Implementing more creative incentives might be the inspiration your sales team needs to achieve its goals.
Satisfied sales people sell more, which is why your sales compensation and incentive plans reward your sales team based on results. However, if common rewards are not motivating your sales team to reach, it might be time to implement more creative incentives. Giving your incentive system an update to include one or more creative incentives attainable for your reliable producers as well as your top sales people might be the inspiration your sales team needs to achieve its goals.
Many incentive programs fail to produce the desired results because they are geared towards rewarding the performance that your top sales people regularly deliver. Unfortunately, top sales people do not tend to work harder for incentives they are already on the track towards earning, while your average sales people might feel as though the goals set for these incentives are out of reach and continue selling as usual. Creative incentives such as awarding prizes by lottery get around this problem by leveling the playing field and giving all sales people an equal chance at winning. To institute such a program at your organization:
Some organizations implementing creative incentives like this one will award a ticket for each sale, but be aware that unless the products and services your organization offers are all substantially the same price, this can encourage sales people to “game” the incentive by selling more low value products and services since it will earn them more incentive tickets.
There are a number of important business activities that sales people perform on a regular basis that tend to be overlooked, including cold calls, lead generation, and referrals. Many sales reps are never rewarded for what is often seen as just part of the job; however, creative incentives that do reward these activities can be very effective and serve to remind your sales team how fundamental such business processes are to their success.
Consider creative incentives that reward sales people based on the number of cold calls they make in a given period, or the number of new leads they can add to the sales pipeline. For a more long term incentive program you can also award prizes for quality referrals, and tie the value of the prize directly to the value of the business that referral generates for the organization.
It takes many different coordinated activities to be successful in sales. Common incentive programs tend to reward sales reps for only a few of these activities, which makes it harder for your average, dependable performers to learn and improve their sales numbers overall. A number of promotional companies offer customizable puzzles with anywhere between 10 and 100 puzzle pieces; get your sales people to see the big picture by awarding puzzle pieces for specific activities, then award them a high value prize for each puzzle they complete. This creative incentive will help your sales team focus on sales supportive activities, which will result in more sales as a matter of course while making the incentive both challenging and fun.
Creative incentives may take slightly more time to roll out than standard incentives, but the results that these incentive programs can drive are well worth the additional effort. Think about what your sales team needs to do to reach its goals, and build your organization’s creative incentives to encourage measurable activities while providing entertainment and reward for your sales staff.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.