incentive programs

3 types of incentive programs you need to incorporate

  • June 02, 2016

Given the right incentive programs, associates are far more willing to go above and beyond to make a sale and keep customers coming back. It’s a basic function of motivation and the desire to reap a reward. It makes sense that companies spend so much on these programs – incentives make that much of a difference.

But while the core concept of incentives is pretty simple, deploying and managing programs on a grand scale is not so straightforward. One of the primary challenges companies face is deciding the type of incentive program to incorporate given the structure of their sales channels, the kinds of products they sell and other factors such as the sales cycles of the calendar year. Let’s check out three incentive program types you need to consider:

1. Short-term incentive programs: This is the most stripped-down form of incentives, and can take place over the course of just a few days. Brands give sales associates in their channel a sales objective and a timeframe in which to accomplish it, and whomever achieves the goal is rewarded with the set amount of compensation. As WorkStride pointed out, these basic programs improve individual performance by 22 percent on average.

“For a company in a pinch, short-term incentive programs offer a quick boost.”

Companies can also structure these programs by sales quantity rather than timeframe constraints, according to the source. For instance – “Sell five of these products, and you’ll get a $100 reward.” For a company in a pinch, this is a great way to quickly boost sales. Remember though: however that using these quick-strike programs as a stop gap measure requires you to be able to roll out and communicate the programs easily and effectively.

2. Ongoing incentive programs: Quick-hit programs might pack a punch for a given week or a special event such as Black Friday, but a sales channel will not see consistent growth unless decision-makers leverage a longer-term program. For example, a company can set a goal for the workforce to collectively hit a higher total sales number over the course of a year, or individual employees could be motivated to achieve a specific goal of their own. Remember though: programs can become stale and undifferentiated if left in place for too long. If you want to leave your programs in place for a long time, be sure to tailor them closely to the needs of your channel partners in order to provide a level of built-in engagement.

3. Specialized incentive programs: It’s not always only about motivating employees to make more sales. Some incentive programs are structured to educate associates with training workshops or improve sentiment toward your brand out in the channel. These factors have a direct impact on bottom-line results, and they will surely lead to an overall improvement of the sales channel’s capabilities over the long term.

Whether you decide to incorporate one of the above programs – or opt to include all three – a centralized incentive management platform is your gateway to stronger, more targeted and effective strategies. Find out more about how a digital solution can bring your incentive programs to the next level.

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