Do Sales Incentives Work?

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Sales incentives programs have seen a lot of upheaval since the start of the pandemic, when the traditional incentive trips became impossible. The question remains, though, if it’s a worthwhile investment for companies to revamp such programs. A study from the Incentive Research Foundation shows it is, stating that a correctly built incentive program can boost performance by as much as 44%. Of course, the key words are “correctly built.” For sales incentives to offer maximum benefits, they must form part of a well-thought-out program — and that often doesn’t include team trips anymore. If companies research and deliver the right incentives in the right way, however, they can certainly see increased sales.

Why Are Sales Incentives Needed?

In the modern world, increasing sales can be a struggle. The statistics show just how hard engagement can be. For instance, recipients only open 23.9% of sales emails. Not only that, but on average, it takes 18 phone calls to connect with a buyer. That means it takes a lot of time and effort for a sales rep to even get in touch with a prospect, which can be very discouraging. The increased use of digital channels today only adds to the problem’s complexity, requiring engagement with prospects across multiple channels to close deals.

These difficulties make it important to motivate your sales team and prevent high staff turnover. By offering sales incentives, you not only show employees that their efforts are recognized and appreciated, you also boost the bottom line for the company.

READ MORE: Using Incentives to Boost Sales? Don’t Forget These 3 Non-Sales Teams

When Should Sales Reps Receive Incentives?

Most sales incentives programs reward employees after they close a deal or based on their revenue numbers. But this traditional approach can actually work against your team’s success.

Daily habits are essential for successful sales, and consistency is key to short sales cycles. Therefore, rewarding the completion of certain sales tasks makes sense. It can boost sales by up to 9% when compared with incentives offered only for sales results. Giving incentives to reward weekly or daily activities keeps teams engaged, productive, and connected. They’re especially useful for remote sales teams who often feel disengaged and overlooked. By rewarding a range of activities and achievements, along with closed deals, it’s possible to keep every team member motivated.

Which Activities Should Be Rewarded With Incentives?

By setting targets for your sales team based on their day-to-day actions, you help nurture good sales habits. To make it even more interesting, look for fun ways add gamification as an extra motivation to reach their goals. Some of the activity-based key performance indicators (KPIs) to reward include:

  • The number of sales calls made overall
  • The length of time spent on calls
  • The number of demonstrations given
  • The number of outbound leads added to the sales pipeline
  • The highest CRM (customer relationship management) usage
  • The completeness of CRM records
  • The number of client case studies executed
  • The accuracy of sales forecasts
  • The highest satisfaction ratings from new customers
  • The number of new proposals written
  • The number of referrals received

These are just a handful of the things that companies may wish to offer incentives for. All can help to boost productivity and increase employee satisfaction overall.

What Kind of Sales Incentives Are Most Effective?

Sales incentives can be effective only if business leaders choose the right rewards. Sales representatives won’t pull out all the stops unless they’re excited about the possibility of receiving the incentive. However, finding one reward that suits everyone can be a challenge. That’s where digital rewards come in.

Digital rewards are easy to send, receive, and use. Even better, they offer instant gratification for the recipient since they can be claimed instantly. And they’re effective: Ninety percent of top-performing companies use non-cash recognition and rewards such as gift cards as sales incentives.

With a digital reward, recipients have the freedom to choose what they want. There are countless options, including brand-specific gift cards, prepaid cards like Mastercard or Visa, and even e-donations.

An employee points rewards program is another excellent option. By giving sales reps points for achieving different goals or completing activities, companies keep them engaged long term. When they earn enough points, employees can exchange their points for a reward of their own choice. It’s an effective, ongoing way to motivate the whole workforce. A points program can also foster a healthy sense of competition between workers, which leads to even greater productivity. 

BHN Rewards offers a range of sales incentive options, both as instant rewards or as part of a points program. To discover more, get in touch today.

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