Incentivize Learning, Realize Sales Growth 

Incentivize Learning, Realize Sales Growth 

May 10, 2023

According to the April, 2023 Academic Research in Action report by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), US organizations invest more in sales training than they do for any other employee group. The report states that annual investments average over $2,000 per salesperson1, amounting to more than $100 billion each year2.  

There’s good reason – training can help to align sales forces and team members under a common goal, prepare them for achievement, recognize their accomplishments, and reward their success. 

A growing body of research concludes that well-trained salespeople outperform and generate higher revenues than their less-trained counterparts3.  And it makes perfect sense – knowing your products and services well, in advance of a sales opportunity, gives your sales teams more time in the moment to think creatively about the challenge, and the solution your organization can provide. 

Learning in a fast-paced work environment  

Today’s learning is very different from the models believed effective ten, even five years ago. Especially in sales, the speed required to respond to client requests minimizes the time one has to learn about the products or services that can best help. 

So how can we in the performance improvement industry support the need for training in work environments that allow less and less time away from the task at hand?  

Enter the concept of micro-learning – short snippets of content, with quizzes that follow. Short videos on products, services, safety, and program information. Mobile access to content, to learn, as Josh Bersin has described it, “in the flow of work”4.  

Incentivize training, stimulate sales 

Training and Incentives go hand-in-hand in the motivation of sales performance. Structuring content to be easy to access and understand is critical to enabling learning, but incentives are equally critical in motivating people to participate in training. 

Here are four suggestions for integrating training with your performance improvement initiatives: 


Integrate your organizations’ training initiatives, or your Learning Management System (LMS), with a performance management platform. Don’t reinvent your training – simply recognize the achievers who have completed your courses, and use the reward platform to reinforce learning the information and reward for achievement. 


Deliver micro-learning snippets within your performance management platform. Keep it short and sweet, so they’ll make the effort to make it happen. Use Learn and Earn modules with short videos or downloadable resources that reinforce the information, give them points for quiz completion, and make it integral with your rewards platform for redemption. Give them the choice of immediate redemption (e-gift cards let them take their family to dinner that night!), or to save their points for a larger reward from the Rewards Mall in the future. 


A Learn and Earn quiz, as a game of skill, makes learning fun, leveraging gamification principles and engaging participants. Consider others as well, such as leaderboards that promote the participants who have passed the most quizzes to ignite the spirit of competition. And layer in games of chance, to keep them coming back – like rewarding them with Spin and Wins that vary the winnings, but provide a fixed budget that allows you to manage program costs with efficiency. 


Decades of research tell us that programs are more successful when the participants know that leadership is behind the program, and fully supportive. Preface training with leadership videos that launch your incentive and training initiatives, and challenge your target teams to participate. 

All these incentive and training opportunities can be made possible with the right partner, and the right platform. Next Level Performance, with our latest Amplify® performance management platform, can deliver the right tools to reinforce your training efforts, and reward your participants for giving them the focus they need.  

To learn more, contact us for a demo, and we can discuss solutions that are tailored to fit your needs. 


  1. Alex Moore (2021), ATD’s New State of Sales Training Shows Trends in Learning Spending, Hours for Salespeople. ATD, March 3, 2021 
  1. Yuchun Lee (2017), Your Sales Training Is Probably Lackluster. Here’s How to Fix It, Harvard Business Review (June 12) 
  1. A. Zoltners, P. Sinha, and S. Lorimer (2008) Sales Force Effectiveness: A Framework for Researchers and Practitioners, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management  
  1. Josh Bersin (2018), A New Paradigm for Corporate Training: Learning in the Flow of Work