Sales incentive programs centered at rewarding high performance employees are crucial to the achievement of business goals set by the executives of any organization. Sales people are right at the interface of the organization and its customers. The importance of such a position cannot be emphasized enough. For the achievement of the organizational goals, there are certain kinds of behavioral traits required in the sales employees; the inculcation of which is largely dependent on how sound your sales incentive program is. When employees have an attractive outcome to look forward to, their efforts are much more focused.
While crafting a sales incentive program, it is essential to keep a few important considerations in mind so that the program better complements the goals and objectives of the company, both long term and short term. Three such things to consider have been described below.
1. The Program Is Balanced and Consistent
Sales incentive programs should aptly balance the goals and objectives of the organization with those of the employees, so that there is harmony in what the employees are working for and what the organization wishes to achieve. Although the outcome that both entities look forward to extract from the program is different, there has to be a consistency in the communication of goals and the way to go about it. Your sales incentive program must ring true and relevant with your employees. Being able to connect at some level with the program is instrumental for better performance of employees.
2. Definition of Incentive
Incentive is different for employees of different calibers. For some, monetary incentive is all that’s needed to have them work better. While for others, being made to work on even more challenging goals comes off as an acknowledgment of their capability, which they regard as an incentive. Although it’s understandable that monetary incentives are the most attractive in short term, what the program must also consider is the future insights regarding which employee works better with what kind of tasks. Identifying employees’ competitive edges would enable the organization to better craft a suitable incentive program. One way to do this is to have clarity in how you define job roles so that the employees know what they are in for. Your incentive program should run consistent with those roles.
3. Single or Group Incentive
Sales incentive programs must also take into consideration the suitability of both individual incentives and group incentives. Group based incentives have a chance of being exploited by employees who have a tendency to slack and hide behind the high performers, especially when each does the same kind of work. Therefore, for employees that work interdependently, it is important that the program identifies more closely the performance of each group/team member so that incentives can be given accordingly. Moreover, single or individual incentives are better when the employees are working independently, without the input of any other member. It gives more clarity and keeps the incentive provision fair, in accordance with performance.
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