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In business we know that changing prospect and customer behavior is a key imperative of the marketing and sales teams. They seek to understand the current customer needs and behaviors to gain concrete insight into the customer environment. They then seek to innovate and differentiate to make life easier, better, faster in some fashion for the betterment of their customer’s business. But customers are busier than ever and their proclivity to have face to face interactions is significantly reduced, thanks to both the pandemic and the substantive digital transformation all successful businesses are going through. So, the question is how can we inspire, manage and cultivate an engaging, bi directional digital exchange or “digital dialogue”? The answer is with a well constructed Sales Incentive Program.

What is a Sales Incentive Program?

A Sales Incentive Program is used to reward a sales or marketing team for meeting and exceeding their sales goals. This type of program is used to motivate users with incentives outside of traditional sales commission.

Why are Sales Incentives Effective?

Changing customer behavior is a science. As with most shifts it necessitates goal setting in order to gain commitment for reasons unique to each customer, like a dream reward. It’s then critical we measure contemporaneously each customer’s progress towards their self-selected goal. Preferable with something easy to understand like an achievement gauge. Then once I’ve set a visible goal for myself and likely told my significant other and friends, I’m committed.

As the customer is focused on the goal, along comes an email with a bonus offer to get the customer there sooner, by selling the newly announced product or a myriad of other marketing objectives e.g. attend a webinar, clear old inventory, take a quiz or a survey. Suddenly the customer looks for those program branded emails and opens them right away so they can take full advantage of these limited time opportunities. This is how to create a sales incentive program that works.

Your Sales Incentive Program is a dynamic steering mechanism to be constantly used to accelerate achievement of dynamic marketing objectives…with these shifts in customer behavior happening in a matter of hours as the bonus offer email campaign is launched on an agile basis.

Creating a Sales Incentive Program with an Outside Partner

When I was on your side of the desk, as CMO of a $200M computer distribution company that we grew to $1 billion, I often used sales incentive programs for both our extensive B2B customer base as well as our 500-person sales force.

I began by thinking we could do this in house by just purchasing some rewards, tracking the earnings by customer in a database, and sending out some communications. Wrong! Creating successful Sales Incentive Programs is a formidable initiative that has to be the focus of an outside agency partner to effectively succeed and achieve the incremental growth objectives. Also, to avoid a litany of marketplace disasters that can occur when you make a customer an offer and subsequently fail to deliver on a timely basis. Think about how you’d feel if your weekly or semi-monthly pay was delayed even just a few weeks…or arrived to you incorrect!

Most importantly, an effective sales incentive program follows the Pay-for-Performance model where reward payouts are incurred only if and after desired sales results occur. Our business case model will show this along with your winning ROI%!

Types of Sales Incentive Programs

There are five types of sales incentives programs that can boost growth within your organization. They are:

How Does The Incentive Group Create an Effective Sales Incentive Program?

When you partner with The Incentive Group, we begin with a discovery meeting during which you need to provide insight relative to these 12 customer challenges and objectives:

  1. Measuring and growing account share
  2. Shifting buying behaviors (e.g., accelerating e-commerce)
  3. Cross sell and upsell of products
  4. Attracting new customer through differentiation
  5. Gaining referrals from existing customers
  6. Activating previously dormant customers
  7. Increasing customer retention, mitigating churn
  8. Educating your channels and customers
  9. Capturing customer insights
  10. Communicating regularly and effectively with customers
  11. Measuring customer behavior and results
  12. Reporting and analytics

From there a program plan is formulated that illuminates how the desired gains in each of the areas above can be achieved.

Over the last 30 years, The Incentive Group has launched hundreds of successful sales incentive programs and success leaves clues, which turn into a repository of proven best practices. These are the keys for taking your program from a burden on the bottom line to a game changing initiative that is pointed to by leadership as a key growth driver and valued internal steering mechanism. The plan also includes a state-of-the-art loyalty platform (inGauge) which is white labeled to ensure your loyalty program completely aligns with the look and feel of your brand and website.

A custom curated collection of rewards is brought forward from exciting merchandise, travel, gift cards and reloadable debit card options. A/B control group case studies are provided to help you gain a feel for which reward collection will work best to effectively motivate your customers. Customers are segmented into relevant tiers to uniquely speak and market to each participant group, whether by volume, class of trade, job title, geography or persona. Add the all-important communication plan complete with ongoing bonus offers, quiz and survey options and you’re ready to roll! Time from discovery to launch will be no more than 4-6 weeks!

Let The Incentive Group help you create a sales incentive program that works! Contact us today to request a demo of our best-in-class loyalty platform.