B2B Sales Incentives: 15 Ways Manufacturers Can Motivate B2B Sales Reps

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Blog


Manufacturers overlook the power of motivating B2B Sales Reps in their channel partnerships. This happens despite proof that B2B sales incentives improve sales growth.


Why is that?


B2B Sales Reps are the front-line heroes of any great channel partnership. At the same time, they are a neglected asset for manufacturer sales growth.


In this article, we’ll share 15 ways you can motivate your most underutilized asset – Inside Sales Reps.


Before we move on to motivation strategies – let’s clear up one thing:


What Are B2B Sales Incentives?


B2B sales incentive programs motivate businesses to work towards a common goal. Here’s an example. A manufacturer can use a sales incentive program to promote a product. The distributor and sales team agree to push the product in exchange for an incentive. It’s a win-win.


15 Strategies to Motivate B2B Sales Reps for Distributor Success


Motivated B2B sales reps give your brand front-line success.


B2B sales reps have tremendous influence during the buying process. They motivate buyer behavior and influence decision making. So, leverage your B2B sales reps for growth, profits, and customer service.


Adding a B2B sales incentive program is an investment in your bottom line.


B2B Sales Incentives - 15 Ways to Motivate B2B Sales Reps


1. Travel Experiences


80% of your sales from distributors come from the top 20% of their B2B sales reps. Why not offer a VIP incentive travel for their efforts.


Here are some ways to incentivize increased profits from top performers:


  • Free Airline Miles – Nothing sparks quick getaway plans like free air miles. The price of air travel is getting more expensive. Free miles can help your top performing B2B sales reps celebrate in style for a long weekend trip.


  • Discounts on Cruises – The right discounts can motivate your top B2B sales reps to see the world.


  • Fairmont Hotel Stays – THE hotel for celebrities and royals. Offer a free weekend getaway within driving distance of home.


  • All-Inclusive Vacations – Your top performers deserve the best. Why not offer all-inclusive trips to tourist destinations. Whisk them away to places like Disneyworld, London, Australia, and more.


It’s hard to find an incentive that offers more return on investment than travel. Its benefits go far beyond the experience. It creates a lifetime of memories.


2. Sports Fandom Packages


Enter any office on a Monday, and you’re likely to hear about some sporting event. It’s part of our nature to follow the drama of sports. But it doesn’t have to end there.


Why not offer an incentive that goes beyond the water cooler.


Use a free Google Forms page to create a poll. Find out what teams and sports your top sales reps love. Then offer a package to motivate your B2B sales reps to hit new targets.


Consider offering sporting event incentives like:


  • Tickets to a Game – Whether it’s the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL – regular season tickets make a great incentive package.


  • Rival Sporting Trip – Let them root for their favorite team – at their rival’s stadium. Offer a weekend trip to a rival town complete with two free tickets and a hotel stay.


We live in a world where personalized experiences mean more than a straight salary. Sporting events offer a gift that goes beyond monetary value.


3. Morale-Boosting Team Events


Some rewards are best shared with your team. Offering team incentives is a great way to drive engagement. Bonus: it brings the team closer together by gathering outside of work.


Here are some examples of morale-boosting incentives:


  • Adventure Events – Provide a chance to blow off steam and mix in a little competitive spirit. You could spend a day at a local paintball, go-kart racing, or golfing destination.


  • Outdoor Activities – Throw on the Bluetooth speakers, fire up the grill, and chill. You could plan a day out with trails, kayaking, or canoe experiences.


  • One-Day Vacations – Provide a relaxing one-day vacation experience at a local resort & spa.


Team incentives are hardly a gimmick. Done the right way – they can promote teamwork, leadership, and camaraderie.


4. Dining Experiences


Food is universal. It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t have a favorite restaurant or favorite style of food. Adding fine dining experiences is an excellent way to get B2B sales reps hooked on your program.


Low-cost, yet special – it’s the low hanging fruit participants love.


Here are some ways to use fine dining as an incentive:


  • Favorite Restaurant – What better way to celebrate your achievements. Offering a gift card to their favorite restaurant is a no-brainer.


  • VIP Dinner – an all-expenses paid dinner for select VIP members of the B2B sales team. You could recognize individuals for their outstanding achievements and build better business relationships.


Dinner at a restaurant may not be life changing, but it does save money. There’s nothing wrong with that.


5. Tech Goodies


Who doesn’t love the latest gadgets? Brand name technology is a great incentive for many B2B sales reps. Affordable, and inspiring – tech goodies provide an easy hurdle for rewards that matter.


Here are a few types of rewards you could offer:


  • Smartphone Accessories – Android or iPhone? No matter how they answer this question, the result is the same. No one can resist top-of-the-line smartphone accessories. Bluetooth speakers and earbuds are always a popular option.


  • Television Sets – 4K and 8K devices offer a superior viewing experience. Give your B2B sales reps the gift of HD-quality channel surfing.


