incentive program

 How to motivate people -
 Sales Incentive Program


There are no rules, which dictate the number of different groups of people who can be included in any one incentive program. Each additional group requires its own special treatment.

When the target group has been selected, you must:

  • Keep participation simple
  • Talk to some members of the intended group before finalising your planning and, without specifying your particular plans, seek their views, their objectives, their needs and their likely response.

Too many assumptions should not be made without crossing checking them with the target group.

It’s essential to research the size of the group and this is quite simple if it is an internal program. However, if outside your own organisation, you will need to ensure that you have the most accurate figures possible.

You should not proceed until you have carefully calculated the size of your participating audience.

The options available on how to motivate people are almost limitless, and are as varied as the imagination will allow.

Here’s a list of important criteria that are equally relevant to any group you choose:

Activities should be chosen that are of mutual advantage to both your organisation and the participant, even if that advantage is not immediately obvious. People will be more contented and receptive to other incentive schemes, if they can see tangible benefits from the previous program.

It must be made easy for people to participate by:

  •  Keeping the rules simple
  • Clearly explaining to them how they can participate and what they must do to enter the program
  • Sending more than one message to the target audience, to aid recall of what you are going to do.
  • Building up anticipation by releasing the details of incentives and the conditions in stages, if you can’t get your groups together in the one place, at the same time.
  • “Selling the value” of the rewards and not taking for granted that potential participants will readily agree with your enthusiasm for the rewards of the plan.
  • These activities are a necessary part of the action to get people into the program enthusiastically, and they must not be short-cut.

When should you commence the incentive program?

 There is no doubt that an incentive program must be carefully timed. Unless that occurs, incentives can work against you and ‘anytime’ can be extremely harmful.

 Many otherwise sound incentive schemes founder only on that one aspect of timing. Timing is the segment of the total program you have most control over.

 You need to consider the needs of all the participants before an attempt is made to submit the ‘best’ time.

 Also, you need to make sure that your own house is in order and be certain that you can supply your products and services at the planned time.

 Too often, an incentive period is chosen and elementary, important activities are overlooked. Public holidays, machinery maintenance periods and staff leave are all potential, but identifiable, interruptions to the flow of goods and services that are the subject of your incentive program.

 The loss of credibility, caused by these oversights, can be irretrievable, the cost in expenses high, and both your planning and ambitions frustrated.




Next article: Measure & review your Sales Incentive Program



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How to motivate people in an Incentive Program

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