Good salespeople can find motivation in even the toughest circumstances. Still, you have to fire them up with something more than inspirational talks and occasional “attaboys.” One way to pump adrenaline into your sales force is a well-designed and managed incentive program.
Follow these tips to inspire your troops:
- Increasing sales is the ultimate objective but you can have other targets, such as aiming at a number of new accounts or committing to a new product launch. Use measurements that fit your goal – dollars, units, increased profit margin – that everybody understands and can agree to.
- Take into account your salespeople’s individual talents and track records so you can set goals that are neither too high nor too low. The economy and state of your industry are important factors. You want to whet salespeople’s competitive appetites without short changing yourself by offering too much return for too little effort.
- What kind of prizes to offer? You have three basic choices: goods, money and travel. Goods, such as clothes, jewelry and electronics, please more people provided they’re of high quality. Awarding material items are perceived as showing more thoughtfulness on your part. Cash is straightforward, but cold. Nobody has to guess how much a cash prize cost you, and unlike logo’d apparel, cash doesn’t stick around to remind people what a caring employer you are. Travel is nice, but you don’t know if the recipient is going to like the destination, the style or the timing of what you offer.
- Whatever you decide as far as objectives and awards, don’t delay handing out prizes once people reach their goals. Keep programs fairly short-duration of six weeks to three months work best.
- The rule of thumb is that you’ll spend up to 10% of the increased sales you expect from the incentive program on prizes, promotions and administration.
Call us today for ideas that will inspire your sales force!