Sales Force Incentives

Sales force incentives are a vital part of business and one of the best reasons is that they work. This is one of the few motivators that can rev up a sales force for pennies on the dollar. However it has to be well designed and executed to reap the full benefits and get the most out of your sales force.

The reasons sales force incentives are so effective, is that they appeal to the basic instinct of a true sales person. The need to compete, to be recognized for doing well and essentially having their ego stroked and last but not least the ability to acquire more stuff for doing what they love to do. A good sales force incentive program can almost always assure a business owner that they will get results, but there are several rules of engagement that they have to keep in mind.
The sales force incentive requires a concise goal. This may be as basic as increasing sales, but there are other objectives that can be added to a sales force incentive. These range from generating new accounts to launching new products or even expanding your sales territory. The sales force incentives goals will greatly depend on where that particular business sees they are lagging behind the competition, or that there is an untapped market they need to explore.

The next thing a sales force incentive needs to accomplish is a clearly defined list or statement of accomplishments. In other words your sales force needs to know precisely what the amount of increase in numbers that are expected. Is it X number of dollars, or X number of new accounts? The comparisons can be from previous years or from the competition, however the current business climate and the potential of your sales team need to be taken into account. The sales force incentive can be trick in that, make it too unattainable and you end up demotivating the team , make it too easy and you will not make the returns needed to justify the money spent on sales force incentive.

The next important part of an effective sales force incentive is the budget. The budget should not exceed 10{cab19ad47a04457a33f1142c065ddf840a097fdd0e7408211ca1f6540bc7ad18} of the projected sales increase, and should not be less that about 1.5-2{cab19ad47a04457a33f1142c065ddf840a097fdd0e7408211ca1f6540bc7ad18}. This budget includes not just the sales force incentive but the promotion such as awards luncheon and also the administration of this program in the form of over time and the like. Also be prepared to be flexible in case it is very successful you might want to continue it or if it is not working, revamp it.

Picking the right sales force incentive is also crucial to its success. Cash usually works because most people like cash, and there is no cost to storing it. The down side is people tend to forget after it is put into an account or mutual fund, and it always a clear show of how much the company spent on the sales force incentive. Take a team on a vacation and you can also gain the benefit of building the team spirit while rewarding them. Not everyone will agree though that travel is a good sales force incentive since some people prefer to take vacations to get away from the people they work with. Merchandise is also good as long as the quality of the products match the sales force. Also the merchandise will be around for a long while to remind the team or individual of their accomplishments.

The main thing is to keep the sales force incentive duration short. People are better motivated in the short term. Quicker rewards will help reinforce the behavior desired by the company initiating the sales force incentive.