With December around the corner, crunch time for meeting year-end sales goals is already here. Even if your sales team seems motivated, chances are, you wish you could push them just a little bit harder.

This is also the time of year when bonuses, extra time off and other incentives are a welcome way to put your team in the holiday spirit.

To that end, we asked 9 founders and members of YEC to share their favorite ways to spur some additional sales this time of year (and send sales staff home for the holidays in a great mood). Their answers are below.

1. Tie motivators to performance.

You can't motivate people; they're already motivated. The trick is to find out what motivates them and tie that to performance. It takes understanding what motivates your team and appreciating that people might have different motivators.--Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture

2. Tack on extra vacation time.

Managers should never exploit their salaried employees and force them to work excruciatingly long hours without added compensation. While monetary incentives are nice, we understand that our team members sacrifice their time. We want to make their decision easier by giving back what we take (and then some), so we make sure they get the vacation time they deserve after a long year of hard work.--Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

3. Offer training opportunities and other long-term investments.

Give your employees more opportunities to develop and better their skills. Send them to an all-day sales seminar, or invest in time-saving technologies that will make their days a little easier, and leave them more time to work on closing deals. A financial incentive is great, but it only goes so far. Training is more long term. "Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."--Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

4. Align the team with company-wide bonuses.

Everyone at our company has a different cash, salary and bonus structure in their contract. But one thing that's really nice is when there's a cash bonus that impacts everyone when certain goals are hit.

It's really easy for a salesperson to feel like a lone wolf. Creating a company-wide incentive will align everyone to do the work that is most likely to help the whole company succeed.--Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

5. Don't underestimate the power of fun.

Everyone has things they love and rewarding your sales team with fun can be just the right motivator. For example, it could be tickets to a Broadway show for a musical theater buff, a weekend getaway for a travel enthusiast, or a gym membership for an athlete. If you can't come up with any ideas, ask them!--Basha Rubin, Priori Legal

6. Double commissions.

It could be a good way to introduce a "Christmas bonus" and inspire extra hard work towards the end of the year. For a limited time you can double their commissions or offer another number that works for your business. This will not only be rewarding for them, but it could also become a fun tradition and build team culture. Finish the year on a high note for your business with a motivated team.--Andy Karuza, Gossip App

7. Ask for their input first.

Some people value bonuses, while other people value time off. Send your salespeople a few different options and let them choose in advance. Cater to their specific interests and you will get different people motivated for different reasons, all with a similar successful outcome.--Adam Stillman, SparkReel

8. Offer a performance bonus.

Incentivizing salespeople with real, achievable rewards will motivate them to perform better. It correlates a reward for those who work hard so its a win-win for the salesperson as well as for the boss. --Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

9. Cash is king.

Salespeople tend to be pretty coin-operated in my experience. Cash incentives work best. Combining a monetary reward with a contest plus some form of public recognition is always effective.--David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

Published on: Nov 26, 2014