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Using rewards to drive sales performance

With the right training and sales incentive programs businesses can dramatically improve revenue by building a more effective sales staff.

Salespeople are often self-motivated individuals who work best with little oversight. However, this doesn’t mean there is nothing that companies can do to increase their ability to complete sales. With the right training and sales incentive programs, businesses can dramatically improve revenue by building a more effective sales staff.

Smart Data Collective notes that tracking performance can improve sales continuously. Just as companies are using data analysis to identify weak spots in the market, these tools can also be used to discover which skills are lacking on an individual or team basis. Benchmarks and performance goals can help individuals work toward improving their personal weaknesses without compromising their strengths. Successful incentive programs will build on the skills already present in employees allowing them to become more efficient or more successful at their job.

Building a competitive environment
One trend increasingly being incorporated into sales incentive programs is gamification. These initiatives use competition to drive performance. Team members’ performance is compared and ranked accordingly. Top earners may be rewarded, while those at the bottom receive motivation to improve and move up the ranks. However, with this strategy companies need to be careful to avoid an environment that is too competitive. This can increase stress among the staff members, reducing their productivity and increasing employee turnover. Additionally, poor performers may be discouraged by their inability to move up the ranks and simply stop trying to improve.

A better strategy is to create alternative rewards within the initiative. These could range from recognizing employees that were the most helpful to other team members or acknowledging when a salesman passes a certain benchmark. This can keep all employees motivated and working hard toward individual goals while encouraging the competitive atmosphere that can boost sales.

Rewards are key to motivating workers
Regardless of how the sales incentive program is set up, companies need to carefully consider the rewards that are being provided. Most managers believe that big, expensive rewards are always necessary to energize employees and increase performance. However, small rewards can be just as effective if used appropriately. A large number of small rewards spread throughout the course of the program can keep workers motivated, while keeping costs under control. Recognizing early leaders rewards their performance and encourages others to try harder, as they feel that there is still a chance they may earn an award.

The rewards that are provided should be something that is useful or personal to the recipient. Allowing employees to select from a range of merchandise is a good way to guarantee that everyone in the department is working toward something they desire.

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