It’s the small things (sales incentives included)

Macho Man
Every sales manager searches for inexpensive incentives that work. This is what motivates our team.

What pops into your head when you think of Macho Man? Do you hear the “Oh, yeah”? Picture a Slim Jim commercial? Think the words “best wrestler of all time”? (Is that last one just me?) When our sales team hears “Macho Man,” they only think of one word: “winner.” That’s because they rally in a Power Hour cold-calling competition each morning with one powerful incentive: a Macho Man figurine. The person who wins gets to look at Macho Man all day and watch co-workers do the same, as Randy Savage takes his intimidating wrestling stance on a desk that radiates “WIN.”

During my first week as LevelEleven’s Director of Marketing, I sat in on a lot of demos of our gamification app, which builds competitions to get sales and customer service teams focused on the right things. And I kept hearing the same concern: To get the most out of the app, managers thought they would also have to invest in costly incentives. That’s not the case. Often, particularly with salespeople, contest motivation is simply driven by wanting colleagues to see you win – and then having the badge, or Macho Man, to prove it.

We see the same success with our 3-foot set of bull horns. When a team member closes a deal, they get to carry the horns from the last winner’s desk right to theirs. It’s kind of a big deal. Or, as account executive Felipe Gonzales-Paul says, “It’s like having a platinum record.”


We didn’t just write this post to toot our own horn, though. (Puns are always more fun on Fridays.) Our clients are finding success in small incentives, too. One software solutions provider recently found a challenge in wanting to provide employees with good sales incentives, but not having room in their budget to give every contest winner a high-end prize. Instead, they offered raffle tickets. Then, at the end of the quarter, they raffled off a select number of items like an iPod, a handful of gift cards and a television.

We’ve also watched several companies succeed in motivating salespeople by using bragging rights as an incentive. That’s how Agility Communications ran one of the three contests that ultimately led its team to adopt Chatter. (Read the full story here.) It’s what hiredMYway used as an incentive in its first contest, which launched its sales team – including one otherwise low-energy sales rep – into full-force competition. (Learn more about that here.)

Yet another client, a global workforce solutions provider, offered a first-place prize of $500 for one of its competitions. But contest participants were equally as excited about the incentive for second place, which was milk and cookies. It really was too bad that the employee who ended up winning that incentive was lactose intolerant.


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