Why now is the right time for sales incentives

Posted on Monday, October 5, 2020

Adam Boddy
Adam Boddy

Incentivising might be the last thing on your mind right now. But there’s never been a better time to reward sales.

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Sales incentives in 2020? In the current economic climate, giving out rewards to employees may seem frivolous – counterproductive, even. But an effective incentive program is actually a great way to keep morale high and maintain focus on sales during this difficult period.

Incentives have consistently proven popular amongst successful businesses. Stats from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) show that 90% of top-performing companies use incentive programs to reward sales people. 80% use them to reward channel partners.

Whoever it is that you’re rewarding, incentives are proven to have benefits businesses. And those benefits should prove especially helpful when steering your organisation through the current economy.

90% of top-performing companies use incentive programs

Why incentivise sales?

There are many reasons to use incentive programs, but we can identify three main benefits:

They motivate the salesforce

Incentives are a great way to keep sales workers engaged and driven to sell. In fact, incentive programs that motivate employees to hit specific goals have been found to increase individual performance by 27%.

Boosting motivation may be especially urgent to your business at the moment. Recent factors like changing work environments, sudden changes to budget, and dispersed teams are likely to have had an impact on focus levels and productivity. Giving partners or sales employees (1) a well-defined goal and (2) a tangible incentive to reach it, can help cut through the commotion caused by the current working landscape.

They increase loyalty

Over a quarter (26%) of employees feel that being underappreciated is the biggest barrier to engagement. In a time of massive upheaval for many workers, showing your sales team or channel partners that you appreciate them can help raise engagement and boost retention. The extra amounts of hard work that go into earning incentives are likely to make employees more loyal to the brand or business offering them. And in a landscape where 69% of channel partners are unable to distinguish individual products or services from the competition, standout incentives are a powerful way to keep partners focused on your offering over somebody else’s.

A channel incentive program we ran for Softcat

They boost the bottom line

One channel incentive campaign we recently ran for Softcat’s Dell team generated an ROI of 47,700%.

You read that right.

The rewards you reap from incentivising your partners or employees often far outweigh the costs of the rewards you’re giving out. Effective sales incentive programs have been found to have a 50% higher impact on sales than investments in advertising. With the sudden changes to the economic landscape, it’s time to stop considering incentives as an nice-to-have and start considering them as a way to bolster your bottom line.

Cutting through the noise is crucial

You’ve seen the reasons to incentivise. But you may now be wondering what types of incentives can be rolled out to motivate your salesforce.

The good news is there are many options available. The following is just a small selection of the rewards you can offer:

• Cash prizes
• Holidays or trips
• Gift cards
• Tech prizes
• Leaderboards and gamification

We’ve been involved with successful incentive campaigns that utilised each of these types of reward. But there’s more to rolling out an effective incentive program that selecting a prize at random. The most successful incentives require strategy and planning. They should be focused on your team (or team of partners) and your specific goals. You should ensure that you’re targeting those you are trying to engage with the rewards that are most likely to motivate them. Of course, this is something we can help with.

Aren’t incentives redundant now that sales teams are working remotely?

Not at all. Now more than ever, it’s critical that businesses engage employees and keep sales numbers steady. Employees who are working from home may be finding it hard to stay motivated amidst sudden changes to their work habits. Engagement with work culture may also be in a slump without the office environment as a constant day-to-day presence.

Incentives give you the opportunity to keep your sales team or partners engaged, productive, and motivated to do good work. Setting a shared goal can help rebuild a sense of community amongst a dispersed workforce. An effective incentive program adds structure and shows your workers you appreciate them – something which is especially important at the moment!

With the right remove incentives program, it can help you engage your salesforce.

Okay, but what about the logistics? How feasible are incentive programs when the workforce is dispersed?

With the right remote incentives program, you can help you engage and incentivise your salesforce wherever they are.

Miramar Catalyst, our remote incentives portal, allows you to boost your sales, increase engagement, and get accurate reports to monitor success. We can have your bespoke install up and running in as little as two weeks, so you can start incentivising your sales team or channel partners fast.

To find out more (and book your free demo), take a look at our new Miramar Catalyst webpage.

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