A Rewarding Web Experience

By Malcolm Fleschner

When the digital revolution hit the $27 billion incentive industry, it hit hard. Nowadays all but the most out-of-touch incentive services providers offer at least a portion of services that take advantage of the Internet’s power and flexibility. But beyond the glitz and hype, do Web-based incentive solutions genuinely improve sales organizations’ ability to achieve business results where they count – on the bottom line? They sure do, and here’s why:

1. They’re less expensive.

Traditional incentives typically involve reams of paper for announcements, registration forms, cards, catalogs, points statements, program materials and reports, all of which cost money to produce. But delivered as bits and bytes online, the cost of all these administrative materials drops considerably. Industry experts estimate that by nearly eliminating the expense of producing all this paper, incentive program administrative costs have dropped from 15 to 20 percent of program budget to 2 to 5 percent.

2. They take less time..

By using an online catalog, incentive program directors can include multiple merchandise providers, feature the very latest products, and add or drop products with a few simple mouse clicks. Compared to a paper catalog, which might take three months to produce and be out-of-date by the time it hits the mailboxes, an online catalog is simply much more flexible.

3. They’re easier to control..

One of the great advantages is that Web-based programs let administrators revise parameters so easily. So if it appears that your people are more interested in electronics, you can simply add more options in that category. Plus, the programs can be much more dynamic – you can change rules structures, add bonus point promotions, or increase the incentive offered on a specific product and implement the changes in seconds.

4. They’re easy to monitor..

With online programs, participants can enter data such as travel or basic information registration, as well as sales information (the manager merely confirms the sale), then the administrator can closely track performance. The real-time reporting aspect gives managers the flexibility to quickly identify concerns, both with the program itself and also with any sales reps who may not understand how to maximize their efforts for the greatest reward.