Five tips for a successful
sales incentive programme

Devyani Trivedi | March 21, 2019
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Is your incentive programme driving sales and ROI the way you want it to? If not, maybe now is the time to ask why. Incentivising your top-performing salespeople and channel partners will fail to work out if you have opted for a one-size-fits-all approach. This not only dilutes motivation and participant interest, but also affects business in the larger scheme of things.

A successful incentive programme is one that is customised to the needs of your sales team members and independent channel partners, which can include dealers, distributors, and resellers. It’s also necessary to have a fair idea about how your competition is designing their incentive plans. If you’re not keeping up with competitive programmes, you are falling behind. Here are five tips you must refer to while designing a successful sales incentive programme:

While money can be an important factor for salespeople and partners, it may not always be a sustaining motivational factor. More often than not, what's more important to top performers is recognition among their peers.

1. Money is not the sole motivator

When it comes to rewards, most companies feel that the only thing their salespeople want is more money. While money can be an important factor, it may not always be a sustaining motivational factor. More often than not, what is more important to top sales performers is recognition among their peers. Not only does recognition help sales persons to get their fair share of the limelight, it is also one of the least expensive methods of motivation. Similarly for channel partners, the effect of offering cash incentives, that are rolled out from the company’s end and received in isolation, may wear out in the long run. That’s why it’s pertinent to note that there’s always something more you can do than offering cash incentives.

2. Get creative

How can you then offer rewards that makes your team members feel they matter and that you really care? Try rewards that are more frequent and personal in nature. Make an effort to find out what specifically motivates and excites them individually. When one of your employees has done exceptionally well on a key project, immediately recognise the achievement fittingly in a unique, memorable way. You will find that the more creative and unique you are with the rewards, the more fun it will be for your employees, yourself and others in the organisation. For channel partner incentive programmes too, it is necessary to build relations on a personal level and understand their needs and preferences.

3. Timeliness

A key element in determining the effectiveness of your sales incentive ideas lies in timeliness. The reward will lose relevance if it's not received at the right moment. It's important your sales and channel incentive solution is able to account for timelines and the value of spontaneity. Celebrating achievements and occasions as they unfold is a must if you want to convey to employees and channel partners how much they mean.

4. It's time to go digital

One of the best ways to ensure that your incentive programme are instantaneous and timely is by putting technology to good use. Choose only the best sales and channel incentive solution available in the market to make your life easier. Digital incentive programmes can help you plan, choose, send and track rewards to beneficiaries in a matter of a few minutes. We live in the day and age of digital gift cards, gift vouchers, point-based rewarding systems and the like. The choice of rewards depend on who you're offering it to. Let technology help you make the incentive process more strategic, effective and comprehensible.

5. Keep the plan simple

As cliched as it may sound, the last point to keep in mind before designing your sales incentive programme is to ensure your plan is simple and uncomplicated. The incentive plan must align with company goals and should be easy to communicate and must have simple metrics that are easy to track for everyone involved. Your sales representatives and channel partners must have a clear idea of what they’re out to achieve in order to attain their incentives and rewards. A long list will only add complexity to tasks. What’s more? Don’t forget to promote your plan because if you fail to do so, the whole plan can fall flat.

Use these helpful tips to simplify your sales incentive plans and motivate your sales teams and channel partners to top performance. Determine your sales goals, choose the right incentives that inspire your team, and then track and adjust the programme to ensure long-term success. Meanwhile, check out how Zeta is simplifying sales and channel incentive programmes with Zeta Spotlight® for companies across India.

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