For Sales Managers, the Best Incentives May Not Always be Money

If you are in sales or manage a sales team, you know that incentives are the key to getting the desired behavior you want. Of course, the main incentive is usually going to be a nice commissions check.

For Sales Managers, the Best Incentives May Not Always be Money

You may not be aware of how important non-cash rewards can be, however.

We conducted a survey of our SAP Commissions users last year and found that the use of non-cash rewards was fairly widespread: about 83% use some form or another. “Perks” of some kind were the most common award at 21%, followed by the old standby “gift cards” at 20%, and then “trips” at 13%.

These non-cash rewards are used because they generally work. In a study from the University of Zurich, researchers found that workers gave an average of 5.2% more effort for a cash bonus. Those same employees worked 24.8% harder for a non-cash reward.

Why is this the case? There are deep psychological motivators to winning a “prize,” including competition among peers, public recognition, and status. Of course, no one would support only getting a non-cash reward, it has to be a complement to the regular commissions money that pays the bills.

From a sales manager’s perspective, it has other side benefits including creating loyalty-- recognition always does that! If it is aligned with a company core value, let’s say donating to a charity, it can also help create warm feelings toward your firm, and help prevent employee churn.

To create an effective awards program that complements your regular sales compensation plan, you need the right tooling as well. In most cases, you need either a points system, or an award triggered by meeting some type of sales goal.

Setting this up through commissions rules is going to be the best way to create a scalable and repeatable program, that can be easily tracked. Creating it through SAP Commissions also allows you to perform analytics to find out how effective the programs are and if they need to be adjusted.

With the right tools and the right frame of mind, you are on the road to setting up your non-cash reward program.

For a more detailed look, see our eBook on - 

Driving Sales Behavior with Non-Cash Rewards

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By Jennifer Kling | July 27th, 2018 | Commissions

About the Author: Jennifer Kling

Jennifer Kling

Jennifer Kling is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at CallidusCloud with over 16 years experience in sales and marketing roles in the high-tech industry. As a product marketer, she is responsible for applying market research to product messaging. She loves a good debate - whether it is over the most effective sales incentives or the Oxford comma.