10 Fun SPIF Ideas that Boost Sales

Sales managers are often tasked with finding creative ways to motivate and engage their sales force. And look, it's not easy.  

Sales reps want more than just a pat on the back or a nice bonus check at the end of the year. Some want special recognition, others want something tangible, while others could use a day off.

To motivate your team, consider a creative SPIF — Sales Performance Incentive Fund — a short-term, surprise incentive given to employees who meet specific sales goals. The success of the incentive depends on how enthusiastically people react to it — so you need a great reward.

It's important to note that this isn't just a random reward; SPIFs should be carefully planned out so as not to affect your business negatively. Without proper planning and risk analysis, some "healthy competition" can quickly turn sour.

Related article: How to Create SPIFs That Actually Work

Consider these fun sales SPIF ideas next time you need to boost sales and productivity:

Enhancing monetary SPIFs

Look, the truth of the matter is nothing motivates like cold hard cash. A cash reward is simple to execute, easy to understand, and generally appreciated equally by reps.

In other words, unless everyone on your team loves to golf, don’t make the prize 18-holes at the local club. Make it cash.

That said, there are several ways you can enhance a cash reward.

1. Reframe it as an IOU

Sometimes how you frame the cash reward can make all the difference. Instead of simply giving out cash to top performers, tell them they’ve won an IOU from the CEO.

Go the extra mile, and get the CEO to sign physical cheques, or even get a huge cheque for the top performer.

Little details can make all the difference.

We’re calling this one the SPIOUF: Sales Performance IOU Fund.

Related article: 5 Costly Problems With Your SPIFs

2. Give out an Award

Recognition is one of the most powerful ways to motivate your team. And there’s no easier way to recognize a high performer than with an award or honor.

No matter the prize, it’s important that you make a big deal about the winners of the SPIF.

Go ahead, scream it from the rooftops. The winners of the SPIF will appreciate the recognition and their visibility to leadership.

We’re calling this one the SPIF: Sorry Pal, I’m Famous.

3. Create a Status Symbol

Along with the cash reward, give the winner something they can wear or show off that symbolizes their high performance.

A pin, a VIP seat at a conference, or even a parking spot at the front of the building are all great and simple ways to give performers that status they crave.

We’re calling this one the SPAF: Something Precious and Flashy.

4. Synchronized Selling

Imagine this: you’re desperate to drive sales, but half your team is new and ramping.

What do you do?

Try a little something we call “synchronized selling.”

The premise is simple: create teams that pair new reps with seasoned reps. Whatever team sells the most during the set period wins the prize.

By creating a “buddy system” of sorts, experienced reps will help new reps better understand the sales process, and they’ll pick up on best practices along the way.

You’ll boost sales, ramp your new reps quicker, and increase cross-collaboration across teams.

It’s a win-win-win.

We’re calling this one the SSPIF: Synchronized Sales Pals Incentive Fund.

Related article: Sales Performance Intelligence: What it is and Why You Should Invest in it

Non-cash SPIFs

Cash is king. But sometimes, a prize that’s tailored to your team's needs or interests can encourage them to go the extra mile.

If you’re looking to switch things up or supplement a cash reward, try these prizes instead.

5. Extra Vacation Days

In the summer months (or whatever season is great for the outdoors), vacation days are worth their weight in gold.

Instead of cash, offer the winners of the SPIF additional vacation days for their hard work.

You could even up the ante and create a tiered competition where the top prize is a full week off.

Let’s be real, though — knowing top performers — it’s going to take some convincing to get them to take a break.

We’re calling this one the SPOOOF: Sales Performance Out-of-Office Fund.

6. Annual Trip

Everybody wants to go on the annual trip. You know, the one in a tropical location, at a luxurious resort with an open tab.

Although it’s often reserved for the top 10% of performers, why not create a SPIF that opens that opportunity to the rest of the team?

Annual trips are so effective because once you go one time, you’ll never want to miss out again. FOMO is a powerful thing, and sales reps will do everything in their power to not miss out.

We’re calling this one SPIF: Sunny Paradise Incentive Fun.

7. Spa Package

Entering a new market?

Why not launch a sales contest where the winner takes home an all-expenses-paid trip to the most luxurious spa in the area?

Although not everyone will appreciate it equally, spa days are apt for the right team in desperate need of relaxation.

And remember, the best rewards are sometimes the things people wouldn’t think to splurge on.

We’re calling this one SPAhhhhF: Spa Package Ahhhh Fund.

8. Golf

Salespeople are motivated by many things — recognition, cash bonuses, flex time, cool tools.

But after spending so much time at home during COVID, the most effective incentive could be an excuse to get outside and have some fun.

Luxurious gifts like golf trips are a fantastic way to win over top performers and build camaraderie at the same time.

We’re calling this one SPIF: Swing & Putt Incentive Fund.

9. Sports Tickets

Salespeople are competitive individuals — they care about winning and want to be the best at what they do.

With that competitive spirit often comes a love of sports. It helps them relax during a stressful day, plus it makes for easy conversation with a prospect.

If you’re in a market with a great sports team or club, consider swapping the cash incentive for the best seats at an upcoming game. Bonus points (and motivation) if it’s an important game, like a playoff or final.

We’re calling this one SPIF: Sports Performance Incentive Fun.

10. Pizza Party

I know what you’re thinking.

“Pizza party? What is this, my son’s birthday?”

And you’re not wrong to think a pizza party won’t move the needle or motivate a rep to close a big deal.

But when you need to motivate your team to do something simple or low effort (like tell a prospect about a new product), a cheap and cheerful team prize can be a cost-effective way to do just that.

Tell your team, “You want to come to the pizza party? Send out this email and sign your name.”

Easy as that.

We’re calling this one the SPPIF: Sweet Pizza Party Incentive Fund.

Tips for Brainstorming & Executing Fun SPIF Ideas

SPIFs might be the closest thing sales managers have to a creative outlet. This is your chance to not only drive more sales but to increase morale and have a bit of fun.

Here are some ways you can enhance your sales contest ideas.

Personalize to your team

The most effective and appreciated SPIF will be the one that’s tailored to your group. Have a lot of golfers on your team? Make the prize a set of clubs and a day at the links.

Give it a fun name

Giving your SPIF a clever name legitimizes the incentive. It tells your sales team that you’ve thought this through, it’s important, and they should pay attention. Not to mention, fun names can make SPIFs more memorable and top of mind for your reps.

Track & Celebrate Progress

After a couple of days, the initial excitement around the SPIF might die down. Keep stoking the fire with consistent updates or even a running tally of who’s leading the race. Most sales compensation software doesn't offer this, but Forma.ai does.

Make it a Big Deal

When it comes time to award the winners, don’t just send a private email. It’s important to celebrate and recognize talent publicly. After all, half the value in winning a SPIF is being recognized by leaders in the organization.

Need help with a SPIF?

We’ll be the first to tell you that launching a SPIF isn’t easy. A lot of planning, time, and hard work goes into pulling one-off. And without the right processes and tools, you may end up spending a fortune without seeing any upside.

At Forma.ai, we have SPIFs down to a science.

Related article: How to Create SPIFs That Actually Work

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