Using Recognition to Reward Star Sales Performers

The top performers on your sales team are an invaluable part of your organization. They don’t just excel at their job they set an example to the rest of the team, while representing company values to your customers and the competition.

These high-quality sales pros are employees that any organization would want, which is why you need to recognize their efforts and acknowledge their value. If you don’t, another company just might.


But what’s the best way to show your star sales performers how much they mean to your organization? Many companies have some form of sales recognition program, but which ones are the most effective and why?

We’ll share the answers to these questions and more in this quick and easy guide to using recognition to reward (and retain) star sales performers.   

The Advantages of Sales Team Recognition

Everyone appreciates having their hard work acknowledged, and your sales team is no exception. Giving them recognition for their efforts will provide them with a well-deserved boost in morale but it will give your whole organization a boost, as well.

The following are some of the biggest advantages of an effective sales recognition program.

Inspiring Friendly Competition   

Most sales reps have a competitive streak. That’s often why they found their way into sales in the first place. Establishing a sales incentive program can help to bring that competitive streak out of them in a way that will help your organization to achieve its goals. Friendly competition among your sales team members will almost always lead to elevated performance.

Added Incentive to Perform   

If your recognition program involves awards, rewards, or monetary incentives, then you can garner some extrinsic motivation in your sales team, which means that they’ll be all the more driven to perform at a high level.

Not all sales reps need to vie for a prize in order to excel, but some do, and you may be surprised at the boost in performance that certain incentives can inspire.

Bringing Some Fun to the Job

The job of a sales rep can be a rollercoaster, and there will be times when your team is struggling, no matter how great they are at what they do. Giving them some well-deserved recognition can be the thing that helps to stay emotionally invested when the market is sagging and they’re fighting tooth and nail for every sale.

Attract Top Talent 

There’s an incredible salesperson out there right now who isn’t getting the recognition they deserve from the organization that they currently serve. By creating a strong sales incentive program, you’ll send out a beacon to underappreciated sales reps. Let them know that when they come to work for your company, they will be noticed, valued and rewarded.

What Makes a Great Sales Recognition Program?

It’s easy to create a program that is intended to acknowledge top performers, but in order for your program to be as effective as possible, you need to ensure that you’re recognizing the right people for the right things.

Meaningful sales team recognition should not be overly easy to achieve. It should also come with a genuine moment in the limelight for the high-performing team member, not just a passing mention in a memo.

Some types of achievements that you might recognize include:

  • Recognizing star performers, like the top performer for the month/year, individual with the highest number of sales or product sales, or sales rep with the biggest sales increase
  • Rewarding collaborative teams, like those who deliver the highest number of sales in a given area
  • Acknowledging achievements, like reaching or beating a set sales goal
  • Celebrating firsts, like acquiring a new account
  • Commemorating progressive wins at each step of the sales process
  • Highlighting above and beyond
  • Champion innovators

These are the kinds of clear goals that you can set for your sales team(s) so that they have something to strive for. But what exactly does a high-achieving sales rep get for their efforts? Read on for some ideas.

How to Recognize Your Star Sales Performers

People are motivated by different things, so you’re going to want to tailor your sales recognition program to your specific organization. With that in mind, the following incentive ideas should inspire just about anybody to perform at their best.

Make an Announcement

Sometimes, the simplest approach is the best. Almost anyone will appreciate some company-wide acknowledgement, whether it’s announced in a meeting, posted on a wall, or shared in a newsletter. Taking the time to point out your top performer to give them the credit they deserve can be an incredible boost for the individual and your organization.

Personalized Awards   

Shout-outs are great, but you can really make things official by providing your top performer with a personalized award that recognizes their accomplishments in a tangible way. Having a trophy or plaque to place on their office wall or desk will help your best sales reps to remember that they are appreciated by your organization.

Paid Time Off

Few incentives are more valuable to your sales team than paid time to do whatever they want. Offering your top performers a certain amount of personal days each year to recognize their accomplishments is one of the best ways to motivate them to go above and beyond, performing at their very best.

Rewards of All Kinds

You can offer your sales reps a wide array of prizes for performing well, and those prizes can be tailored specifically to the individuals that make up your team. They can be small things, like gift cards for coffee or lunch, or they can be larger rewards like an all-expense-paid vacation.

Whatever the rewards you offer may be, make sure that they are something that the individuals on your team will respond to. You can even ask them what kinds of rewards would make them excited to reach new achievements.

Interested in using recognition to reward your star sales performers? Learn how Inspirus increased top-line revenue by $3.65 million.

Topics: employee motivation, rewards and recognition, incentives, award, strategy, incentive program