Bush (League) Administration

By Malcolm Fleschner

Does this sound familiar? You take time to create a well-planned incentive program with the perfect rewards, challenging but achievable targets and a supercharged communication strategy – and then the whole program winds up being derailed by administrative snafus. Salespeople don’t receive reports in a timely manner, the reports they do receive are riddled with errors and prizes are awarded at a snail’s pace. The result? Your best intentions turn into a discredited, demotivational program.

So why does this happen? According to Steve Damerow, president of Incentive Solutions, it’s because too many sales organizations try to run their sales contests on the cheap, handing over responsibility for administration to staff members who don’t have the proper training, resources or time to handle the job.

“Tracking program results, communicating results and distributing rewards usually is left to secretaries who have had these tasks delegated to them – and from there the program goes nowhere,” he says. “That person has no experience, doesn’t want to do it and has too many other things on his or her plate. Plus, as salespeople turn over, the databases need to be updated and an inexperienced administrator simply won’t know how to do that. That’s why many programs wind up being so unsuccessful.”

But there is an alternative. Simply unload all these administrative tasks onto a company like Incentive Solutions, an independent organization that specializes in handling just such tasks. And, says Damerow, not only will incentive companies handle program communications and keep track of data, but they’ll also systematize your incentive strategy across the entire enterprise.

“We create a system and put it on a Website so customers can pull it up on a real-time basis to look at anything they want,” he says. “We also do it from a bird’s-eye level so that, for example, a VP of sales can overview the program from a total corporate standpoint. But at the same time the system also is password protected so that regional sales managers can see what their regions are up to without having access to the entire program’s data.

“The reason we do this is that different regions might have separate sets of goals but still share a common theme for the whole program, ” he says. “In that case one region’s set of data and sales requirements may be completely different, but corporate doesn’t necessarily want to make that public.”

Can an incentive company solve your incentive program’s administrative headaches? Damerow says he’s eager and willing to help you find out. For more information, visit www.incentivesolutions.com.