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As economy stalls, incentive programs provide boost to companies

Sales incentive programs are cost-effective ways to grow businesses out of any downturn.

Retailers were able to beat expectations in April, but concerns still remain about the strength of the U.S. economy.

Reuters reports that retail sales were up 0.1 percent in April as consumers took advantage of decreasing fuel prices. Economists  expected to see a 0.3 percent decline in sales as the effects of the increased payroll tax took hold. However, a separate article by Reuters notes that there are also significant headwinds facing the economy.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank announced that factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region fell to minus 5.2 during May. Negative readings indicate a contraction of activity. The decline in manufacturing is evident in the decrease in confidence among business leaders.

"We are not rebounding from the recent swoon," said Jacob Oubina, an economist at RBC Capital Markets. "We are just muddling along."

During periods of uncertainty, many organizations attempt to cut costs and improve efficiency to strengthen their positions in the market. However, sales incentive programs are cost-effective ways to grow businesses out of any downturn. By energizing salespeople to work harder at converting potential leads, companies can increase their revenue and expand their market share.

Benefits of reward programs
The benefits of employee incentive programs go well beyond boosting sales. The initiatives can be used to engage workers in all departments, motivating them to provide better services to new and existing clients. This increases customer loyalty, helping to drive repeat sales. Reward programs are also useful in minimizing staff turnover, which helps boost productivity.

Sales incentives deliver these benefits with minimal costs. Effective programs can be established using an amount equal to just 1 percent of total payroll. The success of the programs depends on communication, rather than high-value rewards. Recognizing top performers and showing appreciation for their efforts is the best way to engage staff and meet performance objectives.

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