Many companies today are excited about running incentive programs to boost sales and keep those products flying off the shelves. For most, these sales incentive programs are quite effective, yet for others they fall short. One of the reasons these programs can fail is because the sales reps have no idea what they are selling. It’s difficult to explain something to a customer when you are not clear yourself.

With today’s increasingly complex sales, reps struggle to create a road map to closing the deal. There is a solution to this issue that’s creating a lot of buzz. Adding a sales enablement incentive program or behavioral incentive component can break down a complex sales cycle into smaller, incremental steps to success.

What exactly are sales enablement incentives? Sales enablement incentives, also termed as behavioral incentives, are programs designed to provide sales reps with the necessary tools to progress to the ultimate end goal, closed deals. Each step of the way, reps can be rewarded for: learning, competency, certifications, demos, or proposals.

Sales reps today are often tasked with selling multiple products and services which can be overwhelming without the proper training or guidance. Adding a sales enablement element to an incentive program will help them gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to sell effectively.

The traditional spiff incentive fails when a rep cannot picture his steps from start-to-finish. Breaking down a complex sales cycle into baby steps, or behaviors, which are rewarded with smaller rewards (rather than one big spiff payout if the rep completes the journey) has become a more popular incentive technique.

Here are examples of different kinds of “sales enablement” in an incentive program:

  • Training session: Sales reps attend a training to learn about new products or receive information on updates to existing products/services.
  • Quiz: Sales reps take quizzes to test their knowledge on products/services.
  • Certification: Sales reps receive a certification to sell products/services upon completion of training. This guarantees that they are up to speed on the ins and outs of the products they are offering to customers.
  • Demo: The sales rep can successfully demonstrate how a product works to customers.

Rewarding reps for completing these activities won’t break the bank either! Structure your program in $25 – $100 payouts and then decide the value of each activity. The investment of making sure your reps are properly trained to sell your products is worth every penny!

Continue below for a few case studies from Brightspot clients that showcase these different sales enablement tactics in action.

 Rewarding Behavior

It’s no secret that targeted incentives can be paramount to your success.  But it’s not enough to dangle the proverbial carrot. Today’s sales teams are inundated with overloaded schedules, challenging sales cycles, and under-staffed teams. In situations like these, it can be difficult for a sales rep to not only picture the end result but create an action plan that can deliver it.  That’s why it’s vitally important that your sales enablement strategy includes rewards for incremental performance.

As an example of sales enablement activities that can be rewarded, take a look at the behavioral process flow chart below.  Your workflow may vary, but there are always opportunities to create rewards at critical milestones in the enablement process.

 Learn & Earn

Incentive programs that include a training component with rewards for completion and mastery of product knowledge position your program as a means to produce mutually rewarding productivity improvements.

During the learning phase of the behavioral incentive process, you have a unique opportunity to accomplish two critical goals: 1) imparting expert knowledge of your products and 2) reinforcing your marketing messages while building a passion around your brand.

 Case in Point…

Working together to increase sales of communication products, Dell and Avaya sponsored product training incentivized by the completion of online matching games to test product knowledge recall. The series of games were available over a multiple-month time frame allowing for participants to acquire training and then get tested. Participants with perfect scores were entered into weekly drawings for gift cards.

 Certified for Results

You’ve no doubt spent time and money developing your certification programs so incentivizing them is the next logical step in creating partners that are aligned with your corporate vision. Sales reps who are prepared to present key product differentiators, value propositions, and use scenarios will be successfully enabled.

 Case in Point…

An extensive product list offered by CenturyLink and Avaya provided numerous opportunities to reward sales reps and engineers for certification. The more certifications acquired, the better the sales rep was positioned to convert prospects into purchasers. Product certifications create an adoption of the product as a first-line offer in the sales process and incremental certification incentives shape this behavior.

This program was supported by the creation of an online site that tracked registrations and certification completions, communicated program and product changes, and reinforced engagement and product messaging to the sales rep. The site also provided a complete data set for understanding trends and identifying process improvement goals.

 Demos & Proposals

They’ve been trained, they’ve been certified, and now you’re relying on fully-informed sales and channel representatives to get your product in front of the buyer. Rewards for product demos and proposal submissions are another step in achieving the full commitment of the sales force.

 Case in Point…

To ensure that sales reps were proposing their products, McAfee offered a $100 gift card incentive for qualifying competitive bids. A convenient online site was provided to allow partner sales reps to register their activities. Along with providing the reps with a portal for entering events and receiving the latest information on product changes, the data collected allowed McAfee to review trends in bids and rep activity.