The Most Popular Sales Incentive Plan: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the sales incentive plan you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 07:31
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular sales incentive plans! Our community has come together to rank, vote, and debate the best strategies that fuel sales teams' motivation and skyrocket their performance. This interactive ranking of the "Most Popular Sales Incentive Plans" covers a wide array of options, from exciting commission structures to innovative gamification techniques. And if you can't find your favorite plan on our list, worry not! You can always suggest a missing option and make your voice heard. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in, explore the rankings, and find out which sales incentive plan reigns supreme among our thriving community of sales enthusiasts!

What Is the Most Popular Sales Incentive Plan?

  1. 1
    This plan rewards salespeople with a percentage of their sales revenue. It's one of the most popular plans as it motivates sales reps to achieve higher sales numbers.
    The commission-based plan is a popular sales incentive plan that rewards salespeople with a percentage-based commission on their sales. It incentivizes them to increase their sales volume and drive revenue for the company.
    • Reward: Percentage-based commission on sales
    • Pay Structure: Commission-based
    • Motivation: Encourages sales volume increase
    • Sales Focus: Revenue generation
    • Flexibility: Suitable for various industries
  2. 2

    Bonus-based plan

    John Smith
    This plan rewards sales reps with a one-time bonus for achieving specific sales targets or milestones. It's an excellent way to motivate sales reps to reach their goals quickly.
    The bonus-based plan is a popular sales incentive plan that rewards sales employees based on achieving predetermined targets. It incentivizes employees to go above and beyond their regular sales responsibilities in order to earn additional financial rewards. The plan was introduced by John Smith, a renowned expert in sales performance management.
    • Target-driven rewards: Rewards are based on reaching specific sales targets.
    • Bonuses: Financial bonuses are given for outstanding performance.
    • Tiered structure: Different reward levels are established based on performance tiers.
    • Performance evaluation: Sales performance is regularly evaluated and compared to targets.
    • Motivational factor: Encourages employees to strive for higher sales results.
  3. 3
    This plan pays sales reps a fixed salary regardless of their sales performance. It's an excellent way to incentivize sales reps to focus on building relationships and long-term customer satisfaction, rather than short-term gains.
    The Salary-based plan is a sales incentive plan where the sales representatives receive a fixed salary as their base compensation, regardless of their performance in achieving sales targets. This plan was created to provide stability and financial security to the sales team while also motivating them to meet sales goals.
    • Compensation Structure: Sales representatives receive a fixed salary as their base pay.
    • Stability: Provides financial stability and security to the sales team.
    • Motivation: Boosts motivation to achieve sales targets.
    • Performance Independence: Compensation is not tied directly to sales performance.
    • Predictability: Both the sales representatives and the company can predict the amount of compensation.
  4. 4
    This plan rewards sales reps with a share of the company's profits based on their sales performance. It motivates sales reps to work harder to generate more revenue, which ultimately results in higher profits for the company.
    The Profit-sharing plan is a sales incentive plan that aims to motivate and reward employees based on the company's profitability. It was created to align employee efforts with company goals and encourage a sense of ownership and stakeholder mindset among employees.
    • Eligibility: All employees or a specific group of employees may be eligible based on certain criteria, such as tenure or job level.
    • Profit Calculation: Profits are calculated based on predetermined formula, which may consider factors like net profit, gross profit, or operating profit.
    • Payout Frequency: Profit-sharing bonuses may be distributed annually, quarterly, or on a specific schedule decided by the company.
    • Contribution Level: The amount of profit-sharing bonus an employee receives is usually proportional to their overall contribution towards the company's profitability.
    • Transparent Communication: Companies implementing profit-sharing plans often emphasize transparent and open communication to keep employees informed about the company's financial performance.
  5. 5
    This plan rewards sales reps based on the performance of their team. It encourages collaboration and teamwork, which can lead to better sales results.
    The team-based sales incentive plan is a popular approach in which sales teams collaborate and achieve their sales goals collectively, rather than individually. The plan encourages teamwork, cooperation, and healthy competition within the team.
    • Goal Alignment: The plan aligns sales team goals with overall organizational goals.
    • Team Performance Measurement: The plan measures the team's collective performance rather than individual performance.
    • Shared Targets: The plan sets shared sales targets for the entire team to achieve.
    • Collaborative Environment: The plan fosters a collaborative and supportive environment among team members.
    • Equal Rewards Distribution: The plan distributes rewards equally among team members or based on predefined criteria.
  6. 6
    This plan rewards sales reps with prizes or other incentives for achieving specific sales goals or winning sales contests. It's an excellent way to create a sense of competition and excitement among sales reps.
    The Contest-based plan is a sales incentive plan that employs a competitive approach to motivate sales teams. It involves running contests among sales representatives to drive performance and reward high achievers.
    • Motivational approach: Competitive
    • Goal: Drive performance and reward high achievers
    • Contest types: Individual or team-based contests
    • Contest duration: Fixed period, usually monthly or quarterly
    • Objectives: Increase sales, market share, or specific product/service targets
  7. 7
    This plan rewards sales reps with a trip or vacation for achieving specific sales goals. It's an excellent way to motivate sales reps to work harder while also providing them with a memorable experience.
    The Incentive travel plan is a popular sales incentive program that offers travel experiences as rewards for achieving specific sales targets. It is designed to motivate and reward top-performing sales professionals by providing them with exciting and exclusive travel opportunities.
    • Target audience: Sales professionals and teams
    • Rewards: Exclusive travel experiences
    • Goals: To motivate and incentivize sales performance
    • Measurement: Sales targets and performance metrics
    • Duration: Typically a fixed period, e.g., quarterly or annually
  8. 8
    This plan rewards sales reps based on their performance metrics, such as the number of sales calls made or the number of leads generated. It's an excellent way to motivate sales reps to focus on specific activities that will drive sales results.
    The Performance-based plan is a sales incentive plan that rewards employees based on their individual performance and achievement of specific goals.
    • Individual Focus: The plan is designed to motivate and reward individual sales performance.
    • Goal-oriented: Employees are given specific targets and goals to achieve in order to receive incentives.
    • Performance Metrics: The plan measures performance based on key performance indicators and sales metrics.
    • Incentive Structure: A tiered structure is used to provide increasing rewards as sales targets are met or exceeded.
    • Flexibility: The plan allows for flexibility in setting individual goals based on job role and market conditions.
  9. 9
    This plan rewards sales reps with equity or other long-term incentives based on their performance over several years. It's an excellent way to incentivize sales reps to focus on long-term growth and stability rather than short-term gains.
    The Long-term incentive plan is a sales incentive program designed to motivate and reward salespeople for achieving long-term sales goals and targets. It aims to drive consistent sales performance over an extended period of time.
    • Duration: Typically spans over one to three years.
    • Eligibility: Restricted to sales personnel meeting specified performance criteria.
    • Rewards: Generally includes a mix of cash bonuses, stock options, or profit-sharing.
    • Performance Metrics: Sales targets, revenue growth, market share, or specific KPIs.
    • Vesting Period: Benefits may accrue gradually over time, with full entitlement achieved upon completion.
  10. 10
    This plan rewards sales reps with recognition or public praise for their achievements. It's an excellent way to motivate sales reps to work harder while also boosting employee morale and engagement.
    The Recognition-based plan is a sales incentive program that rewards sales individuals based on their performance and achievements within a given period. This plan emphasizes recognizing and rewarding exceptional sales performance and fostering a culture of appreciation and motivation.
    • Performance Measurement: Sales performance is measured based on predetermined metrics such as sales revenue, sales volume, new customer acquisition, or market share.
    • Reward Structure: Rewards are typically given in the form of monetary incentives or non-cash rewards such as gift cards, paid vacations, or merchandise.
    • Recognition Events: Recognition events are organized periodically to acknowledge and celebrate top-performing sales individuals. These events may include award ceremonies, team outings, or exclusive trips.
    • Peer Recognition: The plan encourages peer recognition, where sales team members can nominate and recognize their colleagues for exceptional performance. This fosters a collaborative and supportive work environment.
    • Performance Tiers: The plan may have multiple performance tiers or levels based on levels of achievement. Higher tiers often offer more significant rewards and recognition.

