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Improve sales team performance with incentive programs

Many organizations struggle with maximizing sales team performance, but a well-designed sales incentive program can help deliver results.

A high performing sales team generates more than just additional revenue. The business they bring in gives other departments an opportunity to perform well and exceed expectations, creating a strong corporate culture that boosts customer loyalty.

Many organizations struggle with maximizing their sales teams' performance, and a well-designed sales incentive program can help deliver results. Incentive programs motivate sales staff to attract new business and close deals, but there are a number of challenges that companies need to overcome when implementing these initiatives.

One important factor that businesses often fail to consider when developing these programs is exactly what will be measured. In his sales management blog, Anthony Cole points out that the activity that is tracked will be determine future results. Typical metrics include retained accounts, customer service scores, new business sales and business growth, but Cole notes that daily sales activity can be a leading indicator of what will show up in the pipeline. Monitoring calls, appointments, presentations, networking opportunities and other factors can encourage sales staff to aggressively pursue new opportunities to connect with potential clients.

Recognition programs help define values
Employee recognition is a simple way to stress the importance of doing some legwork in the sales process. Sales professionals who are actively cultivating new prospects through networking opportunities are likely to have an easier time meeting quarterly sales goals. Recognizing the extra effort of these staff members could motivate others to follow the same successful practices.

This example aligns with long-term goals of companies by encouraging sales staff to become actively involved in the market. Business 2 Community states that all sales incentive programs should coincide with overarching strategies to ensure continued success. One element that can influence both short-term and long-term goals is the coordination between sales and other departments. Marketing material may not be targeted enough to deliver highly-qualified leads, or services may drop off after sales hands the client to customer relationship management groups.

Fortunately, team-based incentive programs are useful tools for improving communication and coordination throughout an organization. Pushing all employees to work toward common goals encourages them to develop effective practices for sharing information and providing a consistent level of service. Recognition programs help companies build a culture that is committed to exceeding customer expectations at every stage. By acknowledging worker commitment, businesses can ensure that every employee is dedicated to delivering outstanding service to potential and existing clients.

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