Incentives are an essential part of any effective sales program. They motivate your sales channels and drive sales growth through the strategic use of rewards, communications and training. But do you know how to build and enable a sales channel that is determined to win and outpace the competition? Here are five secrets to building a successful incentive program:
1. Take a Baby Steps Approach
Change is difficult for everyone. Trying to introduce a new initiative too quickly could result in a stonewall effect. Incentive programs vary based on strategies, goals, products and services being sold, length of sales cycle, market maturity, and more. There is no one-size-fits all. Develop your incentive program one step at a time, introducing components in smaller modules. Not only will this help participants grasp and embrace your incentive program, it will also help you keep it fresher longer.
Begin by analyzing the needs and motivators of your channel partners and their reps to identify the formula that will work best for all parties. Your incentive strategy must speak to your partners, motivate their sales force and answer the all-important question: what’s in it for them? And opt for a platform that is scalable and will grow with your program needs.
2. Ensure Cross Functional Alignment and Collaboration Amongst Internal Teams
It takes a team to develop and launch a successful incentive program, with input and buy-in from management, marketing, finance, sales, HR, and more. A logical and sequential methodology is needed to ensure everyone is engaged and that there are no delays or bottlenecks in the program rollout.
A good way to get all key stakeholders engaged and make them aware of their responsibilities, accountabilities and timelines is to follow an implementation process designed to get them excited and on board – and staying there – to ensure your program’s success.
3. Measure Progress to Achieve Objectives Faster
A good platform enables you to collect data and generate performance analytics and insights to help you improve adoption rate, shorten time-to-revenue and equip your sales reps to succeed. By using data to leverage a deeper understanding of how well your sales incentive program is working and where performance gaps reside you can make smarter decisions faster and optimize your program.
4. Add Gamification to Boost Productivity
Adding gamification to your incentive programs is an effective, proven and creative way to deliver results. Gamification has a multitude of intangible benefits, including building loyalty and enabling real time progress monitoring and feedback. It also delivers the very tangible benefits of higher sales revenue, better employee data, cost savings through more efficient use of training resources, and productivity gain.
5. Consider Working with an Experienced Partner/Vendor
Implementing your own incentive program can be a daunting task. You might want to hand the creation and management of your programs to a dedicated partner. Experienced, external providers can improve results across a range of performance measurements. Make sure the provider you choose offers the latest in techniques, technology, rewards and redemption services, and has the experience, expertise and resources to ensure success.
As pioneers of online incentive and employee engagement programs since 1997, we process over two million claims per year for more than 21,000 participants. We can help you get internal stakeholders in alignment, develop a scalable incentive program that will grow with you, motivate and engage sales reps through gamification, and collect powerful performance analytics to help you optimize your program and drive revenue. Let’s talk.