Get The Best Online

By Malcolm Fleschner

With its greater flexibility, convenience and competitive pricing, today’s online sales incentive solutions are gaining converts among sales organizations both large and small. As the experts at Strategic Incentives (www.strategicincentives.com) point out, sales organizations using online incentive programs can perform tasks that would have been impossible with yesterday’s technology. Examples include the ability to change motivational messages and rewards with just a few mouse clicks as well as a range of administrative tools involved in tracking a program’s progress and collecting and analyzing data.

For organizations looking to adopt online incentive program best practices, Strategic Incentives suggests the following tips.

    Points are everything. The achievements you want to recognize should be assigned point values based on your budget and goals. If you initiate a program to encourage development of new accounts, temporarily bump up the point total for new business.

    Make it simple. Salespeople should be able to access the system quickly to get the information they seek. This will minimize lengthy online visits, which tend to reduce productivity. A single password should allow participants to access their personal accounts to check status or order rewards.

    Publicize away. Use the online system to publicly praise award recipients. While the web is great for getting these messages out, don’t neglect old recognition standbys like company newsletters and corporate events.

    The choice is theirs. With so many redemption options available today, there’s no reason to limit participants’ reward options. Any good online program will allow you to offer rewards from a range of catalogs, both online and print, through links to retailers or via gift certificates or debit cards. Your program should offer prizes that tempt even the pickiest participant.

    Tap into peer power. Develop features of the program that allow coworkers to nominate one another for potential recognition. Not only are front-line employees generally better situated to identify performance above and beyond the call of duty, but recognition tends to mean more coming from peers than from management.