There’s no doubt that consumer engagement is an integral part of any company’s growth strategy. But what about employee engagement? Some sales people are motivated naturally; some are not. Per small business site for The Balance, the 80/20 rule applies in sales, meaning 80% of your sales are from 20% of your people. These 20% are motivated. The other eighty, however, might need some help. So, how can businesses motivate their sales team to close more deals, boost morale, and retain top talent? An employee incentive program is a great way to get things going. But not all incentive programs are built to last; and some lack the vision and efficiency to grow alongside your business.
Why Digital Incentives Can Help Motivate Sales
Oftentimes, business development managers have weekly goals they must meet, and compete with one another to book meetings, close sales, or earn a client renewal. Many businesses offer rewards such as gift cards to boost those weekly metrics. However, this process can be limiting to management, and for staff, for a number of reasons. For example,
- Constantly having to go out to purchase and personalize gift cards
- Impossible to manage as the sales team and company grows
- Limits who receives the gift; doesn’t recognize other team members
- Not always immediate
- Limited selection
According to Balance, rewards should be significant and immediate. Sales managers must keep the time between “winning and getting,” short. The longer your team has to wait for the reward, the less motivating it becomes. That’s where Perkalead comes in. This digital platform makes it easy for any business with a sales team to distribute employee eGift cards in just a few clicks.
Additionally, the same incentives are not always motivating to each individual salesperson.
You should individualize your sales incentives programs for the type of salesperson you wish to motivate. Motivating any one group is good, but spurring all of them is fantastic. In other words, enticing the stars to perform better will get results, but not as many as if you increased performance from all the levels of your team. However, do not neglect to encourage your top performers also. After all, stars do not burn as bright when they aren’t making commission, do they? Digital incentives such as eGift cards allow for greater personalization according to each team member’s triggers. The ability to individualize rewards, and decide how big or small the incentive will be, gives you the opportunity to recognize all levels of sales. Not just star performers.
Here are some tips from Harvard Business Review that can help guide your incentive program, and motivate sales. Furthermore, you’ll understand how digital incentives can work within your strategy:
Clear goals and easy calculations
It is vital that the sales incentive program be clear, simple to understand, and easy to determine the prize. If it is too complicated, many of your team members won’t bother. eGift cards are easy to receive, redeem, and customizable by type and value.
Allows for multiple winners
The Harvard Business Review authors point out that if only the top performer wins, then those whose performance is below star-level will not bother with the contest. Having more than one winner keeps everyone in the game. Perkalead allows for business owners, or managers to send multiple eGift cards, and customize them accordingly. It can also be sent discretely, as to not alienate other team members.
No caps on earnings
To motivate your stars, it is critical that no cap exists on their compensation. Putting a limit on what a star can earn is the fastest way to get them to stop selling. The authors use the example of how cab drivers go home early on rainy days because they have the fares they need. The cab company should change incentives on rainy days to keep cabs out on the streets during high-demand times.
Includes Pace-Setting bonuses
A Pace-Setting bonus, such as a quarterly bonus is effective at keeping your sales team on track, particularly your lowest performers. The periodic check-in to performance keeps them focused on the goal. By contrast, when you don’t include the quarterly bonus, the Harvard Business Review authors say the poor performers generate 10% less in revenue. The stars and the middle group also decreased performance, too, but at 4% and 2% respectively.
Uses social pressure elements
Social pressure influences people to change their behavior based on what their peers are doing. An example of using social pressure in the sales incentive plan is to post the standings daily or weekly where everyone can see it. Using this type of social pressure can motivate activity in the lowest performers, ignite a competitive spirit or at least a desire not to drop in the group below in your middle group, and reward your stars with one of their favorite prizes, recognition.
To read the Harvard Business Review article in its entirety, please click here.
Ready to start rewarding your sales team with digital incentives from Perkalead? Sign up for your free account now.