How to Incentivize Sales Prospecting

by | Apr 28, 2021

A lot of salespeople consider prospecting the most challenging part of the job. In fact, over 40 percent say that, according to a Hubspot statistic. It can be a frustrating task that your employees probably would rather not do. However, an added incentive could provide a bit more motivation and a higher rate of success.

Here at Core Commissions, we’ve worked with sales organizations that employ all styles of incentive packages and commission plans. That includes incentives geared toward motivating tasks that aren’t always going to result in a sale. We’ve seen how it works firsthand and we’ve laid out a few tips on the practice.


Prospecting can be a frustrating task for your team but an incentive can help keep them moving.

Why Incentivize Sales Prospecting?

As we’ve mentioned before, incentivizing all sales-related behavior can be a great motivator for your team. If your salespeople are finding it difficult to continue prospecting, an incentive could help grease the wheels. While that alone may not guarantee every cold call they make will result in a sale, it will encourage them to keep trying.

In addition to standard incentives, other support will also keep your team looking for that next lead. For instance, a prospecting contest that awards a winner with a bonus will trigger the competitive spirit in your employees. Other considerations might be providing prospecting rewards and recognition for hitting a certain number of prospecting activities. Gift cards or merchandise can often bolster this effort.

How to Incentivize Sales Prospecting

Prospecting is a numbers game. No matter what you do, prospecting will never be 100 percent effective. But the more calls your team makes, the more likely they’ll drive leads. So at the end of the day, you want to incentivize your people to prospect more. Here are a few methods to do that:

  • Set Prospecting Quotas: Based on available data, determine a reasonable quota to set for how many prospecting activities each of your team members can complete. Then, the same way sales commissions are often rewarded based on quotas, define how much a salesperson can earn for reaching quota or a percentage of quota.
  • Reward Set Commission for Every Prospecting Activity: Instead of building out a quota strategy for prospecting, awarding each activity can also be effective. Perhaps for every cold call or email sent to potential prospects, a salesperson can earn an additional $25. If they balance their time correctly, those individual bonuses can add up.
  • Split a Predetermined Bonus Between Teams: This would require management to assign a quota to an entire team. That could be a team covering a specific region or a certain product category. Either way, if the team as a whole reaches a certain level, they split a bonus that has been previously defined.

Should Your Organization Incentivize Sales Prospecting?

The answer to this question fully depends on your organization’s goals. If prospecting is an important task in the sales process, an incentive makes a lot more sense. When this step in the process becomes a bottleneck, you need to motivate your team to push through. That’s generally where an incentive helps.

However, if prospecting is generally less important to your team’s overall process, then consider a different method to motivate other tasks. This happens when prospects are sourced through non-traditional means or through a third party. An incentive may be better if applied elsewhere in the sales process.

Whatever incentive or bonus program your organization decides to implement, we’d be happy to help you automate it. Contact us or schedule a free demo and we’ll walk you through all of our solutions. We’re looking forward to helping you incentivize and motivate your entire team.

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