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Ranking factors for popular sales incentive plan

  1. Alignment with business goals
    Ensure the incentive plan aligns with your organization's overall business objectives and promotes the desired sales behaviors. This may include increasing revenue, market share, or improving customer satisfaction.
  2. Simplicity
    The plan should be easy to understand, implement, and manage. Complexity in the incentive plan may lead to confusion and decreased motivation among sales representatives. Clear and concise communication of the plan to the sales team is essential.
  3. Flexibility
    The incentive plan should be adaptable to changes in market conditions, industry trends, or company goals. This will enable the organization to stay competitive and continue to motivate the sales team.
  4. Balance between short-term and long-term objectives
    Incentives should encourage sales reps to focus on both immediate and future revenue-generating opportunities. This balance should promote sustainable growth and customer retention.
  5. Fairness and transparency
    Sales incentives should be consistent, objective, and transparent to all members of the sales team. Incentives based on subjective criteria may lead to disagreements, lower morale, and reduced performance.
  6. Individual and team incentives
    The plan should acknowledge and reward both individual and team contributions. Celebrating team successes can foster a collaborative working environment and promote teamwork.
  7. Measurability
    The plan should include clearly defined and measurable performance metrics that enable sales reps to track their progress towards their goals. This will help to ensure that incentives are awarded objectively and consistently.
  8. Motivation
    Incentives should be designed to effectively motivate sales representatives to achieve their objectives. This may include financial rewards, such as commission or bonuses, as well as non-financial incentives, such as recognition, development opportunities, or additional resources.
  9. Customization
    Factors such as employee experience, skill level, and market conditions should be taken into account when designing the incentive plan. A one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective in motivating a diverse sales team.
  10. Regular evaluation and adjustment
    The incentive plan should be reviewed and adjusted as needed based on changes in the business environment, sales team performance, and individual employee feedback. Regular analysis and updates can help to ensure the ongoing effectiveness and fairness of the sales incentive plan.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular sales incentive plan. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or plan is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 224 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each plan once every 24 hours. The rank of each plan is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular sales incentive plan

Sales incentive plans are a popular way for businesses to motivate their sales teams and boost revenue. These plans typically offer rewards or bonuses to sales representatives who meet or exceed certain targets, such as sales quotas or customer satisfaction ratings. There are many different types of sales incentive plans, including commission-based plans, performance-based plans, and team-based plans. Each plan has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the most effective plan will depend on the specific needs and goals of the business. Ultimately, a successful sales incentive plan should motivate and reward sales representatives while also driving overall business success.

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