Idea Box

By Malcolm Fleschner

Sales managers have plenty of extra time to think up new, creative reward programs for their salespeople. Sales managers living in some parallel universe, maybe. For time-strapped managers here on planet Earth, author Skip Miller has already done some of the difficult thought work. In Proactive Sales Management (AMACOM, 2001), Miller offers the following ideas to take some of the monotony out of your reward program.

1. Rank And Smile
To encourage executive-level penetration, offer a prize to the sales rep who makes the most in-person calls to customers with the title of VP or above.

2. Listin’ Up
Want your salespeople to win more profitable deals? Then reward the rep who closes the most sales at list price in a 60-day period.

3. Grin & Merit
Conduct monthly ceremonies where you give out merit badges or token awards (letterman jackets, plaques, etc.) to the rep with the most qualified prospects in the “A” funnel.

4. Tele Like It Is
For telemarketing reps, offer weekly rewards for the most calls made, contacts reached and a “Jerk-of-the-week” award to the rep with the best story about an unpleasant prospect.

5. Wand-erful Award
As sales manager, you wield a great deal of power. Use that power to dole out a “Magic Wand Award” for the best deal closed by one of your reps each week.

6. Duly Noted
Your messages to the sales force provide an excellent opportunity to build team unity. Try delivering weekly notes announcing upcoming events and new customers on stationery you personalize with the team’s own unique logo.

7. Horse Before The Chart
To keep everyone both informed and interested, produce a monthly chart indicating where everyone ranks and post it in a common area for all to see.