3 Foundations Of An Effective Incentive Program

As my colleague John Bodolai shared on this blog last week, being around for five years has helped 360 accumulate a wealth of historical sales incentive program data. As you can deduce – the greater the sample size, the higher quality the inferences we may draw from it. John’s post shared some client success metrics, but where I really love to get under the hood and muck around is in the area of learning best practices.

Best practices can be a sticky wicket for some: you want to do great work, but you also want to avoid getting stuck doing the same old thing over and over. But you can avoid that trap – have a look at the best practices for what you do, and distill from them what the principles are that drive the success of those practices. Here’s what I’ve learned by looking for common success drivers across the top-performing programs we’ve helped our clients deliver.


1.What are your business objectives?

It’s very important to get clear on what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you launching a new product?Is the program meant to drive growth in a stale territory?Are you looking to pull market share from a competitor?What about mind share from the sales associates at a particular store?

As richer sources of data become available, it is possible to become even more surgical in your program planning. One of our clients runs over 200 concurrent, customized programs with wild success – the result of focused, data-driven decisions.

How To Motivate Salespeople







2.Understand demand pull/demand push.

What does it take to convince retail sales associates (RSAs) to choose your brand or SKU over others?How can they be incented to sell the right SKUs or bundles to meet your objectives?Remember, training is a form of incentive as hundreds of RSAs have told us themselves that they prefer to sell brands they know very well.We have seen on-demand training combined with an incented quiz on the material work very effectively.

If you are running a consumer rebate program, make sure that the consumer incentive will perform harmoniously with the channel incentive.

3.Get it right in the last three feet.

The last three feet of the deal come after the consumer owns your product and is already experiencing it.It comes after the RSA has delivered on their end of the sales incentive deal – they have sold your product in good faith. What experience are you delivering to these people when they go to claim the channel or consumer incentives?

This part is about ensuring that your brand treats these important people just as well or better than they were being treated before they performed the desired action. These folks sell your products for you. The customers buy them and bring them into their homes. It’s a big deal and they should be treated appropriately. And it’s not just about their experience in submitting their incentive claims – it’s about the rapid payment.When you receive the payment within days it reaffirms your decision to buy or sell the product. It’s truly a reward for the action you took.


JeffBennett_100x100Jeff is the VP of Client Experience at 360incentives.   Connect with him on LinkedIn HERE.