Inside Tips

By Malcolm Fleschner

Sales incentive contests can be very simple – the next rep to sell a magazine subscription gets this $20 bill! Or so complicated they practically require a working knowledge of calculus to figure them out. But no matter what type of program you run there’s always room for improvement. Imprint Magazine offers the following tips for making sure your next program squeezes the maximum motivation out of your sales team.

  1. Look back
    Start by examining programs your organization has run in the past. What worked and what didn’t in terms of rules, regulations, structures and prizes? When you design the new program make sure you focus on letting people know what’s expected and how they can achieve their goals, as well as on helping them get there and keeping them motivated throughout the contest.
  2. Point of order
    Structure is extremely important for creating an equitable and motivational incentive. Consider splitting points. For example, you might place a greater point value on slower-moving products than the items that practically sell themselves. This is a good way to use incentives to achieve specific product sales goals.
  3. Promote from within
    Allot from 20% to 25% of your program budget to internal promotion. The longer the contest, the more you need to remind people about the contest and keep them focused on achieving their goals. Whatever you do, don’t just announce a 12-month-long contest at the beginning of the year and then ignore it until it’s almost over. That’s a recipe for failure.
  4. Theme up
    There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of potential themes for a sales incentive contest. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as you do pick one. Once you’ve settled on a theme, design a logo and imprint that logo on every contest-related correspondence you send out. Individual communications might include an announcement kit, monthly scorecards and intermittent reminders featuring motivational slogans or exhortations. Unquestionably, a universal theme that carries through the duration of the contest will keep your salespeople’s eyes on their prizes.