Giving employees money for a job well done can be a much appreciated bonus. However, it may not have the long-lasting effect on a person's performance that other kinds of sales incentives might produce. Handing out bigger paychecks every now and again could have the opposite effect on overall engagement and individual effort, so finding alternative bonuses and benefits to offer personnel may be worth investigating.

MeetingsNet wrote that a recent study by the Aberdeen Group found the best way to encourage better sales, according to more than 300 businesses that participated in the survey, was to offer travel bonuses. Of the top performing corporations, 100 percent unanimously gave their workers travel sales incentives, while lower-performing organizations on average did so about 80 percent of the time. Other bonuses that banked well included company-sponsored events, verbal recognition and public accolades.

Across the board, the Aberdeen report showed that firms with the best sales figures and happiest employees were not those that offered cash incentives to their employees. What's more, organizations that promoted more teamwork and communication on projects saw better returns than those that followed a straightforward competition-based model. By encouraging everyone to work together, even in a sales capacity, companies and employees performed better than in other environments.

Direction and purpose in sales
CMSWire added that this rings true in all aspects of industry. People prefer to be praised and recognized rather than simply paid more money. The source wrote that individuals spend about three-fourths of all their waking time at work, so finding ways to feel better about their jobs, more accepted by coworkers and an intrinsic connection to their employer lets them feel like they're doing something worthwhile. Considering the amount of time and energy devoted to the organization, this illustrates why money is a good thing to offer employees, but there are far superior sales incentives out there.

Giving people the right tools to do their jobs needs to include direction, coaching and a sense of purpose. If staff members don't feel as though they're playing an important part in helping the infrastructure function, they may lose motivation and stop performing to the best of their abilities. Offering personnel money is seen as a worthwhile reward for good performance on some fronts, but if businesses want a return on their incentives investments, they need to use methods that create more positive, lasting sentiment than a bigger number on a paycheck.