Incentivise your sales-team effectively

Do you think it’s easy to reward a sales force appropriately? It’s not! The reason is that every person in sales has different priorities based on his/her age, lifestyle, etc. A 28-year old salesperson has different priorities from a 45-year old. A single childless person will require other rewards to a family person that may be looking to fund school costs, etc.
Therefore, one of the arts of running successfully a sales-oriented business is to find appropriate ways to incentivise your front-line force.
Let’s discuss some incentive ideas:
Titles and status: For some men and women, whether they were called ‘sales managers’ or ‘senior sales managers’ or ‘sales directors’ has no great impact. For others, title and status is very important. Generally, titles don’t really cost a company, as long as they are based on sensational performance.
Cash: Without any doubt, cash is always welcome. However, it doesn’t lead to lasting memories about the company or performance goals achieved. Cash in tough economic times can be beneficial and no one complains about getting extra money. Cash incentives should be clearly related to the result and effort required in a fair manner.
Travels: Travel is a great incentive. It can give people a timeout from the demands of their everyday routine, families, etc. and time for themselves. The challenge with travel and trip incentives is to find the right destinations. Most people like countries/cities where they can shop, eat and relax! Undoubtedly, men and women have quite different ideas about travel destinations.
Gifts: Incentive items are too tricky to purchase, as each person will either like or dislike the item. Gift certificates work better (i.e. restaurant tickets, gift-cheques, etc.) but make sure there is flexibility in what they can be used for.  
Recognition: The incentive that seems to work for every person is recognition for goals achieved and work well done. To do this, there are numerous cost-effective ways: an e-newsletter, the company magazine, a conference or event. The truth is that recognition is welcomed even by those who say they just want to earn more money. Everyone likes to be recognised in front of their peers.
Thank you. The least costly and most overlooked incentive is the simple thank you. A hand-written note (more personal than the email), simply saying well done and thank you!
To summarize, it’s essential to know your sales people, understand their needs, lifestyle and desires. In this way will you be in a position to effectively incentivise your team and motivate them to achieve their (and your) goals.

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