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Revenue Operations

Boosting Sales Motivation: The Role of Commission Transparency and Gamification

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Do you know how to motivate a team of sales reps? Try gamifying your sales incentives to help everyone on the team reach their attainment goals. Join Melodie Schwartz, VP of Enablement and Operations at Spiff, and Remi Morken, SVP of Sales at Salescreen, as they share how gamification can improve sales performance and why commission transparency is a critical foundation for success.

“It's about finding ways to motivate reps to enjoy work. Sales is a tough job. Gamification makes it more engaging and more fun.” - Remi Morken 

If you survey sales managers and ask them if they understand how to motivate their reps, 76% will say yes, they do. Unfortunately, only 40% of reps report that their manager knows how to motivate them.

Creating and gamifying incentive programs can help managers motivate their reps the right way. At Salescreen, they found that it also increases sales rep performance by 44%. Just make sure that you focus on commission transparency and designing your incentives to appeal to all of your sellers.

Make it clear with commission transparency

“At Spiff, we give transparency because that salesperson is working hard towards something, often a personal goal.” - Melodie Schwartz

Sometimes sales reps are expecting a big paycheck from a deal—but it doesn’t happen. If your rules aren’t clear and no one is managing people’s expectations, you have a recipe for misalignment and lost trust. 

Arm your sellers with the visibility and tools they need to make money through your incentive programs: 

  • Easily accessible, up-to-date leaderboards 
  • Attainment reports 
  • Historic commissions paid reports (week over week or quarter over quarter)
  • Payouts by role 

Make it easy for the team to calculate their potential earnings before they close a deal. Spiff has a commission estimator, available in quotes within Salesforce CPQ, that helps identify which opportunities will help reps reach their attainment goals. 

The impacts of gamification

“You want reps to see the results and it will make them more inclined to follow the right behaviors if they know they’ll have a $20,000 payout from this deal going through.” - Remi Morken 

Not everyone on your sales team is motivated the same way or by the same rewards. It’s important to put thought into how you motivate reps as individuals. When gamifying sales, be aware that there are 4 types of people, called Bartle’s player types: 

  1. The Killer - focused on winning, rank, and direct peer to peer competition
  2. The Achiever - focused on attaining status and achieving preset goals
  3. The Explorer - focused on exploring and has a drive to discover the unknown
  4. The Socialite - focused on collaboration and has a drive to develop a network of friends and contacts 

Most sales competitions are targeted at the killers. This is very demotivating for everyone else, especially if the same reps tend to win all of the competitions. So create incentives that aren’t just about closed-won deals. Reward other milestones, like the right pre-sales behaviors as well.

Recognition matters:

“People should be recognized for responding well to coaching and doing the right behavior that was discussed in your deal review.” - Melodie Schwartz

Pay attention to what your reps value. Money is important but it’s not the only reward that reps want. You can also give them gifts, time off, and peer recognition. Give a shout out for completed milestones or when new skill levels are reached. Finally, give spontaneous recognition, everyone likes an unexpected dopamine rush—and it reinforces good habits! 

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