Not all sales incentive programmes are born the same - so how can you make yours effective in order to see maximum return on investment?
Sales incentive programmes have become commonplace. In the US alone, companies spend over $800 billion on rewarding their sales team each year, the Harvard Business Review reports.
Of course you want to see results from your investment - but not all sales incentive programmes are born the same. Many don't actually motivate employees in the way they're meant to. So how can you create a sales incentive programme that actually works?
1) Reward your employees with something they really want!
The whole point of an incentive scheme is that you're offering employees a carrot for a certain behaviour or hitting a particular KPI. In the case of your sales team, you'll be rewarding them for making a certain number of deals or booking a particular number of meetings.
The carrot needs to be something your sales people will actually want.
But the carrot needs to be something they'll actually want, otherwise they're never going to be motivated to try and get it. So giving your sales team a choice of reward will help them hit their targets. At Power2Motivate, our global rewards gallery offers employees thousands of prizes to choose from, including trips, travel, electronics, household appliances and much more!
2) Introduce gamification
Sales people are naturally competitive, and you want to take advantage of this by introducing an element of competition into the mix. Gamification (adding game-like elements to a task) is the perfect way to do this. This normally involves some form of points system and leaderboard to show which employees are doing best. Power2Motivate's programmes are completely customisable, so you can gamify it in any way you want.
When your sales team see who's doing well, they'll want to move up the leaderboard themselves and will try harder to complete their tasks. In fact, 87 per cent of employees agree that gamification makes them more productive, according to the 2018 Talent LMS Gamification at Work Survey.
Just make sure you create a leaderboard and points system that recognises a variety of sales KPIs, to include as many people as possible.
3) Put effort into roll out and education
You still need to put effort into education even after the programme has been going for a while.
The best incentive programmes are the ones that are communicated effectively. After all, you could have an amazing rewards system in place, but if no-one knows about it, they're never going to change their behaviour to benefit from it.
Communication should start right from the programme's inception. Make sure you educate your sales team on what KPIs they need to hit to get the incentive, and tell them exactly how the rewards system itself works. This will ensure transparency and prevent any employees from feeling that they are being treated unfairly.
You still need to put effort into education even after the programme has been going for a while. Run training sessions to ensure your employees have the best chance of hitting the related KPIs, and communicate regularly about the programme, especially if you end up making changes to it.
4) Recognise as well as reward
Linked to good communication is the need for social recognition to go alongside the reward itself. It's great if you're incentivising sales people to hit certain targets, but if no-one else on the team hears about it, you won't see as much behaviour change. So when someone wins an award, ensure you let the rest of the team know why they've won it. This will encourage the person to continue that behaviour in future and show others what they need to do to be rewarded.
5) Introduce tiers
Your best, most experienced sales people are always going to win the top prizes, and this may mean your less experienced sales members could become bitter, feeling they will never win an award. So introducing two tiers, one for easier-to-hit targets such as booking meetings, and one for harder activities such as making a final deal, is a great way to accommodate people of all talents.
If you want to create a sales incentive programme that really works, consider engaging the team at Power2Motivate. Our programmes are easily customisable to ensure we're meeting the needs of your business. Contact us today for more information.