  • Laptops & Tablets – Often considered a luxury expense, laptops and tablets are great incentives. Take the pain out of shopping for these items by offering this incentive.


  • Home Theater & Audio – Upgrade the quality of their “movie nights” with a home theater system. It will forever change the quality of their downtime.


Technology is a huge motivator for many young B2B sales reps. Offering tech products can add crave-worthy incentives for many participants.


6. Patio Love


Let’s face it.


Our backyards have become an extension of our homes. It’s no different for your B2B sales reps. Upgrading outdoor spaces is high on the list of many homeowners.


Here are a few items B2B sales reps may go gah-gah for:


  • Grills & Accessories – No one aspires to be an average grill chef. Having the best tools helps adjust their learning curve.


  • Patio Furniture – Great outdoor spaces have the comfort of indoor spaces. Give the gift of living room relaxation – outdoors.


  • Propane Heaters – Help your B2B sales reps extend their summer. Offer Autumn nights that feel like summer with a patio heater.


  • Fire Pits – Imagine your best B2B sales rep sitting around their fire pit with their kids. They’re making homemade s’mores and enjoying the summer. That’s the power of this incentive.


The popularity of outdoor spaces makes for a powerful incentive for B2B sales reps. It could be the right motivational reward to climb the sales ladder or improve their sales goals.


7. Home Appliances


We shift from outdoor entertaining to hosting guests indoors. The right home appliance can change your life. Don’t believe us? Ask anyone who owns an air fryer.


Here are some examples of great home appliances you can offer:


  • Pressure Cookers – Popular during the winter months or for people who like to plan meals ahead. This appliance saves time in the kitchen.


  • Air Fryers – Perfect for people who want quick meals. Bonus: no negative effects that come from microwaves.


  • Juicers – Health-conscious sales reps can upgrade their diet choices and start living healthier.


Kitchen appliances make our lives easier. The right appliance can provide years of healthy meals for your sales reps. Healthier workers are more productive workers.


8. Masterclasses


Top salespeople know the power of setting personal goals. Why not help them check off some of those goals with a free masterclass. Personalized masterclasses help create better relationships with your B2B sales reps.


Here are a few ideas to work from:


  • Scuba Diving – For those sales reps that love the sea. Open water diving could be a perfect incentive.


  • Cooking Lessons – Learning to cook from a professional is appetizing for any sales rep.


  • Helicopter Lessons – Sales reps can take the controls and navigate beside an instructor.


Learning a new skill provides rewards that go far beyond the experience. They can lead to a new passion or hobby.


9. Tickets to a Show


A night out at an expensive concert is a great date night activity. With tickets to concerts skyrocketing to ridiculous levels – it’s a great incentive. Help your sales reps impress their personal crush.


Here’s a list of shows available right now:


  • The Eagles & Steely Dan


  • Guns & Roses & The Pretenders


  • James Taylor


Give your hardworking sales reps a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. It could do wonders for their motivation.


10. Gaming Incentives


Gaming is no longer child’s play. Today, you can find gamers of all ages. Why not provide an incentive for sales reps that strikes at the heart of their leisure time.


  • Gaming Tower – Upgrade your sales rep’s gaming experience with a gaming tower. It’s the perfect way to support their joy for playing PC games.


  • Gaming Bundles – Offer opportunities to redeem select video game packages. You can offer bundles of popular games and gaming systems.


  • Retro Games – Bring back the games they fell in love with as a child. Load their favorite games on a retro device. Game Boy, anyone?


Incentives are more than a motivating tool. They can connect manufacturers with sales reps on an emotional level. By tapping into their interests, you can personalize their reward experience.


11. Gift Cards


Cha-ching! Did someone say free money? Gift cards are a great starter incentive to get your sales reps hooked and motivated. Don’t leave this easy incentive off the table.


Why? Simple. They work.


Think of gift cards that are well liked:


  • Apple – Sales reps could buy a new pair of earbuds, save money on a laptop, or something else.


  • Visa – Don’t forget about a general card for everyday use. It may not be personal, but it is effective.


  • Amazon – Prime members will love a chance to get free & fast shipping on their free products.


Gift cards are a great incentive to get people started. They don’t take a lot of time to earn but provide a rewarding experience. It’s a great starter incentive.


12. Sporting Goods


Many of your older sales reps spend their time outside of work with their family. Let them surprise their favorite people with cool sporting goods for the house.


  • Basketball Hoops – They are the suburban driveway standard. That doesn’t make them any less fun. I can almost see a family pick-up game brewing. Horse, anyone?


  • Ping Pong Tables – Is any basement complete without a ping pong table? Fun for the whole family, it provides endless entertainment.


  • Cornhole Set – The weekends mean one thing: outdoor fun. Let your sales rep celebrate their success by gifting a cornhole set for the family. It’s a great way to bond in the backyard.


Time with family is precious. Offering gifts that will stay in the family for years is the perfect incentive for the family man.


13. Donate to a Cause


Donating to charity is one of the top items on people’s bucket lists. Your sales reps are no different. Offering a chance to give back can be a great incentive.


