How To Target Your Entire Sales Team With Individual Rewards

By Carlton One Engagement

Your sales team may work cohesively at times, but ultimately they are still a group of individuals with different motivations. Finding a way of rewarding everyone equally can be a challenge - but there are ways to do it!

Individualized incentive programs are key

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to a sales incentive program. Every person on your team is motivated by different factors and rewards. They will also have distinct strengths and weaknesses - some do exceptionally well in short bursts, while others may be dependable week in, week out.

As each person’s motivations are different, so too must their rewards. How can you go about introducing an individualized incentives program to help your sales team achieve as a whole?

Break down your team into performance groups

Within your sales team, there will normally be three identifiable groups of people you can pull out based on their sales figures. These groups are:

  • Laggards
  • Core performers
  • Stars

Regardless of the individual personalities within these groups, each has specific traits you need to reward appropriately in order to get the best out of everyone:

  • Laggards are often aware of their lower-than-average performances, so appreciate incentives relating to upskilling. Additionally, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found quarterly bonuses had a more positive effect on performance than annual bonuses, showing the value this group places on more regular gratification.
  • Core performers' reliability for regular sales often means they slip through the cracks for rewards. Address this with a multi-tiered incentive program. Start by establishing targets at the core group's average, then set another tier at a level of over-achievement, and then a final step towards your highest sales figures. This way, you can encourage this group to steadily raise the curve of sales over time.
  • Maintaining your stars’ passion for excelling consistently can be a challenge, especially when the impact of sales incentives becomes lost in a group of high achievers. This group will likely be the most competitive, so focusing on ranking peers in a leaderboard is a good way to tap into this nature. Set goals for ranking based on sales KPIs and reward your highest achievers with big ticket prizes such as travel incentives - things reserved for only the very best!

Focus on prizes instead of money

The incentive to perform comes from a reward that is specific to the individual, one where thought has gone into it. Monetary incentives work fine in some cases, but cold, hard cash in your hand doesn't scream personal, does it? You want your sales team to feel as if what they achieve for your business matters. You want them to feel validated that their individual contribution is irreplaceable.

Prizes communicate personality and can be specific to individuals in a way money simply can't. 

Give them the chance to feedback

The best sales incentive programs are made to fit your team, not the other way around. If you want your rewards to be individualized, you need to ask the individuals in question what they want!

Gathering feedback and data on the incentives your team is picking will help you fine tune your rewards program, and ultimately help your sales team perform better. 

Rewards are invaluable in motivating your sales team. However, each person is different, and each reward must be different too. Only then will you see the true benefits of an employee incentive program. 

The Incentive Marketing Association is an organization made up of incentive program providers. We create greater awareness of the benefits of incentives, and help businesses prosper through education, training, research and marketing services.