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Building an effective incentive program

Companies that use merchandise may see greater benefits than firms that rely solely on cash rewards.

A company that is struggling to bring in new clients or increase sales may consider using an incentive program to provide a boost to its sales team, but not every program will achieve the same results.

The goal of an effective sales program should be to improve the performance of all individuals belonging to a team, the Denver Business Journal reported. The source notes that companies can see a strong benefit when they provide coaching, training and direction to underperforming team members. Building an incentive program based around individual performance is an easy way to accomplish this, but it is also important to ensure the team continues to work as a cohesive unit. To accomplish this, various program goals may need to be set.

Once the benchmarks are established, specific employee rewards need to be provided to motivate staff. These rewards need to be something the employees identify with. Companies that use merchandise may see greater benefits than firms that rely solely on cash rewards. The lingering positive effect of a new television, handbag or tablet makes workers more willing to buy into new incentive programs, increasing their energy and productivity.

Assigning points toward rewards

A program that relies on merchandise rewards needs to be balanced so that the initiative is still cost effective to the company. The use of a point system can accomplish this by providing a simple way for the organization to track progress and give continual reinforcement. Rather than one or two large rewards, a small number of points are assigned for closing a large sale, helping another team member or meeting a specific benchmark. This way, the entire team stays motivated to work toward the merchandise of each member's choosing, increasing the value of the program to the company. The points ensure that even new or struggling team members have a chance to be recognized for their hard work, not just the top earners.

Tracking these points is easy when businesses outsource incentive program hosting to a company like Xceleration. As an incentive program specialist, Xceleration can help firms customize platforms  to meet their specific objectives. This includes providing an array of reward options so employees can select the rewards that are right for them. Businesses maintain control of the overall objectives of their programs, but are saved the time and money of building the monitoring process.

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