How to Design a Sales Incentive Plan

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Designing a sales incentive plan can be challenging, but the key lies in finding incentives that motivate employees. Attractive rewards form the heart of any sales incentive plan. You may wish to include different incentive levels for maintaining good sales habits, hitting individual goals, and reaching team targets. Your plan should also include the use of technology to streamline the awarding of incentives. A well-crafted sales incentive plan can boost your company’s profitability and productivity exponentially.

What Is a Sales Incentive Plan?

Sales incentive plans are an effective way of motivating and rewarding your sales team for achieving their goals. Under this type of plan, when your team reaches or exceeds their collective or individual goals, they receive a reward. You can use sales incentive plans on top of standard compensation or commission plans. Incentives may include both financial and non-financial rewards.

How Can Incentives Help Increase Sales? 

Incentives help increase sales by:

  • Motivating your staff to try harder to hit and exceed their sales targets. 
  • Boosting the productivity of your teams. 
  • Retaining more skilled team members with your company so you won’t lose them to your competitors.
  • Attracting experienced salespeople to your team. 

What Are the Challenges Involved in Building a Good Sales Incentive Plan? 

Although putting an effective sales incentive plan in place is highly beneficial, creating one isn’t always easy. First, incentives must be motivating enough to drive team members’ actions, but they can’t be so valuable that they threaten the profitability for your business. A more costly reward will obviously provide a bigger motivation for employees, but it might also negate the financial benefit for your company.

Furthermore, a sales incentive plan must have attainable targets for everyone to encourage workers to try harder. If one salesperson or team always comes out on top, that serves only to discourage other employees. You must design a plan that enables every team member to succeed to avoid frustration and alienation. 

Finally, the incentives plan must include incentives that appeal to the entire workforce, no matter how diverse their demographics. Choosing an equally appealing incentive for every team member is a significant challenge. 

Steps to Building a Sales Incentive Program

To overcome these challenges and create a good sales incentive plan, start by following these steps:

1. Motivate the Right Selling Behaviors. The first step to creating a good sales incentive plan is to motivate the right selling behaviors. It’s important to reward not only closed deals and revenue brought in, but also the activities that build good habits for future sales success. This also has the added benefit of giving even inexperienced salespeople achievable targets to earn incentives. That way, you can encourage every tier of your workforce. 

READ MORE: Nurture High Performance With B2B Sales Incentives for These 11 Key Activities

2. Find the Right Incentives. It couldn’t be more critical to ensure your incentives are appealing to a wide range of people. Your sales team almost certainly consists of a diverse range of people from different age groups and with different interests and preferences. That’s why gift cards are an ideal solution. They are available in a wide range of values and cover an enormous breadth of brands, product categories, and interests. 

3. Make Incentives Simple and Transparent. Once you’ve chosen your rewards, the next step is to ensure your program is easy for everyone to understand. If the incentive plan for your company is too complex, you won’t motivate your team. Salespeople need to know what they have to achieve to receive their reward, whether that’s hitting a certain target or collecting a certain number of points. Outline your incentives plan clearly and ensure that each team member understands the goals they must meet. 

4. Use the Latest Technology. It can be time-consuming to run a sales incentive plan. Using a rewards management platform like BHN Rewards is the perfect way to save time and improve accuracy. The BHN Rewards platform allows you to run multiple incentive programs simultaneously. It also integrates seamlessly with the existing software and platforms you already use in your business. With BHN Rewards’ cutting-edge technology, you can track every transaction and even get refunded for unused rewards. It’s never been easier to design, implement, and manage the most effective sales incentive plan.

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