receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure


Think Outside the Box: 5 Ways to Boost Creativity In Sales

Megan Totka
Megan Totka

Sometimes it takes getting more creative and thinking outside the box to generate new leads for your team.

Sales is an intense job, and even if you’ve got a team comprised of the best of the best, using the same old sales techniques can quickly get stale.

Coming up with new ways to increase sales isn’t always easy.

Sometimes it takes getting more creative and thinking outside the box to generate new leads for your team.

1. Motivate Your Team

Motivating your team is key to their success. If they aren’t motivated to do well for you, they’re just not going to. You can motivate your team with incentives:

Cash bonuses

Money makes the world go round, and cash can be one heck of an incentive for a job well done. Go against conventional wisdom, and reward the person with the most “no’s” for the week, because you’re going to run into that a lot. And just because a person says no right now, doesn’t mean it won’t turn into a yes later. Of course, you’ll still want to reward the yes’s with a larger cash award.


Create a rewards system where sales reps earn points that can later be converted to cash and prizes at a certain threshold. For instance, a sale earns 50 points to 1,000 depending on dollar value, and every 1,000 points translates to a reward a gift card, a massage, free lunch, or anything else you can dream up.

Career advancement opportunities

One-time cash bonuses may work for some, but for others, there is more interest in the chance to advance their career. As a manager, you should offer incentives that allow your team to develop skills to advance. Offer some of your own time to assist the leading sales rep in whatever they ask of you.

It shows them you care and will work in the trenches alongside them. It’s important to remember money isn’t everything since studies show 28 percent of employees would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise. More than 1/3 of employees (36 percent) would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work.

Offering a variety of incentives ensures you’ll have a motivator for all the varying personalities on your team.

2. Discover and Use New Tools

Tools can give your sales team an edge, and sometimes even a new perspective. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) software can help your sales team keep up with important details about each prospect, to tailor their sales conversations accordingly.

For instance, if you know Jane is interested in your product because she’s using a more expensive competitor, you can highlight all the things your product does for a fraction of the cost. If you know Trevor is interested in your product because it will save him time, but he’s worried about the financial investment, you can offer him a discount to get started.

Have all your sales team members install Rapportive. This Chrome/Gmail extension automatically inserts LinkedIn and other contact information into a panel in your email box. This way, when you connect with a prospect via email, you can automatically see other places to connect with them to strengthen your relationship. This is a completely free tool. If you find that someone is nearby, encourage your sales team to arrange in-person meetings.

To keep track of email, also ask them to install Boomerang. This is a Gmail extension that allows your sales team to schedule an email to be sent later, and reminds them to follow-up with leads, especially if there’s no reply. It keeps things from falling through the cracks when the team is busy and helps improve customer service/retention. Like Rapportive, this is a completely free tool.

3. Host an Idea Lottery

Every month, use numbered tickets to host an idea lottery. Whenever someone on your team provides an original idea, give them a ticket, and keep the corresponding ticket stub for your records. Place your copy in a large bowl. At the end of the month, share all the ideas with your team, and then draw a ticket from the bowl.

Give the salesperson with a matching ticket number a prize, such as a gift card for a nice restaurant in town, movie tickets with extra money for concessions, or a gift certificate to the store of their choice. Keep a record of all the ideas from the lottery each month, so you can implement them as needed. Even if an idea doesn’t win the lottery for the month, reward the employee who came up with the idea whenever your team uses it.

4. Brainstorm Over Lunch

Once a week, host a lunch outside the office to get your sales team together. Have them sit together in groups of four or five. Ask each of them to share something related to creativity, whether it be an article they’ve read over the week, a chapter from a book, or a report.

Then, they can all discuss how it relates to creativity and their ideas to improve their sales. Consider inviting an outside innovative business person, maybe once a month to add more perspective and help motivate your team.

If you have a large sales team, rotate the groups every week and have a quick recap of the previous week’s discussion to spread ideas and keep the creative juices flowing. Keep a record of all the ideas so you can actually use them and track how well they affect your sales.

5. Reward Your Heavy Hitters

Your best and most creative sales team members should receive some kind of reward for their hard work and dedication to your company. Talk with your team to determine which rewards they would prefer. Get creative and tailor your gifts to fit each team member. While incentives are great, rewards should be unexpected and thoughtful gifts.

Encourage your sales staff to work together for the greater good of the team. When everyone works together to foster new ideas, everyone stands to benefit. When company profit increases, funnel it back to down to the employees in the form of increased benefits and bonuses. When employees are happy, the company stands on more stable ground.

Image Credit: HAKINMHAN / Getty Images
Megan Totka
Megan Totka Member
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.