Oculus Rifts and trips to France: How 3 NYC companies incentivize sales teams

by Taylor Majewski
August 11, 2016

There are a myriad of qualities that make a great salesperson. Successful sales people tend to be outgoing, proactive, creative and most of all — hungry to sell. In the tech sector, which already attracts entrepreneurial spirits en masse, salespeople are especially ambitious. We caught up with a few of New York tech’s top sales teams to find out how they incentivize the sale in such a competitive environment. Here’s what we found.

Founded in 2010, OrderGroove is a SaaS subscription platform that helps brands launch subscription services. Using the subscription model, OrderGroove’s technology allows companies to develop valuable relationships with their customers by turning customer loyalty into exclusivity.

Built In: What incentives does the sales team at OrderGroove use?

OrderGroove: OrderGroove uses uncapped commission plans and contests that are both monetary as well as experiential. For example, we offer all expenses paid trips.

Built In: How do those incentives work?

OrderGroove: Commissions are based on achievement of quarterly quotas and annual contract value (ACV). We also offer accelerators on commission for overachievement of quotas. Additional bonuses are given for closing clients on targeted prospect lists, multi-year contracts, contracts with no opt-out, ‘ramp up’ deals (increased ACV year over year), pre-pay and other contract outliers. Contests are also announced quarterly to drive specific goals for that quarter. For example, for Q2, if the team and the individual hit their quotas, the individual got a paid trip anywhere in the world.

Built In: What is the sales team culture like at OrderGroove?  

OrderGroove: Collaborative. Sales directors share best practices with each other, help build training documents and on-board new team members — it's not a 'only in it for me' culture. Dave Frechette, our head of sales, is very focused on mentoring our sales directors and carves out time in each one on one development.

OrderGroove is the expert in a new category of e-commerce, our sales directors bring that expertise to prospective clients.  They know our product inside and out and are able to translate the platform to Enterprise CPG and retail businesses.  

Our sales teams also have an entrepreneurial spirit. Our Sales Directors also have experience working with (or even in!) the CPG or retail space. They know the pain points of our prospective clients and can help C-Level decision makers identify how Order Groove can grow their business.


Stack Overflow is the world's largest website for software developers to learn, share their knowledge, and advance their careers. The company is committed to making the internet a better place by helping millions of people solve coding problems every day.

Built In: What incentives does the sales team at Stack Overflow use?

Stack Overflow: All of our sales reps enjoy participating in some friendly competition, so our managers are constantly coming up with activity/revenue contests to keep things interesting. These competitions are sometimes individual challenges, sometimes between teams and offices. Either way, it’s always a fun way to keep the team motivated and engaged. The rewards for the contests aren’t to be overlooked either — they’ve consisted of things like Chromebooks, iPads and Oculus Rifts in the past. 

Another huge incentive here is the transparent promotion system, within which all reps are aware of the thresholds to each level of promotion. This is an effective way to keep everyone on the team striving towards something more than their forecast.

Built In How do those incentives work?

Stack Overflow: Our sales managers will announce a contest at least twice a month with certain guidelines (most revenue, calls, talk time, demos, etc.) along with the prizes for each winner. Reps are incentivized with rewards including the aforementioned electronics, gift cards, team happy hours, free breakfast and half days.

As far as promotions, all reps work towards a specific revenue average over a three-month time frame in order to be promoted. In short, there are no politics when it comes to promotions at Stack Overflow.

Built In: What is the sales team culture like at Stack Overflow?

Stack Overflow: One of our company’s main goals is to be the best place to work in sales, and the leadership here is really dedicated to that. Sales reps are given the utmost level of autonomy, allowing us to find a daily routine that works best. We foster a culture in which sales reps feel free to take an hour to go to the gym midday if that’s how they’d like to structure their workday. One of our company philosophies is that “employees will not be poked with a sharp stick,” which I think is a product of our extensive interview process. The thought here is that if we hire smart people and give them the resources that they need to get their jobs done, they don’t need a manager to be watching over their every move.

There’s also a ton of peer learning encouraged on our sales floor. More senior reps become team leads at a certain point in their tenure here, and are responsible for aiding the development of each person on his/her team. I think that’s what makes Stack Overflow a great place to grow as a salesperson; You’re not contained to one style of selling, and have the opportunity to develop your own style by taking pieces from the team around you.


Main Street Hub operates a full-service marketing platform that combines social media, customer reviews, mobile and email marketing.

Built In: What incentives does the sales team at Main Street Hub use?

Main Street Hub: Every month, there are several sales contests that we create to incentivize our sales teams to have fun and work hard. These contests can range from games like mini-golf and cornhole to raffles with prizes like Smart TVs, to trips (we’ve sent sales reps to France, Hawaii, Atlantic City and St. Lucia), to team building events like bowling and happy hours. We're constantly looking for new ways to reward the hard work and success that’s happening on our teams every day. This month, we are sending the quarter’s top reps from Austin and NYC to switch offices for a week.

Typically, there's a new competition every week to drive energy and sales across the floor. Additionally, we have a year long sales incentive called President’s Club where we take our top qualifying reps on an all-inclusive trip.

Built In: How do those incentives work?

Main Street Hub: We get creative. They can be based off of bringing on a new 'local hero' (how we refer to a new local business customer), or the highest revenue earning rep or teams for the week, month, quarter or year, for example.  

Built In: What is the sales team culture like at Main Street Hub?

Main Street Hub: High-energy is definitely the first word that comes to mind for the NYC sales office. And a big part of the culture, especially the sales team culture, at Main Street Hub is embracing positivity. The team encourages and elevates each other on the floor, and they always find a reason to celebrate. With all of these incentives that teams can actually accomplish, it really helps drive the team as they’re working hard on behalf of local businesses every day.

Know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.


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