Sales Recognition

Creative Sales Incentive Programs to Fuel Revenue Growth

More than ever, organizations are looking for ways to drive their revenue teams and fuel growth. And if you’re looking to get a little extra from your revenue team, then examining your sales incentives program is a great place to start. 

An effective sales incentive program is not just the fuel to drive your revenue team, but a powerful octane boost to create a number of favorable outcomes. Although the primary objective of a sales incentive is almost always a more motivated team, a well executed program has an additional positive impact on culture, engagement, and rep retention.  

On 7/21, our very own Kevin Yip, Co-founder and COO at Blueboard, hosted a roundtable discussion with Graham Miller, Global Head of Sales Competitions at Qualtrics, Brandon Bussey, Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Lucid, and Greg McBeth, Strategy & Go-To-Market Advisor at G2M, around how to design your very own kick-a sales incentive program (with bonus tips for how to keep your sales team productive and motivated to crush their revenue goals).

Check out our recap of key takeaways and inspirations, and watch the full recording below:

What makes a great Sales Incentive program?

Many of the conversations happening right now concerning sales incentives revolve around how incentive reward structures are going to change during and post-COVID-19. The two topics that are being addressed right now is “Which behaviors are you going to incentivize?” and “How are you going to incentivize those behaviors?” 

From a poll of our webinar attendees, 60% reported incentivizing quota attainment measures, 33% focus on timeline-based incentives, and just 5% incentivized for conversion installs. This illustrates that the behaviors that are most important to sales leaders are ones that are going to help bring revenue - even if it’s an adjusted amount - to the table right now. So, if you are going to attempt to incentivize performance around quota goals, which carrot are you going to use to drive the activities and behaviors you need to make it happen?

Kevin tackled this subject by noting that there are two qualities that go into any great reward, incentive, or recognition program: they need to be memorable and marketable. 

1) Sales Incentives need to be marketable.

From strictly a programmatic perspective, your incentives need to be marketable. What that means is that when you roll out the program, you’re creating excitement and enthusiasm amongst the group it is intended for. An easy way to create a marketable incentive structure is to use rewards that empower personal choice and encourage organic buzz.

The choice aspect is an incredibly effective aspect of a marketable incentive program. Empowering people to choose something that is personally motivating to them will create authentic enthusiasm among your reps. At Blueboard, our rewards platform empowers your sales team to choose rewards that are personally exciting to them. Reps that receive a Blueboard reward are sent to a menu where they choose an experience that is personalized to their preferences, comfort levels, and interests. Maybe they’ve been dying for a Peloton bike, want to reconnect with family and would love a DIY backyard greenhouse experience, or are craving some adventure and want to hit the road in an RV to explore some national parks. Just giving a rep the option for an experience as a reward expands their typical options of mundane gift cards or cash inducements. Rigid, tired reward options are not going to cut it when it comes to incentives during and post-COVID. 

2) Sales Incentives need to be memorable.

The next piece of a great sales incentive program is that the reps actually remember the reward.

If the reward is not traceable to the sales competition or your company, there is no point. A year or two years out, will the rep remember the reward they received? That is always something we are thinking about at Blueboard and that is why we exclusively reward top reps with experiences. With an experience, you actually see a collision between the organic buzz of a marketable program and a memorable reward.

Experiences are inherently shareable. You get to invite your loved ones for some much-needed quality time (or indulge solo), create awesome memories that you’ll talk about for years to come, and share out pictures with the world (expanding your company’s cool factor across a qualified network of their peers). Getting to share about a reward is what makes an incentive memorable - the recall value is a vital piece of any effective incentive program. 

Why it matters to invest in sales incentives right now.

As the panelists discussed what behaviors to target and how to incentivize these behaviors, one recurring theme was the importance of incentivizing your teams right now. Throughout the roundtable discussion, three main reasons were identified for why the implementation of an effective sales incentive program was more pertinent now than ever:

1) Sales reps are craving culture.

Reps want a culture in their sales organization that feels like the management and the organization is invested in them as people.

Additionally, reps are feeling much more distant and disconnected from their teams with the shift to a remote work environment. The celebrations, camaraderie, and encouragement have all taken different forms but the need to feel invested in and acknowledged has not.

Your sales incentives become a part of your sales culture because how you celebrate your team's biggest wins and successes are a direct reflection of how much you value your team. Partnering with a company like Blueboard can help your organization leverage an experiential incentive program that connects your team and reinforces a more positive internal culture. 

2) Quota attainment is paramount.

As mentioned earlier, sales leaders are moving directly towards quota attainment because closed/won revenue is ultimately what’s helping to maintain operations during this time.

And when it comes to quota attainment, this is a short term goal - a specific push to bring in revenue. Especially effective with these initiatives is an incentive program that provides a clear, attainable “carrot.” And like we mentioned earlier, for a carrot to be effective it has to be marketable and memorable

Blueboard’s sales incentive offering can have a direct impact right now on the bottom line of your revenue team, by offering bucket list experiences that your reps can’t wait to earn.

3) You need to retain your top talent.

The past few months have been some of the more turbulent and stressful stretches in recent memory for sales reps. The wear and tear has been compounded by the external stressors that COVID-19 has introduced in their personal lives.

So when it comes to recognizing your team for their vital contributions and successes, now is not the time to skimp. Unfortunately, sales leaders don’t have time to find the perfect incentives for their employees. As a result, they often give the quickest (and most generic) options available - cash, electronics or gift cards.

When managers promote such generic incentives, they’re missing the opportunity to demonstrate the value they have for their reps. Blueboard can ensure that your reps get to choose the reward that is most unique and personally exciting to them. Going the extra mile now to make sure your reps feel appreciated will pay dividends towards improving retention rates (95% of Blueboard recipients agree experiences are a great tool for retaining top talent, see more research online here). 

At Blueboard, we've crafted a sales incentive offering that delivers on all of these core goals. We empower employees to choose from a spectrum of experiences for themselves, depending on their unique needs, interests and comfort levels. This can take the form of a relaxing spa day at a luxury resort in Jackson Hole or a learning to play the guitar from the comfort of home - bucket list experiences that they wouldn't have otherwise invested in on their own. These rewards are personalized and planned from start to finish by our incredible Concierge Team, creating little to no administrative overhead for you. 

Looking for new ways to motivate your sales reps towards growing revenue goals? Learn more about our President's Club offering, sales incentives offerings, and connect with our team to discuss your program goals online here.

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