Some charities your sales reps could donate to are:


  • The Red Cross – The charity that helps people around the world experiencing hardships. Sales reps can feel secure knowing their donation is going to those in need.


  • The Special Olympics – A world-renowned organization. The Special Olympics gives everyone the chance to celebrate their athletic gifts.


  • Project Hero – Your sales reps can thank veterans for their service with a donation to a worthy cause. A small contribution can help a veteran in need.


Allowing others to give back can be a motivating experience. Why not add an incentive that allows people to give back and check this item off their bucket list.


14. One-of-a-Kind Experiences


Did you know that 2 in 5 Americans have a bucket list? Pretty cool right? But – less than half of Americans will ever realize their goal – due to financial restraints. Help your sales reps realize their bucket list items – offer rewarding experiences.


  • Skydiving – Experiencing flight – with nothing but a chute – is magical.


  • Drive a Stock Car – There isn’t much that tops the exhilaration of driving 200 miles an hour.


  • White Water Rafting – Braving rapids. Paddling against tides. Is there anything more adrenaline-producing?


Helping people get a little closer to realizing their bucket list is more than an incentive. It’s a chance to realize their dreams and motivate your sales rep’s spirit.


15. Subscription Services


Our final way to motivate B2B sales reps is an overlooked gem. Subscription services can help your sales reps save time and money. Not only that, but also, they can provide benefits in and outside of the office.


Here are a few subscription services to include as an incentive:


  • Sirius XM Radio – Give them a roadside companion with a free subscription.


  • Spotify – Offer them tunes on the go with a yearly subscription.


  • Hulu – Take away one monthly bill with a subscription to Hulu.


When it comes down to it, subscription services are all about quality of life. Promote family entertainment – at no extra cost – with this incentive.


What Are the Benefits of a B2B Sales Incentives Program for Manufacturers?


The beauty of offering B2B sales incentives is that they are flexible. Manufacturers can save incentives for strategic sales initiatives.


This provides leverage to drive growth with incentive programs with channel partners.


Manufacturers can use B2B sales incentives to boost:


  • Product adoption
  • Sales during lean selling cycles
  • Sales for a new line of products


The possibilities are endless. And the best part – it improves channel partner relationships.


How Can Manufacturers Get the Most Out of Their B2B Sales Incentives Programs?


Getting the most out of your B2B sales incentive program boils down to a few tiny variables. If you get these variables right, you’re on your way to incentives success.


Let’s highlight a few:


1. Establish Clear Goals and Objectives


B2B sales incentives programs can drive growth and sales – with the right plan.


To get the most out of your sales incentive program, you must consider the goal you hope to achieve. You may want to increase sales of a line of products by a certain percentage. Whatever your goal – make it clear.


2. Consider Your Audience


Not all incentives are equal. How your program performs depends on the motivations of your participants. Not all salespeople get motivated in the same way.


You must consider the age, experience, and geographic region when planning incentives. Another factor to consider – the type of salesperson. Inside sales reps may not get motivated by the same things an outside sales rep does.


3. Use a Variety of Rewards


Salespeople love financial rewards – but it’s not all they want. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with non-cash incentives. You could provide merchandise, experiences, and trips.


The point is to have a mix of rewards people can choose.


4. Gamify Your Incentives


Like a video game, people get hooked on incentives that are easy to beat at first. Make rewards an attainable goal in the beginning.


You can always raise the stakes as sales reps get hooked on the gamification.


5. Make Your Program Agile


Let’s face it. B2B Sales rep teams can grow or shrink based on the economy, demand, or industry challenges. That means your incentive program must be flexible to meet the needs of the team.


At any point, you may have to adjust the incentive or the reward – so be flexible.


6. Educate Your Sales Reps


A B2B sales incentive program is only as good as its marketing. Communication is key to marketing your incentives program. Use promotional materials, flyers, emails, and more to get the word out.


Marketing is essential to educate your sales reps and keep them motivated.


7. Analyze the Results


All the planning in the world doesn’t make up for poor results. As with any system – nothing is perfect. You’ll have to analyze and adjust your incentive program to best tailor to your goals.


HMI: Your All-in-One B2B Sales Incentive Solution


We know what you’re thinking. This list of 15 B2B sales incentives looks like a lot of money. And, if you were buying them one-by-one – you’d be right.


We’d like to introduce an all-in-one solution. At HMI, we’re professionals at incentivizing channel partners. We offer tailored incentive programs, SPIFFS, and a whole lot more.


Best yet, the list mentioned above is available through our incentive programs. Everything all in one place. It’s kind of genius.


Looking for more information? Let’s chat. Book a call to learn more.


Not ready to commit yet? No problem. Check out our informative guide. We share our four-stage process for building a winning incentive program.

channel incentive program

Subscribe to Email!

Need more incentive insights? Check out these related articles.

Load More

Start the Conversation Now

Ready to start planning your incentive strategy? Get in contact with us!