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Make Your Business Incentive Reward Programs Work For You

Do your previous business incentive programs tend to come up short, disappointing both you and your salespeople?

The well-known “carrot and stick approach” burns within everyone, and is seen to be the root of all human behavior. In the business world, it can often keep employees motivated and driven. In order to increase motivational value in specific products or services, many manufacturers and distributors choose to use this tactic with their channel partners.

This technique has remained popular over the years because of the high success rate it has. Occasionally, however, it can fail to provide positive results. This is generally seen when several crucial elements are improperly enforced. As a result, companies tend to see sales incentive programs under performing or failing completely. 

Although it is natural to assume monetary rewards will improve motivation among salespeople, they are not the critical factor for success. Loyaltyworks, a member of the ISI group of Companies, provides business incentive programs, customer loyalty programs, and employee recognition programs. Each of these incentive programs gives employees the opportunity not only to receive recognition, but to enjoy the rewards as well. It is crucial for businesses and corporations to take advantage of the incentive programs, like those provided by Loyaltyworks, in order to increase motivation and satisfaction among employees.

It is rare to find two employees that are motivated in the exact same manner. This is the reason many incentive programs or reward programs are not successful. So how can businesses make sure their incentive plans will work? There are several factors that should be addressed before finalizing company incentive programs.

It can generally be assumed that some employees will never be satisfied or intrigued by incentives or rewards. The top 20%, a small portion of the sales force, are typically self-motivators who will always end up on top, regardless of any type of incentive. The bottom 20% of the sales team will always be on bottom. The best solution to drive incremental sales is for companies to strategize an incentive plan that will motivate the middle 40-60% of their sales force. If this proves successful, the improved performance of this group will then mimic that of the self-motivators.

Keep the plan simple. Have you ever received either an email or a letter in the mail informing you that you have just won an elaborate prize, or a large sum of money? Upon the first glace, it sounds ideal. However, we are all aware by now that these offers are essentially too good to be true. In the very fine print, usually located at the bottom of the letter, it very carefully explains all the rules and regulations you have to follow in order to receive your prize. Because this is so complicated, the majority of receivers will not bother to participate. A similar result can occur when businesses fail to keep their company incentive programs and reward programs simple. When too many steps are required to achieve rewards, employees will naturally lose interest and the opportunity to improve motivation dissipates. Companies can easily prevent this by creating their incentive reward programs to be simple and attainable. This being understood, what should an incentive program include to be successful?

In order for sales representatives to promptly sell reward and recognition programs, it is essential they understand both their value as well as how to properly promote them. It is common for good incentive programs to be brushed aside, simply because they were improperly marketed and managed.

As every successful company incentive program planner knows, competition can always be lurking just around the corner, waiting to pounce. Because it is impossible to predict when this will happen, it is imperative for executives to take the proper steps to ensure their incentives programs are never given a second thought. By appearing entirely prepared will help to improve interest, and drives any focus away from competing programs.

Imagine if your parents made you wait around for your reward after working hard to complete the list of chores they gave to you. You would probably remember this next time, and have less motivation to finish all of the listed tasks. Similar to this, reward incentive programs only seem appealing if the reward is immediate. It is essentially a rule of human behavior that if a reward is presented in a timely manner, greater enthusiasm will follow.

Occasionally, it may take more personal recognition in the work place to motivate employees. On paper, material and monetary rewards seem like more than enough to satisfy sales teams. However, the key to successful motivation might simply be a bit of recognition among their peers. A general rule to remember is that there cannot be TOO much recognition and appreciation.