Companies Grow Revenue Faster with Non-cash Incentives


It’s no surprise that companies that capitalize on their resources and the competitive edge potential of their sales force are seeing significant opportunities to grow revenue and market share over their competitors. Companies that understand the power of non-cash incentives in motivating their employees are far outranking the more cut-throat “every man for himself” mentality in today’s business environment.

So what motivates sales people? According to the December, 2011, study by the Aberdeen Group and the research brief, “Sales Performance Management 2012: Rewards and Recognition as a Vital Compensation Component”, 91% of sales professionals polled said they are motivated by direct monetary compensation. In addition, 61% said they are also motivated by internal recognition for positive performance, or non-cash incentives.

Furthermore, in the research from Aberdeen Group, “Sales Performance Management 2012: How Best in Class Optimize the Front Line to Grow the Bottom Line” (December, 2011), Best-in-Class Companies (top 20% of business performance) were more than twice as likely (21% vs. 10%) to use non-cash incentives. They also discovered the following:

  • 83% of best-in-class sales reps achieved annual quota, compared to just 51% among industry average firms.
  • Best-in-class sales reps achieved a nearly 10% improvement in sales deal size vs. 1.9% for industry average firms.
  • Best-in-class companies were also twice as likely (21% vs. 10%) to use non-cash incentives and the year-over-year increase in annual revenue for firms that used non-financial rewards and recognition was 3x that of firms that did not use non-cash incentives. (9.6% vs. 3%)

Three non-cash motivators, e.g. praise from immediate managers, leadership attention (one-on-one conversation) and a chance to lead projects, are all low-cost and very effective ways to engage employees. Merchandise, travel, and gift cards are also very motivational for their trophy or commemorative value, and are also much more cost-effective than cash.

Business leaders are catching on. According to Pricewaterhouse-Coopers’ 14th Annual Global CEO Survey of 1,201 corporate leaders and government officials, 47% indicated a plan to “use more non-financial rewards to motivate staff”.

For more information on this important aspect of corporate incentive planning, feel free to contact Marilyn Froggatt at or 760-966-0173.

Marilyn Froggatt
Vice President, Sales, JNR Incorporated

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