

A creative sales contest: fuel friendly competition by rewarding the rep who talks to leads in the greatest number of states. Gift the winner with a digital reward that can be redeemed with an airline so they can visit their favorite state for a summer trip.

With travel on everyone’s mind, these incentives can be extremely effective. Based on research from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) in 2021**, group incentive travel awards are considered “very” or “extremely” motivating by 80% of survey respondents.

Taking into account that many employees are just starting to travel again after pandemic-related closures, an airline ticket is sure to drive sales reps to work their contact list and close deals. To further increase performance, add in an extra PTO day to encourage everyone to go the extra mile.

Finally, as you turn to rewards for your summer sales incentive programs, consider the IRF’s Industry Outlook for 2022, which reported that overall incentive budgets are expected to increase by 34% in 2022, with merchandise programs increasing 30% and gift card programs increasing 34%.

Given the rising popularity of digital rewards, make sure you incorporate these in your strategies to drive business growth in your sales department this summer and beyond.

*Virtual prepaid card is issued by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC. Terms, conditions, and expiration apply.
**The Impact of Destination Choice on Motivation was a study conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation in 2021. The sample size for the participant study included 401 respondents. For the second part of the study, booking data was provided by Cvent for incentive trips planned for the immediate future. 3D Cruise Partners provided similar data for cruise line incentive trips quoted through first quarter 2021. The data was compared to employee preferences to examine the degree of alignment between preferences and booking behavior.

Bill Warshauer
Bill is a B2B industry veteran and a respected authority in developing and managing impactful incentive and reward solutions that lead to fruitful, long-lasting relationships. His expertise in how to drive and deliver results translates across industries such as retail, loyalty, travel, employee wellness, and more. With more than 25 years of experience—19 at Blackhawk Network—Bill has amassed a deep understanding of how companies can leverage rewards and incentives programs to achieve market differentiation, drive operational efficiency, create heightened engagement, and generate revenue.


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