Successful sales contests include three critical elements: goal setting, emotional commitment, and focus. These elements will serve as the foundation for both short-term and long-term programs that will ultimately help you engage your sales reps to achieve your business objectives.
Explore our guide to learn best practices to follow when designing your next incentive program.
Compensation plans create a bell curve of performance among sales reps… incentives move the middle.
Compensation plans do their best to be flexible and adapt to changes throughout the year, but can’t do it all. Sales contests are flexible and can be changed quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. To keep your sales contests performing at their peak - make sure you're avoiding common misconceptions like "Most of my lift comes from my top performers". It actually doesn't.
Incentives should be treated as a separate component of your overall strategy for how to motivate your sales team.
Sales contests provide sales reps at all levels the opportunity to stretch and increase their performance throughout the year, as well as:
The percentages allocated for each component will vary based on the types of programs being designed. Recent research shows that instead of trying to drive down administrative costs for sales contests, a balanced approach works best. Strong communications are key, as are visual trackers and progress reports.
Most sales reps will say they want more cash or cash equivalents like gift cards, but study after study has proven that reps will actually work harder and perform at a higher level for non-cash rewards like merchandise or memorable experiences.
Source: Making the Performance Connection, BI WORLDWIDE, 2010
Justifiability: It’s difficult to indulge with our own money but we’ll gladly accept something high-end as a reward for achieving a goal.
Sociability: When we earn a non-cash reward like a watch or a trip, we’re more likely to talk about it with others than if we were to receive a cash bonus.
Experiential: Motivation is extended and reinforced when the reward is above and beyond fulfilling a basic need.