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Congratulations! You’ve just designed an incredible sales incentive program for your employees and partners and managed to get it up and running smoothly. Your participants are happy and working harder than ever to earn awards, and in turn, your business begins to grow!

However, how long will that last? How do you keep the momentum going? How do you maintain excitement while employees sometimes perform monotonous tasks to achieve rewards and increase business?

We’re glad you asked! We’ll review a few helpful ideas to keep the program fresh throughout its lifecycle and increase engagement and motivation among a single homogenous sales group. We’ll also provide another approach for programs geared toward multiple employee roles or channels.

Sales Incentive Program Tips

1. Fast Start Bonus

Incentivize your participants by giving them extra points for closing a deal within the first 30 days of the program (depending on the sales cycle length). This helps increase excitement from the start, and participants receive a reward right away rather than waiting weeks or months. It’s a good feeling to hit an accomplishment early, and it’s just the thing to get the ball rolling toward a successful sales season.

2. Early Enrollment

Promote your new or rejuvenated program by incentivizing those who enroll early or before a specified date. You decide how many points these lucky participants receive and wait to see how many take advantage. When it comes time to cash in, these participants will appreciate these bonus points. Those who waited to register, however, will wish they had registered when they saw the email initially hit their inbox.

3. Top Performer Awards & Leaderboards

Implementing awards for your top performer is a great way to start your program strong. It will motivate your participants to rise to the top of their department. You can issue special VIP experiences that no one else can earn except these elite performers. Maybe they get the opportunity to experience a special dinner with the President/CEO of the company, go on a private excursion, or acquire extra spending money to use while on the trip. Participants’ performance will skyrocket with the proper reward, and this friendly competition will ultimately drive sales. In addition, we recommend displaying leaderboards for your audience to promote friendly competition within regions or departments.

4. SPIFF’s (Sales Performance Improvement Fund)

This is a short-term program that overlays your long-term incentive. Typically, these run 3-4 weeks amid an existing program and help incentivize participants to hit their short-term goals. This is done through either bonus points or additional award types. When their final goal feels far off or unattainable, it is good to set checkpoints so participants can earn rewards along the way.  See sales spiff program guide.

5. Training Bonus

Think beyond the sales and look to behaviors that help enable your team. Learning about products or other pertinent information about your company’s offerings can be critical for a person’s success. Encourage participants to obtain more training and earn more certificates by handing out points for these tasks. Those who take advantage of this will increase their field knowledge and gain sales advantages above their peers. Often, it’s good to multiply (2x, 3x, etc.) the number of points they would typically earn if the participant has completed different trainings.

6. Spin & Win

Very popular amongst companies, spin-and-wins allow participants to earn spins on a wheel to gain extra points. Essentially, when a participant closes a particular deal, they spin a virtual wheel to earn more points! Companies often use this as a fun way to have participants interact with their incentive website or as a spot-award opportunity.

7. Leader Bonus

Include extra rewards for your top performers and give them recognition on your incentive site. Your top professionals will be excited to receive the points and feel appreciated when they see their names posted. Don’t miss the opportunity to hand out praise when you know these top individuals have been doing hard work!

8. Manager Override

Help managers incentivize their teams by offering the manager a matching percentage (typically 10%) of points earned by their direct employees. If your managers are happy and incentivized, that energy will flow over to the rest of their team.

9. Spurt Activity

Increase award potential (double points, triple points, etc.) for a specified period. Spurt activity helps incentivize your employees to keep pushing towards the end of the program even though business may slow down for a time.

10. Team Bonus

If the team meets a pre-determined goal, everyone gets awarded! This incentive is a great team-building incentive and will get the group to help each other. A win-win all around!

11. Bid & Win

Give teams or individuals the option to predict the number of sales for a given period and hand them an award when they do. The higher the goal, the higher the reward. This pushes your teams to work together and builds camaraderie.

12. Accelerators

Every time a rep passes a threshold, allow their points to accelerate (level 1 earns you 150%, level 2 earns you 200%, etc.). Participants enjoy this incentive as it pushes them to perform better and continue to do so. It becomes more of a competition with yourself instead of a competition with a group.

13. Referral

If you refer a person to the sales incentive program or refer a friend to join the company, you earn extra points! Referrals help build your program and involve more teams and participants.

14. Scratch–off Cards

This is where you use an instant win scratch-off card to provide bonus points or special prizes. If you want to recognize an employee for a job well done, use scratch-off cards and brighten their day! These are a great one-off incentive.

15. Gamification

Recently, online games have become popular as an effective technique to promote new product rollouts or reinforce product training initiatives. These types of training games are fun interactive ways to engage your employees. By forgoing emails and long boring white papers, you create excitement around new products or certifications.

All these helpful hints above will improve your participant’s engagement. However, we always recommend surveying your employees before and during a program to help select initiatives. Communication is key, and keeping an open forum for program discussion will help you boost momentum and excitement!

That said, things may look slightly different when you have separate audiences as your participants. Maybe you want to start a program with multiple partners, or you have a company with multiple types of employees. How will you keep all these audiences engaged? Some of the tactics mentioned above may work well, but here are some specific ideas for your sales incentive program.

Motivating Multiple Sales Teams or Channels

1. Share Knowledge

Plan knowledge and transfer events with partners to empower sell-through channels. The more your participants know, the better they will sell.

2. Book a Speaker

Hire a leading analyst as a keynote speaker during your SKO to offer attendees independent expertise related to the program. This will bring a fresh new face and fresh perspective to the process that can only help your business.

3. Gamification

Use fun training games to reinforce product knowledge. As mentioned above, games can also be used as an incentive for a year-round sales incentive program!

4. Quizzes

Break down sales behaviors and create a quiz to reward employees who know their stuff! Doing this will motivate sales teams to be familiar with product knowledge and encourage them to build their customer skills.

5. Personalization

With multiple audiences, personalization can be hard. However, it is critical to engage users with segmented, dynamic, and personalized content – especially in your email communications. They will be more involved if they know they were specifically targeted.

6. Direct Mail

Re-allocate some promotion budget to direct mail. Employees and customers receive dozens of emails daily, which doesn’t help when you want your message to stand out. When you receive a letter, it’s tangible, and who doesn’t love getting mail?

7. Manager Lunch

Give field managers a lunch & learn and teach them how to automate branded program invites, navigate registration pages, and much more. Your managers will thank you for the food and appreciate your help improving their department’s skills.

8. Networking Event

Combine a social function with networking. This encourages your employees to personally hand out program invitations, recruit business clients, and more.

Engagement and motivation are often overlooked, but these concepts are focal points of all successful incentive programs and events. If your program can engage your participants, you will be effective at increasing ROI and making your participants happy.

At Brightspot, we strive to manage your sales incentive programs as efficiently as possible. Our teams work hard to ensure your program has no issues, and we work quickly to resolve any that may arise. If you want to hear more about how we can help you, reach out on our contact us page!

Heather Smith

Author Heather Smith

Heather is a sourcing program coordinator with an extensive background in customer service and data implementation. She enjoys assisting clients with their incentive programs and prioritizing their needs to improve processes. Heather previously worked directly with incentives but currently works in the sourcing department on all types of programs. Her specialty is making program participants happy, and it makes her day when she finds unique and creative ways to enhance a meeting or incentive trip.

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