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Effective Sales Incentive Program Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Using Sales Incentives Effectively

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


When it comes to sales incentive progra­ms,­leaders often take a very different approach. Instead of trying to get inside the heads of their sales and channel personnel to understand their steps in a sales incentive journey, they start with the award. Usually it’s the hottest electronic device or a trip to Maui. What they should be thinking about is getting sales reps to authen­tically engage with the program. That means unders­tanding what they’re thinking as they decide how much time and attention they’ll dedicate to your program. A sales incentive partic­ipant consid­ering your program goes through a similar journey as a customer consid­ering buying your products and services.

1. Awareness

Making partic­ipants aware of and knowle­dgeable about your program.

2. Knowledge

That’s more than just telling them that they can win a televi­sion; it means helping them understand the goals of the program and how it benefits both them and their customers. Most salesp­eople seek long-term relati­onships with customers. If they don’t see the benefits of the product you’re promoting, they have no impetus to try selling it to their customers.

3. Consid­era­tions

This involves reps weighing what’s in it for them against the effort required to succeed. If your program requires hours of work, resulting in only a sweeps­takes entry for an award, chances are they won’t engage. That’s simply too much effort with no guaran­tees. But if they perceive the reward as fair for the effort expended, they’ll likely choose to continue along the sales incentive journey with you and actively partic­ipate.

4. Engagement

Your sales incentive partic­ipants have decided the program is good for both them and their customers, and they’re ready to take the plunge with you. Put in some early engagement indicators — an enrollment process, product sales quizzes to help them hone their skills, or a fast start bonus for immediate sales. Early program success will keep them with you on the journey ahead.

Sales Incentive Process

5. Optimi­zation

When reps begin to see rewards from a program, they will look for ways to maximize their earnings. Let’s say, for example, your program has partic­ipants accumu­lating points redeemable for awards. As they see their point balance growing, partic­ipants will begin looking for additional sales opport­unities to get the most out of the program.

6. Advocacy

Advocates encourage their peers to get involved. They offer advice to help increase sales and promote the tools your company provides. And they’ll show off their awards to family and friends, increasing their own likelihood of partic­ipating in your next program.