3 Ways to Build the Best Sales Incentive Program for Your Team

By Carlton One Engagement 

In a world where the best talent is in short supply, your sales incentives program could be the make or break to your company's success. However, it's not enough to have a sales incentive program, but you also need one that works. If you want to beat your competitor, you can’t just rely on cash bonuses and commission to entice your sales teams to work hard. 

The benefits of a successful sales incentives program are clear. Research from Incentive Magazine found top companies use non-cash rewards and recognition in 90% of their sales programs, compared to 75 per cent of average firms. 

We came up with the top three ways to create the best sales incentive program possible.

1) Offer choice

Choice is the true differentiator to any sales incentives program.

Let’s say your company is offering fancy electronics or tickets to the latest Ed Sheeran concert. This is a great idea if your team is full of millennials, but even if you have a predominantly young office, there'll always be a few older employees who aren't keen on this type of reward. In addition, even if your whole company is made up of 18-35 year olds, this doesn't mean they are all going to scream at the chance to see Ed Sheeran live. 

Hence, choice is the true differentiator to any sales incentives program. You need to ensure there is a range of prizes on offer that suit a variety of ages, genders and interests to really get people excited about their incentives. 

2) Get feedback

The best employee incentives programs involve the input of employees themselves! Get their feedback on the types of rewards they'd like to see, including specifics on what would motivate them most and which KPIs should contribute. 
Additionally, some incentives programs have in-built data analytics and reporting functions. The best analytics functions will offer a huge range of metrics, from how many people have logged into the program to how many awards have been issued per department. This means you can see for yourself what types of rewards are popular among your employees and tailor your program to suit. 

3) Consider offering travel

Travel incentives have been shown to have a number of positive effects on the workforce. In a study conducted by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, over 75% of respondents found travel incentives motivating or extremely motivating. Additionally, 88% said they felt appreciated when their company offered them travel incentives and 80% said a program with travel incentives increased loyalty. 

While gym memberships or a cash bonus are offered by many organizations, something like travel is much more unique and personal, and therefore far more likely to be both remembered and appreciated. 
In fact, organizations that provide non-cash rewards such as incentive travel have three times higher revenue increases, according to Aberdeen Research. 

A good sales program offers choice, feedback, and travel options, as well as strong data analytics functions so you can track exactly how it’s being used. For more advice on creating winning sales incentive strategies, contact the Incentive Marketing Association  today.

Keywords: incentive programs, employee loyalty, employee recognition, incentive program channels, sales incentives, performance improvement, rewards management