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Using Real-Time Sales Incentives to Improve Effectiveness

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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Your sales team is the engine of your company. Without their success, your company’s success isn’t an option. Keeping your team motivated with well-timed, well-executed sales incentives is critical to building a winning culture where loyalty, accomplishment and motivation are dominant.

How can you accomplish this? Measuring behavioral analytics can provide valuable data that improve the delivery of sales incentives and ensure they are more effective and efficient than they have been in the past. Here are some quick tips on what to pay attention to.

Ensure the right metrics are tracked

Incentives need to be given to the most successful sales reps. However, if you want to motivate your whole team, success metrics shouldn’t be limited to quota attainment. Some secondary success criteria should be included, such as:

  • Selling through a reorganization
  • Following a new process after a new sales methodology is implemented
  • Be the first to sell a new product or suite of products

Salespeople are typically measured on a number of metrics, and it is important that sales incentives are rewarded on them all. If sales incentives are only given on quota attainment, it’s likely that the same small group of reps get all of the incentives. Spreading the rewards around not only allows incentives to be given to more people, it helps motivate the whole team because salespeople know there’s a chance they could be the next to be recognized for hard work.

Match the incentives to the job

Sales, in many industries, are getting more complicated. With the advent of technology, the internet and smartphones, anyone can be an expert, so buyers constantly question their need for a salesperson. But pressure from maintaining sales goals today allows us to question the effectiveness of sales incentive programs. Effective incentive programs not only help drive sales and organizational success, but also promote the “team mentality” within a sales department and job satisfaction.

What does an effective sales incentive program look like? According to a recent Incentive Research Foundation report, the top three objectives for sales incentive programs are:

  • Increasing overall sales, named by 80 percent of respondents
  • 76 percent list improving morale as their top reason
  • Improving productivity was named the top reason by 58 percent

All three of these objectives carry weight with sales leaders. The objectives’ success could be the difference between making your company annual number, and docking bonuses and incentives for budget reasons. When you use sales incentives, know their power and invest the time, money (and maybe manpower) in ensuring that the execution has science and data behind it in terms of timing and organizational motivators.

Don’t wait to analyze or adjust

When discussing incentive execution, one key to ensuring success is to act now. Don’t wait until the end of the year, or even the end of the quarter. According to the same Incentive Research Foundation study, 58 percent of employee incentive programs are crafted with the main goal of improving productivity. So, don’t delay in implementing programs that will make your employees more productive, your company more successful, and ultimately, your workforce happier. 

Every employee needs a little motivation from time to time. Your sales team’s success and satisfaction should be on your radar, and an incentive program that targets what they want and need can be the key to your company’s success. The good news? Sales incentives are no longer solely cash-based, which makes it easier to give your employees a reward that gets them excited to perform at the top of their ability.

Topics: Gift Card Incentives & Rewards, Employee Engagement

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