Are you planning a return to the traditional President’s Club sales incentive program this year? We recently sponsored a webinar with Sales Hacker and kicked off the event by polling the audience with this question. Among our attendees, 51% said they’re uncertain, 33% said no, and only 16% said yes.
Clearly, there’s still uncertainty around the future of President’s Club or similar sales incentive program designs. Further, sales organizations are trying to figure out how to offer other sales incentives and rewards that keep teams motivated and crushing quota.
To help provide you with a solid foothold, we brought together a panel of experts to offer incentive strategies they’ve personally overseen and implemented at their offices. Our speakers included:
- Scott Barker, Head of Strategic Engagement at Outreach
- David Stevens, Director of Global Events and Field Marketing at Alation
- Hillary Halleck, HR Director at Red River
- Graham Miller, Global Head of Sales Engagement at Qualtrics
Watch the full recording, and then continue on to get actionable takeaways for your own President’s Club and sales incentives strategies moving forward.
How are your sales incentive program strategies adapting?
Many of us thought the move to remote work was temporary, and that we’d be back in the office by late summer or early fall 2020. Then the reality sank in that we had to get used to our new world and build new habits for success.
For companies, there also came the realization that their sales incentives and President’s Club strategies also needed to change. Here’s what our panelists did and will continue to do into the future.
Motivate your sales team with sales incentives.
Motivation is key, especially with distributed and remote sales teams working to recreate and sustain high energy levels that they used to know in the office. Sales incentive programs and SPIFFs are huge motivating tools that you can use to keep your reps moving toward their quotas.
For Graham at Qualtrics, the key to success with these programs is over-communication. He created a highly visible website where his reps can go to access every detail related to any incentive of SPIFF program they’re running, like:
- Who’s in the lead
- What the clarifying rules are
- The prizes they can win
- Winners from previous quarters
Having a centralized hub for your President's Club or sales incentive program is only half the picture though. You have to drive to it as often as you can. Use Slack, Google Chat, emails, team meetings, all-company meetings, and any other touchpoints to send reps to this page.
Similarly, Hillary and Red River made a move to an online hub hosted on their company intranet. They posted stats for the entirety of the sales team, which everyone on any team could see when they logged on.
As they announced new wins on the page, other employees could log in, see what was happening, celebrate together, and keep the hype train moving. These solutions are built around fun, which both Hillary and Graham would agree is key to success:
“Make things hyper-visible, over-communicate about them, have fun, and be happy about this. Make sure this is a positive thing. People respond well to positivity.”—Graham Miller, Global Head of Sales Engagement at Qualtrics
Personalize your sales incentive program.
A good leader asks for their team’s opinion, genuinely listens, and develops a plan of action that takes into account their unique perspectives. Since your reps are the ones who will ultimately win the rewards or attend a President’s Club incentive trip, don’t shy away from the opportunity to ask what they want.
For example, Dave and the team at Alation personally surveyed their reps and asked them one on one what they wanted their President’s Club sales incentive to be. He didn’t want the generic responses from a mass survey. He wanted real feelings and emotions.
“I talked with one person who said, ‘You couldn’t pay me to get on a plane’ and I talked with someone else who said, ‘Get me out of the office.’ The game has forever changed. We have to be more cognizant that different things matter to different people. The way we retain people is by giving them options.”—David Stevens, Director of Global Events and Field Marketing at Alation
That sentiment of flexibility is top-of-mind for Graham and Qualtrics as well. Reps have had to adapt their work routines while still hitting quota. As he says, the least a company can do for their employees is share that same empathy of flexibility.
It’s crucial when it comes to sales incentive programs and President’s Club, especially as you consider the different levels of comfortability employees have with public gatherings or group trips. Let your reps know that you’re willing to work with them to provide options that fit their situation.
“It’s not uncommon that reps reach out and ask if they can do something else. Approach that question with kindness. Your answer should always be yes. It doesn’t take away from the value of the incentive to show flexibility to your employees here.”—Graham Miller, Global Head of Sales Engagement at Qualtrics
Be gracious and meet your reps halfway—personalization is power. The last thing you want is for your employees to feel that you won’t budge with a “too bad for you” attitude.
Give the gift of quality time outside of work.
The standard for how rewards and sales incentive trips have worked in the past has remained pretty much the same until last year. These were physical events where you meet and collaborate, and that formula was largely unquestioned.
It was similar to our experiences working in-office. We had a routine, we were used to it, and we didn’t expect it to change. Now, we’ve been forced to take an honest, realistic look at both of these in our post-COVID world:
- Will they still work?
- Can we have meaningful interactions in a remote environment?
- Can we reward people meaningfully from home?
The key for Qualtrics has been to incentivize and reward their top sales partner and reps with experiential rewards. It gives them an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones doing something special. They tell their employees: “Go spend time with your family because you spent time with us making us successful. You go be successful with your family.”
“The more a company can give an employee quality time in their life and quality experiences away from home, the more that employee benefits. The more the company benefits as well. It builds a healthy company culture.”—Graham Miller, Global Head of Sales Engagement at Qualtrics
Your reps could all use a little time away from work, especially since their offices are their homes. The ability to break away from that and spend time with their loved ones, doing something exciting and new, has never been more important.
What will your President’s Club strategic incentive programs look like?
During the webinar, our moderator Scott brought up a quote from one of the world’s leading disaster avoidance experts:
“A lot of people are treating COVID-19 like a flooded city where everything is underwater. Many are preparing for the water to leave, but that’s not what will happen. The people who are successful in a post-COVID era realize they’re living in a city that’s underwater, not the ones preparing for the water to go away.”
As our panelists confirmed, there’s no denying that the sales incentives and President’s Club landscape has changed forever. And it’s not going back to what it was before the pandemic.
That doesn’t mean you can’t offer meaningful sales incentive programs and President’s Club options for your employees. Instead, it requires that you think outside the box and adapt your incentive strategies to fit a post-COVID world. If you’d like to hear how Blueboard can help, request a demo today.